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.