The New York Observer (Politicker) writes
Mr. Rangel deserves some sympathy because after four decades in the House of Representatives, building a political machine that has seen scores of friends and protégés win high office, serving a district that has been represented by only two people since World War II, he is now presiding over that district’s dissolution.
Unless the State Legislature acts before March 12, a federal court special master will redraw New York congressional map. In that redistricting, Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel could lose his historically black congressional district.
The Politicker article looks at the Dominican community’s agitation for a district configured to elect a congressman of Dominican heritage. African American politicians are lamenting the possibility of ceding Harlem’s black political power to the Dominicans or to the black community in the Bronx and Westchester.
Unexamined in the article is the decline of the black population and the rise of racially integrated neighborhoods throughout NYC. Like historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), a predominantly Harlem congressional district is a relic of a past era when African Americans were limited.
As regular readers know, I’m opposed to efforts that pervert the Voting Rights Act to deepen racial and ethnic divides by creating segregated silos that undermine our common interests as Americans.
To learn more, read my recent op-ed in the NY Post, “Drawing districts to deepen divides?”
Should the special master draw a congressional plan preserving a Harlem-based black district and a Dominican-dominant district?