I can recall my poker playing days. Of course, we played for money. Real money. I can vividly recall everytime a new hand was dealt and watching all the other players around the table trying to catch a clue as to how powerful a hand they had been dealt. With some players you did not have to do that. You knew they were going to play every hand, win or lose, most of the time lose. Ocassionally they would win a hand but that rare ocassion did not make up for previous loses. That money was gone, into somebody else’s pocket. Sad, but true. As I see all the fenagling with redistricting, I am reminded of those card playing days. I see the TDP chair, trying to win that one big hand that would cover all previous loses. Just one more round. The fight in the Republican Party is over values. This is what the base of the party want. They want to know where their presidential candidates stand on values. Of course, Obama will probably be reelected. I would be surprised if he was not. You can bet your bottom dollar that he will join in the values fight. In Texas, the drought has been harsh. In the TDP there has been a long drought also. Perhaps it is time for the TDP chair to learn from R’s and Obama himself. A values dance might just end the drought.
How often do we hear the same old song, “Latino’s don’t vote”. Every year we go through the same ritual called, “get out the vote”. Yet the stats continue to echo the same words, “Latino’s don’t vote”. ???????????????
As someone who lived through the civil rights era, I can remember being singled out because of my color, race and last name. The only recourse I had was what we all had, fisticuffs. Of course, when you did that you fell into a trap from which there was no escape. Yes, you can say I have felt discrimination and racism personally. I did not read it in a textbook nor saw a film about it, I lived it. The emotional scars have healed over time. Yes, there is still discrimination today, but it is not easily visible. In a way it has been institutionalized in many ways.
I say this because I have seen the fight over redistricting and have heard the word discrimination used too frequently. I understand disenfranchisement. I also understand that redistricting is a political process with the party in power holding the winning hand. The political landscape has changed a lot in Texas and what was true once upon a time may not necessarily be true today. Somehow, it appears like the Democratic Party wants to win elections by having districts that are overwhelmingly minority. The perception is created that the only offices minorites can win are those where the votes are stacked in their favor. Of courses minorites do not always get elected in these minority districts. It is not about empowering minorities but about maintaining Democrats in office. It makes a person wonder how Bill Flores, a Spanish surname, was elected in a heavily Conservative Republican, White district. There are other Hispanics who have similarly been elected in non-minority districts. I say this because a person that gets elected in a minority district whether Republican or Democrat has not achieved much. Once elected these minorities benefit from incumbancy and when these elected officials are not effective officials it is the minorities that suffer. We need Latino leadership all over Texas and the status quo is not leadership, it is an impediment.