Ron DeSantis Wins Nobel Prize In Evil With Jim Crow Florida Map
Disney-punching Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has successfully passed his Jim Crow congressional map, the one that was so racist even the GOP-controlled legislature paused to say, “Wait, can we go this racist?” DeSantis was certain they could. He believed in the awfulness of Florida Republicans. It’s like the story of The Little Racist Engine That Could.
PREVIOUSLY: Florida Republicans Let Ron DeSantis Have His Jim Crow Congressional Maps
The DeSantis map shreds any pretense of a functioning democracy: It takes the state’s current 16 Republican to 11 Democratic breakdown and further gerrymanders it to 20 Republicans to eight Democrats. Florida isn’t West Virginia, by the way. Trump won the state by just three points in 2020. Hell, DeSantis himself only won by less than half a percentage point and he’s governing like a Dixiecrat Pol Pot.
According to Dave Wasserman at Cook Political Report, Democrats were "on track to net four to five seats in redistricting nationally. But after developments in Florida and Ohio, new maps are shaping up to be a partisan wash (w/ far fewer competitive districts)."
New at @CookPolitical: in February, Dems were on track to net 4-5 seats in redistricting nationally. But after developments in FL/OH, new maps are shaping up to be a partisan wash (w/ far fewer competitive districts). https://www.cookpolitical.com/analysis/house/redistricting/redistricting-scorecard-partisan-wash-far-fewer-competitive-districts\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/qQuJ4D3xpM— Dave Wasserman (@Dave Wasserman) 1650314631
Hey, look at that, DeSantis might’ve ensured a Republican House majority! He can add that to his evil resume when he inevitably runs for president. Cook Political Report moved eight House races in Republicans’ direction this week, so DeSantis’s crooked map is what Al Bundy would call “the icing on the tombstone."
Ignoring three decades of precedent, the DeSantis map eviscerates the Black majority/plurality opportunity seat based in Jacksonville. Wasserman reminds us that the current state and federal courts are all Trumped-up so we should’t expect them to intervene. Analysts believe the new map will leave only two Florida seats that are determined by Black voters.
PREVIOUSLY: Ron DeSantis Delivers MLK Day Gift Of Racially Gerrymandered Congressional Map
When threatening to veto the GOP legislature’s original map, DeSantis’s general counsel Ryan Newman claimed that efforts to preserve Democratic Rep. Al Lawson’s North Florida seat violated the Equal Protection clause in the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. This is modern Republican depravity: They know that Black voters are overwhelmingly Democrats, so they insist that maintaining Black representation in Congress is itself racist because it acknowledges race.
GOP state Rep. Randy Fine, who’s obnoxious, said drawing maps with race in mind is “inherent racism.” If he kept going, he might’ve said something about Martin Luther King and the content of one’s character. Republicans are either too racist or just lack the self-awareness to care that just 10 percent of Black Floridians want anything to do with them.
PREVIOUSLY: Florida GOP Redistricting Plan About As Florida As You'd Expect From A Florida
Of course, even from a color-evasive standpoint, Republicans are stacking the deck in their favor so they don’t have to face any real accountability for their policies, like — purely hypothetically — waging a costly and petty battle with Disney.
According to Florida Politics, Black lawmakers including Reps. Angie Nixon from Jacksonville and Tray McCurdy fromOrlando held a sit-in on the floor. They wore T-shirts that read “Stop the Black Attack.” (No word if the Republicans had matching ones that read “Naaah.”)
State Rep. Michele Rayner-Goolsby is running for Congress this year in a district that was redrawn into a MAGA giveaway. She let Republicans have it in a searing speech:
“Yes, I have a vested interest,” she said. “I have a vested interest because I’m a Black woman in the state of Florida. I have a vested interest because I’m a Black resident in the state of Florida. I have a vested interest because I have Black constituents. I have friends who are Black in Jacksonville and are concerned about what their representation is going to look like.
“I have a vested interest because I know the struggles of Black and Brown folks over the course of 200-plus years in this country, but most certainly in this state. I have a vested interest because I understand it wasn’t until the Voting Rights Act that my parents were able to vote.”
Rep. McCurdy put it best: “I’ve had enough of being kicked around in this building and in this chamber and still being expected to smile and shake your hands and engage in conversation with the same people who are trying to oppress my people.”
To hell with DeSantis, the Florida GOP, and their anti-democratic map.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."