of the most prominent proponents of the view that the ability of many whites to represent
Blacks interests better than Blacks lowers the necessity for the creation of Black
majority districts is Professor Carol Swain.8 However, at the outset, it is necessary to make a critical
distinction. One reason for the election of a Black representative for a Black population
is utilitarian in the sense that there is the expectation that such a person, being from
the cultural group in question, is familiar with its interests and, therefore, is better
able to represent those interests, provided that the person has the skills to do so.
Justice O'Connor and others have imputed the need to focus on race with respect to representation, identity and other aspects of cultural unity as a negative impediment to "color-blindness," and therefore, a barrier to the achievement of a society that reflects this value. Yet, O'Connor's view is wholly subjective and without evidence, since racial representation is often powerful in itself as a symbolic referent for society to measure the progress of inclusion. One cynical observer says of Justice O'Connor's perspective on this issue:
While, this observation may launch Justice O'Connor's thinking into the outer limits, let us, however, focus on both the utilitarian and descriptive reasons here that refute the Court's position.
Substantive Representation: The business of substantive representation is enacting legislation that conforms to the interests of constituents and there has been a question as to whether or not the presence of Blacks elected from Black minority districts (BMDs) has enhanced that goal.