Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposal to take re-districting out of the hands of the elected Legislator hands and place that responsibility in the hands of retired judges, that he would select! As a newspaper of general circulation, in the State of California serving the large and growing Mexican American/Latino population of the state, we speak out to sound a cautionary warning to our elected Legislators and the voting public. Do not be too quick to follow the Governor’s call to change the system.
It is strange that concerns over who lives in what district are surfacing as the number of Latino/Mexican voters has dramatically risen. It has become evident to the politicos that if you’re a Republican, especially those that are extremely conservative, you won’t have much of a chance of getting elected or re-elected if you live in a predominantly Mexican American/Latino District. Conversely, if you are a person who is a registered Democrat and Liberal in thought and you get placed in a district whose voters are very conservative, you also will never get elected or reelected.
As Raza, we have added concerns, racism and discrimination! As our people were relegated more and more to the barrio areas of the various cities in California, we were more and more represented, albeit reluctantly, by White politicians, be they Democrats or Republicans. When it served their purposes, our people received token representation. Never, did we receive the power to bring about the necessary changes in American society to make our people equal citizens of this country as all other European settlers received. Our people were destined to live out their lives as dependent wards of America’s internal colonialism.
With the growth of population, it became possible to concentrate sufficient people in the different political jurisdictions, to be able to elect and retain our own political representatives that would work towards bringing equality to our people. This represented a clear and present danger to the majority of the elected officials, who in the main were non/ Mexican American nor Latinos, nor were they culturally attuned to our needs for survival in White American society.
Governor Schwarzenegger, with his Germanic background, clearly sees the danger to the mostly White Republican Party. This proposal is a move to place the power
in the hands of a mostly White Judiciary, that he will control, in determining how Assembly, Senatorial, and Congressional Districts will be made i.e. how many Latinos/Mexican Americans, Blacks, Filipinos are living within the boundaries. They will have a single caveat: that the District will be controlled either by White/Anglo Democrats or Republicans!
If you have noticed, there are few Latinos/Mexican Americans appointed to Judgeships, or any of the higher judicial positions in the State. The highest Court in the land, the Supreme Court, has never had a Hispanic appointed! That’s where the trap is: Put redistricting in the hands of Judges, who are appointed by the ruling White oligarchy, and the gerrymandering that will take place will forever assure that the country will be ruled by White Republicans and in some cases, ultra-conservative White Democrats. Say NO to Governor Schwarzenegger’s move to eliminate the Mexican American/ Latino population from having a say in how the State and Country will be governed!