It was only a matter of time, but it only took about 24 hours before Democrats started screaming racism about Jon Ossoff’s non-win. The reality is the Democrats are to blame, but the Democrats would prefer to scream racism.
The racism claim comes because of this statement from State Senator Fran Millar:
“I’ll be very blunt: These lines were not drawn to get Hank Johnson’s protégé to be my representative. And you didn’t hear that,” said Millar. “They were not drawn for that purpose, OK? They were not drawn for that purpose.”
What the Democrats fail to note is that Georgia is a southern state and, when the districts were drawn, was subject to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Those racist Republicans did not suddenly rush to redraw the district once section 5 was tossed.
The Republicans had to draw a majority-minority district for Hank Johnson. In fact, the GOP district was less gerrymandered than the previous Democrat configuration and what the Democrats do not even report is that it had very little to do with Hank Johnson and everything to do with the white Democrat — John Barrow.
The GOP knew Hank Johnson would be safe. But they wanted to get rid of John Barrow. They actually rearranged districts 7, 9, and 12 more to get more Republicans into Barrow’s district, which this shifted borders for Johnson’s district to pick up more Democrats to ensure Johnson’s black voting age population numbers did not dramatically shrink. The GOP did not want to run afoul of Section 5. On top of all that, Georgia got an extra seat due to the census and had to add a new district.
It is near slanderous to say to say the GOP was trying hurt black voters when the reality is the GOP went out of their way to preserve majority-minority districts like the Democrats wanted. The effect, however, did make other districts more Republican.
The Democrats have this problem, however. If they want to boost Democrat numbers, they are going to have to sacrifice their majority-minority districts. If the Democrats at Shareblue and elsewhere are in favor of doing that, let’s have a conversation about that. But don’t accuse the GOP of racism when they were doing what the Supreme Court of the day and the Democrats in the Department of Justice insisted they do.
By the way, the ultimate B.S. call on this is to compare the gerrymandering and lack thereof between the GOP’s redistricting and what the Democrats last did in Georgia. This is the GOP plan.
As you can see, the GOP map was vastly more reasonable, more compact, and did far less gerrymandering.
But let’s not let the facts stand in our way when we want to scream racism.