He wrote it in a 2013 court response to a lawsuit over racial gerrymandering during the last redistricting session.
If you don’t remember, the case was Shannon Perez vs. the State of Texas. You can find the entire document HERE. However, the part you want to read starts on page 19. During 2013 redistricting in Texas, Republicans intentionally disenfranchised Black people, but according to Abbott, it was only because they were Democrats.
First, he cites the text of another case that said, “A jurisdiction may engage in constitutional political gerrymandering, even if it so happens that the most loyal Democrats happen to be black Democrats and even if the State were conscious of that fact.“
Then, he cites the text of a second case that said, “Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act is implicated only where Democrats lose because they are black, not where blacks lose because they are Democrats.“
This was his entire defense.
When Republicans redrew the 2013 maps, they intended to make sure that Democratic voters in Texas don’t have representation at their State’s Capital.
Well, it just so happened that 72% of Black Texas voters are Democrats. (The rest aren’t all Republicans. 15% of Black Texas voters don’t affiliate themselves with either party. Only 9% of Black Texas voters identify as Republican.)
When Republicans look to draw maps to edge out Democratic voices, they also drown out Black voices. Abbott argued that it was politically motivated, not racially motivated, but they knew the consequences, either way.
That’s why every bill signing for terrible legislation in Texas looks like this:
These pictures don’t represent Texas.
White/Caucasian people in Texas only account for 41.2% of the population. If you live in Texas, you know how culturally diverse our state is. Yet, the ruling body in Austin, the Republican Party, is 95% Caucasian. It’s intentional. They knew what they were doing when they drew the maps. This was it.
As a result, we have racist attacks on voting rights and school curriculums, among other things.
The US Senate HAS TO pass the For the People Act, end racially gerrymandering in Texas, and reinstate preclearance. If they don’t, Texas Republicans are slated to redraw the maps again in October. Republicans will continue to make sure that millions of Texas have no voice and no representation when you couple their redistricting efforts with their voter suppression tactics.
“We must reclaim voting rights as a moral issue in this moment and stand together to demand the passing of federal legislation, such as the For The People Act, which will protect the promise of democracy.”Rev. Dr. William Barber and Bernice King in Time Magazine
This is not a drill. Voting rights are under attack across the country.
Powered by People, Beto’s group, has also taken several initiatives to protect voting rights in Texas.
Please get involved if you can.
It’s all hands on deck. This is one of the biggest political fights of our lifetime.
You can now read an ad-free version of Living Blue in Texas and help support our mission to turn Texas blue. Sign up now.
Sign up for our weekly blog roundup: