The Voting Rights Act: Time To Include Whites
"President Bush asked
Congress Thursday to renew portions of a landmark voting
rights act as he signed a measure championed by Rep.
Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) to erect a statue of civil
rights icon Rosa Parks in the Capitol. Jackson and his
namesake father have been campaigning for months to
extend and strengthen key provisions of the 1965 Voting
Rights Act due to expire in 2007."
Rosa Parks statue to stand in Capitol (December
2, 2005 By Lynn Sweet Chicago Sun-Times
Here we go again.
The voting rights of American citizens are being
trampled. But you can be sure that the next version of
the hallowed Voting Rights Act will only address
It wasn`t always this way. As Thomas Sowell has
pointed out, the 1965 Voting Rights Act was the most
successful of the famous civil rights enactments of the
1960s. It dealt with a genuine issue—the
systematic finagling by the ruling Democratic Party
in Southern states to keep most black citizens from
voting—and solved it almost immediately.
As soon as blacks had the vote, they were
well equipped to protect that right. The number of
black voters and officeholders shot upwards. White
Southern politicians, such as George Wallace,
responded to the now-level electoral playing field
by dropping anti-black demagoguery.
The calm, prosperous modern South soon emerged, with the
black minority dominating the Democratic Party and most
of the white majority moving into its natural home in
the Republican Party. Under this fair system,
conservatives do well in the South.
Today, when you hear about blacks having problems at the
election booth, as many did in trying to cast valid
ballots in the 2000 Presidential election in Florida,
they are almost always self-inflicted.
The 2000 Presidential election in Florida has become
encrusted in myths ("Blacks were
disenfranchised!") because what really happened
stems directly from the media`s Great Unmentionable: the
white-black IQ gap.
In Florida, more Gore supporters showed up to vote than
Bush supporters. But as so often happens, the Democrats
botched up their ballots,
a higher rate than the Republicans. Most
unmentionably, Gore`s biggest problem was that blacks,
who voted for him by at least a 10-1 margins, were much
more likely to make a hash of their ballots than were
whites, who tended to support Bush.
Democrats Rue Ballot
Foul-Up In A 2nd County
 — … But the results of Duval County`s vote
left Democrats here shaking their heads. More than
26,000 ballots were invalidated, the vast majority
because they contained votes for more than one
presidential candidate. Nearly 9,000 of the votes were
thrown out in the predominantly African-American
communities around Jacksonville, where Mr. Gore scored
10-to-1 ratios of victory, according to an analysis
of the vote by the New York Times…
officials attributed the outcome to a ballot that had
the name of presidential candidates on two pages, which
they said many voters found confusing. Many voters, they
said, voted once on each page. The election officials
said they would not use such a ballot in the future.
“Rodney G. Gregory, a
lawyer for the Democrats in Duval County, said the party
shared the blame for the confusion. Mr. Gregory said
Democratic Party workers instructed voters, many
persuaded to go to the polls for the first time, to cast
ballots in every race and `be sure to punch a hole on
“`The get-out-the vote
folks messed it up,` Mr. Gregory said ruefully.
If Mr. Gregory`s
assessment is correct, and thousands of Gore supporters
were inadvertently misled into invalidating their
ballots, this county alone would have been enough to
give Mr. Gore the electoral votes of Florida, and thus
the White House.
Yet the Voting Rights Law still assumes that Southern
whites are guilty unless proven innocent. Suzanne Gamboa
of the Washington Post
reported in a December 3 2005 story about the
current brouhaha over the Republican redistricting of
"The House Democratic
leader wants an independent inquiry into the Justice
Department`s decision to approve a Texas redistricting
plan that staff lawyers concluded diluted minority
voting rights… Because of historic discrimination
against minority voters, Texas is required under
provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to get
Justice Department approval for any voting changes to
ensure they don`t undercut minority voting."
My emphasis! That “discrimination” is
"historic" all right—1965 was
40 years ago! [Vdare.com
note: Abigail Thernstrom and Edward Blum
argue that Texas never
needed the VRA, anyway. In 1937
one-sixth of the registered voters
in Dallas were African-American.]
You`ll notice that the law doesn`t require fairness to
all races, just to nonwhites. Over time, the
inevitable net effect of that bias will be to push
voting systems in the direction of
unfairly favoring nonwhites.
Imagine trying to drive your car down the highway with
your steering wheel rigged so you can`t nudge it to the
right but can nudge it to the left. Eventually, you`ll
end up in the ditch on the left.
Yet the GOP has been a big supporter of recent Voting
Rights Acts. They favor drawing district lines
that favor the election of minorities.
Why? Because concentrating anti-Republican minorities
into a few "majority-minority"
House and legislative districts in each state also helps
create a lot of safe Republican districts (for now).
The downside: minority politicians get radicalized. This
has ominous consequence for the long-term cohesiveness
Due to this gerrymandering to create black districts, a
large fraction of
black politicians now run in
black-majority districts. They learn to harvest
votes by pandering only to
black resentments of whites. This is terrible
preparation for later running for statewide office,
where they have to avoid frightening whites to win.
Which accounts for their miserable statewide
performances. Although 39 of the 435 members of the
House of Representatives are black, of the 150 U.S.
Senators and state governors, only one is black (the
Barack Obama, whose mother is white, late father,
who abandoned the family when he was two, Kenyan, and
whose upbringing was more
Indonesian than African-American.)
Less widely-noted: this system funnels ambitious
Hispanics into the
Democratic Party. Nationwide, 92 percent of all
Latino elected officials who ran under a partisan
label are Democrats, in large part because Hispanics are
clumped together in "majority-minority"
districts. For example, in California, Hispanics hold 29
of the 120 seats in the two houses of the legislature,
and 27 of the 29 are Democrats.
What America needs instead of a same-old-same-old Voting
Rights Act that ignores non-minority rights is
comprehensive reform to ensure the rights of all
The worst electoral problem:
With the computer technology available today, state
legislators are able to gerrymander districts boundaries
to protect incumbents, both themselves and House
members, in ways beyond the fondest dreams of old time
political bosses. For example, due to gerrymandering, no
incumbent legislator in California lost in 2004—even the
ones targeted by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, then at
the peak of his popularity.
"Democracy is supposed
to be about people choosing their representatives, not
representatives choosing their people,"
comments gerrymandering critic
Daniel D. Polsby, associate dean of the George Mason
University law school. (He explains how to replace
gerrymandering with an equable system based on
In the past, with districts less scientifically drawn,
representatives felt the need to be on the right side of
public opinion. Today, however, most incumbents assured
of endless re-elections—unless the public`s passions are
extremely stirred up.
So our representatives have become cowardly and don`t
want to take a stand on controversial issues. That`s a
major reason why Congress hasn`t carried out its
Constitutional duty to declare war since the 1940s—the
kind of crucial vote, incumbents worry, for which the
electorate might hold them responsible. It`s safer from
a career standpoint to simply delegate decisions about
war or peace to the President.
Today, the vast majority of House races are effectively
decided when district boundaries are redrawn following
each decennial Census. Only the small fraction of the
electorate`s votes that are in swing districts can
really make a difference in House elections.
In most states,
House and legislative districts are drawn up to equalize
not the number of citizens eligible to vote, but the
illegal and legal aliens, and their children.
For example, in the
2002 midterm election in Southern California`s
beachfront Congressional District 46 (17 percent
Hispanic), 173,000 voters participated in the election
of immigration-restrictionist Republican Representative
Dana Rohrabacher. Next door in gritty Orange County`s
gritty District 47 (65 percent Hispanic), prominent
Loretta Sanchez triumphed despite just 68,000 votes
Overall, the eight
California congressional elections won by Latinos
averaged only 80,000 ballots split among all the
hopefuls. In the other 45 races, a mean of 143,000
voters went to the polls.
This meant that the
average voter in a district that elected a Latino had a
78 percent greater say in choosing a House member than
voters in the rest of the state.
That`s not fair.
boroughs aren`t Constitutional, according to the highest
court to consider the issue. In the majority opinion of
the 1998 7th Circuit federal case
Barnett vs. City of Chicago, famed Judge Richard
"We think that citizen
voting-age population is the basis for determining
equality of voting power that best comports with the
policy of the (Voting Rights) statute. … The dignity
and very concept of citizenship are diluted if
non-citizens are allowed to vote either directly or by
the conferral of additional voting power on citizens
believed to have a community of interest with the
It`s time for a
Voting Right Act that guarantees the equal treatment of
all American citizens—and doesn`t just benefit
minorities and incumbents of all parties.
[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and