Earlier this afternoon, Brooklyn elected officials and activists gathered to protest the court’s draft redistricting map for Congressional lines, and Councilman Charles Barron, as usual, was the most outspoken member of the crowd.
Mr. Barron, who’s running for Congress himself, made it clear his first issue was the term “Special Master” used to describe the court’s redistricting expert assisting int he drafting.
“I think the first thing we got to do is stop calling the judge ‘Master,’” he declared. “Trying to draw us back on the plantation. So I’m going to say ‘judge,’ because we have no master.”
“It is obvious that these drawing are racist,” he continued, before analyzing the demographics in districts across the state.
“In the white districts: 96.5% white, 86.3% white, 70% white, 84% white. In 13 of these districts, the white majority population in those districts goes from 70% to 96%, to protect those districts, to make sure that those whites stay in office,” he said.
This all contrasts, Mr. Barron contended, with the district he lives in, where the black percentage of the population declined relative to the white population.
Although it was inevitable these majority-black districts would be diluted somewhat in redistricting — the African-American population of Brooklyn decreased, after all — Mr. Barron saw it as a deliberate attempt to weaken the black community’s voice.
“Every one of our few Congressional Districts are now in trouble if there’s a coalition of other communities that come together that want to disempower blacks and Latinos,” he concluded.
“This is an attack on Martin Luther King, on Rosa Parks, on Fannie Lou Hamer. Of all of those who came before us. And we say, ‘No, we cannot allow this to happen.’”
Watch Mr. Barron make his remarks below: