Saturday, October 8, 2011

Dallas Morning News Editorial was too gentle

The Dallas Morning News Editorial: Hits and Misses was too kind about the usage of the term "communities of interest" during the Dallas City Council redistricting process. This three word phrase was used to hide some of the worst actions taken during the redistricting process. Those actions too often achieved the same goal as the usage fifty years ago of another three word phrase: "separate but equal."

Too often (once is too much) the difference from a "separate but equal" effect is minimal. This most clearly happens in statements as to why certain, usually higher percentage white, "communities of interest" should not be included in a, usually lower percentage white, City Council District.

One example is the gerrymandering Councilman Caraway wisely objected to during the tragic 10-5-11 meeting.  He objected to a gerrymandered appendage from District 1 that crossed I-35 into District 4 and was ultimately eliminated in the "final" map. But too many other such "community of interest/separate but equal" amendments remained in the final map that was approved.

In the Dallas redistricting process it was proven beyond doubt that the most compact districts can also provide the highest level of minority representation. But that was not allowed to happen in the map approved on 10-5-11. There were other priorities.

We now have a map that we can only hope the Justice Department rejects. Dallas is a much better city than the one reflected in the gerrymandered map approved 10-5-11.

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