INTRODUCTION

     The Shaw v. Reno decision strongly inferred that it is a negative for Blacks to have racial interests and to have their interests protected in order that they might be asserted in the political system both as a functional value and as a manifestation of a pluralistic representative democracy. Therefore, I will address the issue of whether or not Blacks have binding group interests which might be projected into the political system, then address the system itself, focusing upon whether or not Black majority districts have been an impediment or an adequate vehicle for the projection of those interests through the representation of Black communities.

No Binding Interests

     Justice O'Connor's plea that racial redistricting was specious because of the fact that it proceeds upon the principle that Blacks have no interests except the color of their skin is highly questionable.1

Indeed, O'Connor suggested that:

By perpetuating stereotypical notions about members of the same racial group--that they think alike, share the same political interests, and prefer the same candidates--a racial gerrymander may exacerbate the very pattern of racial bloc voting that majority-minority districting is sometimes said to counteract.2

But why does O'Connor deny to Blacks what has been a positive characteristic of any culturally coherent group, the positive benefits of their unity? Here, O'Connor takes direct aim at the issue of the psychological and political coherence of Blacks with the clear suggestion that such would be a negative outcome, when it has existed traditionally as a source of positive outcome in the sense that cultural coherence has enhanced social power.3  In any case, this can be easily demonstrated by reference to any criteria of political behavior. How, for example, would the Justice explain:

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November 1999