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Eric Holder, Voter ID, and the Chicago Way

How Chicago is playing racial politics with redistricting city wards.

by
Abraham H. Miller

Bio

January 16, 2012 - 12:01 am
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And here in his hometown is the latest foray into election engineering, courtesy of former presidential chief of staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, with assistance from Chicago’s African-American aldermen:

Because of  strong demographic changes, Chicago is undergoing its decennial redistricting with a vengeance.  The biggest demographic change is the drop in the percent of African Americans, an incredible 19%. Other ethnic groups have been stable with the exception of a rise in the city’s Hispanic population.  So, one would expect that under the standard redistricting principle of wards being carved up into equal population units, African Americans would be a lower percentage in some wards than they have been and Hispanics would be higher. The total population of any ward, however, would  remain roughly equivalent.

In an effort to keep African-American aldermen in power, Emanuel and his cronies have cut up the wards into different sizes, with white wards on the north and lakefront each having 56,000 inhabitants and black wards having closer to 51,000.  Making the white wards larger and thinning out the black wards preserves the wards of African-American alderman, while disenfranchising whites. This is racial discrimination.

Like the Black Panthers in Philadelphia intimidating whites at the polls, this is not going to be high on Holder’s lists of concerns.  Nor are liberals in Chicago, or elsewhere, going to have an apoplectic fit over it.  Don’t count on the ACLU hauling Emanuel into federal court or even standing in front of the television camera’s lens to denounce it, as the ACLU has done with South Carolina’s attempt to bring integrity to the voting process.

When it comes to South Carolina — or any other state — trying to preserve the honesty of the electoral process by requiring some form of voter identification, watch out. Voter integrity is the last thing Obama, his Justice Department, and his base want for 2012.

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Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science and a former head of the Intelligence Studies Section of the International Studies Association.
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