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Blacks may soon feel like illegal aliens if district maps are approved

admin | 3/8/2012, 4 a.m.

We are a curious people, often drawn to protest things that matter very little while reluctant to get involved in actions that could impact our lives for decades. The current battle between Democrats and Republicans over the recently-proposed redistricting maps in Florida serves as a prime example. State Republicans point to the inclusion of town hall meetings and so-called transparency that were used before they began the process of slicing and dicing communities across the state with new political districts. It sounded good inviting voters to have their say before elected officials went behind closed doors to prepare the maps. But with cases pending in two different courts as the qualifying period for candidates for the fall elections draws near, Blacks who have so far been silent would be wise to let their voices be heard now. Black elected officials in Miami-Dade, Broward and even Palm Beach Counties have all stated their objections. They fear that many historic Black districts may become a thing of the past as Hispanics become the new majority. Will Hispanic elected officials in these districts consider the needs and desires of Blacks over their own people? Its doubtful. Its not too late to let those who represent your district, no matter what their political affiliation, know how you feel. Judges face elections as well and so they should not be exempt from our public debate or criticisms. We can ill afford to sit by and hope for the benevolence of the courts. If we do not demand fair and equitable representation in the districts in which we live, we may find ourselves in the unenviable position of living in communities but being treated like illegal aliens.