Republicans Are Trying to Redefine Blackness for Political Power
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Republicans Are Trying to Redefine Blackness for Political Power

Lawmakers want to narrow its definition to support redlining and swing elections in their favor

Some politicians are trying to limit the parameters by which Black people are considered Black as an ethnic category. Now before y’all in the ADOS camp (which Ann Coulter loves, which should give you pause) get too giddy, you know they’re only doing this for political power, right?

According to NPR, as a result of the 2020 census, Republican lawmakers in Alabama and Louisiana are fighting to limit the definition of Blackness and curtail voting power. In Louisiana, they want to limit the classification to people who identify as solely “Black.” Splitting hairs on racial people’s racial mixup seems like a tall order in one of the country’s only true melting pots, a region where the concept of who is Black isn’t always straightforward thanks to Louisiana’s large populations of people with French, Spanish, Afro-Caribbean, and Indigenous roots. This is also an interesting change of heart. For centuries in America, particularly in Southern states, the one-drop rule has been used to determine racial classification, and classify and justify slavery, segregation, housing, and more. Their whims and ideas are obviously moved by whatever gives them the most power.

The outcome of a case from Alabama called Merrill v. Milligan—which sought to redefine Blackness in its original filing—is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court. This case centers around how much consideration race should be used to determine how electoral districts are drawn. The Supreme Court’s findings here will likely set the precedent going forward on the Voting Rights Act. Depending on the ruling, it will either slow conservatives' progress in stripping away voting rights or give a playbook on how to dismantle them.

Black people are not a monolith. It’s one of our many proverbs. That’s because, for one, there’s not one way to act, speak, or dress Black. Your interests and your taste buds have no bearing on whether you are Black or not. There’s also not just one way to look Black—we come in many beautiful shades, from albino to creme brulee to deep mahogany. Our heritages span the globe, with different languages, regions, and traditions for us to claim. The diaspora is neverending thanks to slavery, colonialism, the one-drop rule, and emigrating from greedy, corrupt countries to slightly less greedy, corrupt countries. This concept of race was designed and proliferated by white people in power. They made their bed, perhaps it's time to put all this nonsense to rest and just sleep in it.