If we needed further proof that the GOP’s strategy to maintain electoral power relies on maintaining white supremacy in the face of demographic change, we now have it. Fully 95% of House Republicans represent majority-white districts:
Significant numbers of conservatives, and white Americans in general, admit to feeling discomfort at the prospect of a non-majority white America. These views are even stronger among Tea Party-aligned conservatives. According to Parker’s polling, nearly two-thirds of Tea Party conservatives want to eliminate birthright citizenship, and 82 percent of Tea Partiers say they feel “anxious or fearful” about undocumented immigrants.
Another factor behind Republican recalcitrance on immigration and similar issues is the simple racial math underlying many House congressional districts. According to U.S. Census data, only 13 out of 234 Republican-held districts are majority-minority (that is, districts where white non-Hispanics make up less than 50 percent of the population). That’s about 5 percent of all Republican districts. In contrast, fully 49 percent of Democrat-held districts are majority-minority.
This situation has been accomplished through gerrymandering. By seizing state legislatures during the tea party wave of 2010, Republicans were able to rearrange congressional districts and make it possible for Obama to win Pennsylvania by 5 points while only five Democrats won in the state’s 18 US House races. One effect of all this is that political parties have become shorthand for race, greatly reducing gains by minority legislators. Furthermore, the entire immigration battle can be understood as an expression of white fears about a future racial minority status.
It is no longer possible to explain these phenomena as anything other than a second wave of Jim Crow aimed at maintaining white supremacy, even as a future demographic minority, for the benefit of America’s conservative political party. Mo Brooks is the new face of American Apartheid.