These days, with blacks comprising a majority of Democratic state lawmakers in the Democratic Caucuses of the House & Senate black now equals Democrat. And the white Southern Democrat is becoming an endangered species. For blacks here in Georgia, that in itself is not a problem. Many enjoyed being in the Democratic majority through the 1990s and up until the early 2000s. But Republicans, for now, are the only game in town. And in the former Confederacy, legislative black caucuses find themselves in the same kind of wilderness that led to their formation in the first place.
Meanwhile, Blacks vote their interests, which do not lie within the ultra-conservative, Tea Party-infused, Republican Party. Although some Republicans would claim to vote in their interests, they would have to ask themselves why their Republican-controlled states suffer from some of the highest levels of poverty, and the lowest educational and health standards in the nation?
The story of the GOP in the South is one of white Democrats or "Dixiecrats" some like to call them, trading donkeys for elephants. After Lyndon Johnson passed the historic civil right legislation of the mid-1960s, disaffected conservative Southerners commenced the process of white flight from the Democratic Party. Voting rights and redistricting led to black power in the form of majority black districts. However, the unintended consequences were whiter, more conservative districts where Democrats -- particularly moderate and liberal white Democrats -- are unable to compete, where only moderate and conservative have the best shot at winning those type of districts.
Meanwhile, Republican majorities put themselves in charge of a process of racial gerrymandering, such as the case in the 2nd Congressional District,& a slew of legislative districts, allowing them to stoke the fires of racial polarization, and further segregate the state of Georgia for political gain. They say they are only following the guidelines of the Voting Rights Act & maybe so, but let's be real here, the more blacks you can put into a particular district, the more it increases the GOP stronghold on Georgia.
Plus, the Obama era has created a far more conservative Republican Party than the one that came to power during the Bush presidency.
Such an environment makes it increasingly difficult for a black candidate for statewide office in the future like former Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond who could be a candidate for statewide office in 2014. The old democratic party for the longest time remained democratic despite voting republican on the federal level for president & that was due to the crafty late House Speaker Tom Murphy who held together a fragile coalition of rural white & urban black democrats until his defeat in 2002. Georgia under democratic rule was the leading state in the south as far as progress. A business-friendly environment, lead by the quality of life led many citizens from across the nation to relocate to Georgia.
But the Party failed to educate these new voters the role the democratic party played in making Georgia the one, if not, the place to live, raise a family, open a business, etc, etc. That, in my opinion is one of the reasons the party fell like a house of cards in a matter of a few years. As the State Party drifted more & more to the left, mimicking the National Party, it became less whiter, oh wait, less diverse & more blacker & browner by the defections of rural moderate/ conservative democrats.......NOT A GOOD SIGN!
Let me end this by saying that the state HAS re-segregated politically due to racial gerrymandering. Black=Democrat, White =Republican & that my friends is not healthy for our great state.
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