Fayette hits ‘racial map’ drawn by NAACP

The latest dispute in the district voting lawsuit is whether or not a new county commission district map proposed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was drawn solely for racial reasons or if other factors were considered by the demographer who created it.

The NAACP contends the map was not created based solely on race, but attorneys representing the Fayette County Commission contend that a deposition of the NAACP’s expert demographer show he did not include other considerations in developing the map as required by law.

The NAACP filed the federal lawsuit late last year in an effort to force the county commission and board of education seats to be chosen by a district voting process. Under district voting, residents would be allowed to choose just one of the five representatives to each governing body, based on whichever geographic district they live in.

That is a significant change from the current electoral process for the county commission and board of education, in which every voter can cast a vote on all five seats of each governing body.

The NAACP insists that district voting, and the subsequent creation of a majority-minority district, is the only way to allow black residents of Fayette County the opportunity to elect “the candidate of their choice.”

The majority-minority fifth district proposed by the NAACP stretches out over 11 of the county’s 36 voting precincts between parts of Fayetteville, Tyrone and unincorporated north Fayette County. In doing so, the map splits eight of those 11 precincts in a process that the county claims was “racial in nature.”

“Plaintiffs’ failure to explain the boundaries of district 5 by any non-racial standard in the face of the facts raised by county defendants leads to the inescapable conclusion that the district was drawn primarily on race,” county attorneys wrote in a recent legal filing.

Just one of those eight precinct splits happened to account for the residency of an incumbent commissioner, county attorneys claim.

“This complete lack of justification for most of the precinct splits is stunning in light of the undisputed (and unrebutted) testimony ... that every precinct split by William S. Cooper (the NAACP’s demographer) specifically includes areas with concentrations of African American population while systematically excluding areas with higher white population,” county attorneys wrote in a Oct. 18 legal filing.

The county also accuses the NAACP’s demographer of drawing the map without relying on municipal boundaries, school attendance zones and the location or attendance patterns for churches or civic organizations beyond the NAACP.

“The only community of interest to which Cooper paid any attention was a racial one, relying on his perception of the unity of the black population in the county,” county attorneys wrote.

The NAACP disputes that contention, claiming in a brief that Cooper also considered precinct and municipal boundaries, school attendance zones, the one person one vote principle and a requirement that the majority-minority district be geographically compact.

The NAACP contends that race was not the only factor used in creating the proposed fifth district for the county commission map which would have a majority minority with 50.22 percent of the voting-age population constituted of black voters.

The NAACP’s map “would provide the county’s black residents with an opportunity, for the first time in history, to elect their preferred candidate to the board of commissioners,” NAACP attorneys wrote in an Oct 18 court filing.

NAACP attorneys also claim that district voting, combined with racially-polarized voting, “has prevented a black candidate from ever winning an election to either of these boards.”

“The reality in Fayette County is that participation for blacks on the board of commissioners (and board of education) is foreclosed under the current at-large electoral method,” NAACP attorneys claim.

mar66cla
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NAACP is a racist organization.

Once again the NAACP proves that African Americans have become the most racist group in the country.

lettinguno
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Racist ?

I see things haven't changed much in the last 150 years except who is now the racists......signed ABE L.

Davids mom
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mar66cla
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Once again the NAACP proves that African Americans have become the most racist group in the country.

What a completely false statement!! No organization in this country represents ALL of any group of Americans. Would it be racist for me to say the 'Once again the KKK proves that white Americans are the most racist group in the country?' African Americans are Americans who have been in this country since before the 1700's. Here in 2012, we still run across insecure 'white' Americans who want to belittle an entire group of Americans by poorly worded statements. You have the right to your opinion that the NAACP is 'racist' - but to say that because of your perception of their motives, you have proof that African Americans are the most racist group in the country? Sorry, can't agree with your opinion! Certainly not representative of the citizens that I work and live with in Fayette County.

fayette77
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What about the children?

Someone please show me one instance where district voting has benefited the students and not simply satisfied those focused on race alone. If the system is so broken with at-large voting why is all our new diversity moving to Fayette County to enjoy the benefits of our public school system? Don't wreck it by trying to mirror how they do it in counties who have already implemented this segregation.

PTC Avenger
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Race

People move to Fayette county because of its "good schools." It doesn't take a genius to read between the lines as to what that means.

There is not one example in all of America of a majority white community going majority black and the property value increasing or even maintaining its value. Think about that and the ramifications it has on your community and your family.

Davids mom
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PTC AVENGER

You need to get out more! The Country Lakes Community on Holyfield Highway is a 'black' community (residential area) that probably is more 'expensive' than most 'white' communities (residential areas) in Fayette County. The homes are well-cared for and resale value is still competitive in this economy. There is the Casacade Community in Atlanta which changed to 'black' in the 50's or possibly before. In the same area is the Gilford Forest Community - and these two communities have kept the Camp Creek shopping area open and productive when other shopping areas took a hit in this economy. There are the Weiland Communities that have been integrated since their inception in Fayette County. (The first one being off New Hope Road in Fayetteville) PTC AVENGER - it's not the color of ones' skin that changes the value of a community - but the values and standards (education level, income, etc.) that one brings to the community. 16% of the residents in Fayette County are 'minority'. Most are not living in Section 8 housing; most have a college education +; most have a very substantial salary. They moved here because of the school system, churches and family connections, etc. Some have been here over 25 years. Some may be serving you as your doctor, dentist, real estate agent, business owner, attorney, etc. There is not a large enough 'black' community in Fayette County for these professionals to exist on only funds from 'black' customers. Fayette County should be very proud of its' diverse American population. Take a ride someday.

Scotta
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Racial Map

Stop insulting our intelligence! It’s racial and you know it!

Pogo
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District Map

Even if we accept that the map drawn by the NAACP demographer was not based solely on race, race was certainly the primary consideration. The objective is to create a "Majority-Minority" district to "allow black residents of Fayette County to elect "the candidate of their choice."" This entire issue is based entirely on race. I have nothing against district voting but the intent of the NAACP is to "stack the deck" to ensure that their candidate wins. That is assuming that the voters in the district base their vote solely on race. We know that that never happens!

Davids mom
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Pogo
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The objective is to create a "Majority-Minority" district to "allow black residents of Fayette County to elect "the candidate of their choice.""

Gerrymandering: A political practice that is well-known. Demographers use this technique to get 'Republican' and/or 'Democrat seats in representative government houses. In Fayette County, I wonder how Fayetteville ended up with a 'minority' City Council member? Maybe the folks in Fayetteville vote more on issues than on 'skin color'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerrymandering

Pogo
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Racial Gerrymandering

There have been a number of cases on the subject presented to the Supreme Court with various rulings. The following appears to be the latest on the issue: Gerrymandering racial minority districts has been declared unconstitutional if their irregular shape indicates they were drawn primarily to represent race. The Supreme Court has ruled that race is not a legitimate criterion for drawing legislative boundaries.

Davids mom
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Pogo

True! Many of the rulings assisted minorities in voting representation because lines had been drawn to maintain the majority -majority. Applying rules 'equally' is the current attempt at the American way.

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