The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

All races deserve a voice when voting

Louisiana’s new congressional voting districts

Every American should exercise their right to vote. When teenagers turn 18 years old and become adults, they have the privilege to cast their first vote. If you are Black, however, it would not matter.

Louisiana is taking the first step to give Black voters a voice in their government. Recently, Louisiana lawmakers changed the congressional maps to form a second Black-majority district in Louisiana. This change was due to the old racist congressional map that caused an uproar in Congress.  

Black people deserve to be treated like ordinary citizens. It’s a fundamental human right. 

It’s 2024, and equal rights for Blacks exposed to injustices in the 1960s. It’s been almost 60 years since the Civil Rights Movement, and we still have made little to no progress. 

 The fact that it took 60 years for the Black vote to hold equal weight to other voters is pitiful. 

Louisiana kept only one majority district of 53% black people for a long time. The new map contains an additional district made up of 53% Black people, which is still not much of a difference. 

Other states have addressed diversity better than Louisiana. I know if the district is made up of 53% Black people, around 43%, would belong to whites, so this is still not fair. This is a less subtle form of gerrymandering. 

The term gerrymandering means to manipulate the boundaries of an electoral constituency to favor one party or class. 

It seems like the country is still trying to put in place racist tools to silence Black voices in politics. 

Racists have always used gerrymandering to keep Black votes uncounted. Gerrymandering should not still be occurring. 

It takes a lot of work for politicians to undo systems that tried to keep Black people out. Policies should be considerate of people of all races, not just Black and white.

 “It’s a powerful moment for Black voters in this state, and it’s a powerful moment for history,” Ashley K. Shelton, CEO of the Power Coalition, said. 

This statement is the wrong approach to look at this situation and could be a reason that the Black community experienced such a slow progression.

For starters, “powerful moment in history “is a huge stretch. It could be a great start to receiving the equality already owed to us.  However, Black people are not progressing. We are just less behind than before. 

This congressional map change is long overdue. Instead of looking at this change as a victory, we should examine other wrongs that have not been righted.

Lawmaker could set up other plans and raise awareness about those different areas. 

English professor Jaleesa Harris wrote a thesis on Black Gothic, which explains how racial discrimination affected American literature. 

“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Harris. She explains the hopes she has for the Black community. 

For many years, the Black vote has been diluted instead of impacting the election. But times are changing.

 Just like Harris, I am optimistic that this new change will cause Black voters, and even young voters, to start caring about decisions being made in the community.

 Black voters need to know that their opinion and vote matters, and we do not need to settle for less.

 The map change is a great start, but this change should be the first of many. 


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