How will Senator Brian Birdwell, a Republican, vote for the needs of his constituents when half of them are minorities and the other are Confederates?
That’s a rhetorical question, because we all already know the answer to this. This is an attempt from the racist GOP to intentionally remove the representation of Arlington’s Black and brown residents.
Did you know that Arlington has a diverse population? Of course, if you live here or you ever visit, you know that. I doubt Brian Birdwell has ever been. If he had, he would know much more about the community and the community needs. Instead, just like all Republicans, he ignores his constituents, won’t walk to them, and votes against them, no matter how many voices their opinions.
The new redistricting map for Senate District 22 cuts further up through Arlington than the old redistricting map and swallows up nearly every Black and Hispanic neighborhood in Arlington. Many of these neighborhoods are on the lower economic side of the spectrum, including the dozens of apartment complexes near I30 and 360.
This new Senate District 22 map has also added several new rural communities. Including Comanche County.
If you don’t know about Comanche County, let me tell you.
Comanche County, population 13,000ish, had a sign hanging on the outskirts of town warning Black people they were unwelcome until the mid-1970s.
Even though the sign has been down for several decades, less than 1% of the population is Black. Every year, on Confederate month, Comanche County hoists a Confederate flag way above their courthouse. The courthouse houses the Confederate monument, which was built in 2014. Yes, only seven years ago.
An active chapter of the hate group, Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), in Comanche County has publicized ties to white supremacy and domestic terrorism. The SCV group holds parades through the middle of town, on wagons instead of floats, LARPing in Confederate grays and waving the Stars and Bars. Children line the streets, and the elderly lovers-of-treason throw candy and beads at them.
Why in the fuck would the Texas Senate combine Comanche County and Arlington?
If these maps succeed, on whose behalf would Brian Birdwell vote?
The easiest way to know that, is to look at his past voting record.
This year Birdwell co-sponsored and voted for a bill that severely restricts charitable groups from posting bail for people who cannot afford it. So, in Texas, we will have innocent until proven guilty unless you are poor.
Birdwell co-sponsored and voted for the voter suppression legislation, limiting voting hours, drop boxes, and voting by mail.
He voted in favor of Texas’ 1836 Act, which rewrites history and takes taxpayer money to distribute whitewashed versions of history to Texans.
He also voted in favor of allowing so-called poll watchers to harass and intimidate voters at the poll booths.
During the regular session, he voted to ban the use of PO Boxes when registering to vote so that people who move a lot or the homeless wouldn’t be able to vote at all.
While Republicans ignored our power grid, Brian Birdwell voted to mandate that the National Anthem be played at all sporting events.
He didn’t vote yes on everything, though. For example, Birdwell voted no when the legislature proposed a bill to cap insulin prices at $50.
These are just some of the things that he voted on this year.
So, I’ll ask you again. When community-based issues make it to the Senate floor, which group of constituents will Birdwell vote to represent? The County stuck-in-time, still celebrating traitors to America? Or the diverse culture of Arlington?
What Texas Republicans are doing at the moment with the Senate maps is gross, unethical, immoral, and a flaunt on white supremacy. But they know it, and they don’t care.
Texas deserves better.
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