Blacks' Voting Power Weakened by Virginia's Redistricting, Say Dems
Senator calls it "plantation politics"
Democrats in Virginia say African-Americans' voting strength will be diluted now due to a 20-to-19 vote that will ultimately redraw districts to favor the Republican party. They say the map will remove blacks from as many as a dozen districts. But Republicans who pushed the map said it was needed to right historic wrongs. Although 19 percent of Virginia’s population is black, according to the census, only 5 of the 40 state senators are black, and each represent districts drawn with black majorities in 1991. Since then, no other district has sent an African-American to the Senate. So Republican senators say the new map is necessary to shield the state from lawsuits under federal civil rights law. “This was nothing more than what I call plantation politics,” said Senator Donald McEachin, the chairman of the Democratic caucus. (New York Times)