MSNBC Wrongly Claims ‘Bull Connor’ DeSantis to Cut Black Majority Districts by Half

On Tuesday evening, several MSNBC hosts again demonstrated what a source of misinformation the liberal news network is as it was incorrectly claimed that Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is pushing to cut the number of black majority congressional districts from four to two when there is, in fact, only one black majority district to begin with. Joy Reid even went so far as to declare that he wishes to emulate the infamous segregationist Democrat, Bull Connor.

The fact that the DeSantis’s plan draws more regular districts with less gerrymandering demonstrates that journalists and other liberals are not against gerrymandering as they claim, but instead want gerrymandering that benefits Democrats.

On The ReidOut show, Reid cited an article at Salon as she declared:

The junior Don has also taken upon himself to meddle in the state’s congressional redistricting process, submitting his own map which — you guessed it — dilutes the voting power of people of color, cutting in half the number of majority African American districts, splitting up Hispanic voters in South Florida districts, and giving Republicans an eight-seat advantage.

She obnoxiously added: “I guess when President Biden spoke of whether Republicans wanted to be Bull Connor, DeSantis was at home raising his hand, ‘Me, me, I want to be Bull Connor!'”

A couple of hours later, citing an article at the Miami Herald, Rachel Maddow claimed: “So Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, has just submitted a proposed new map for congressional districts in his state. What he proposes is that Florida should cut in half the number of congressional districts that are majority black.”

Several hours earlier, Nicolle Wallace gave her own misleading version of the story citing Politico as her source.

It should be noted that there are currently five out of 27 districts in Florida that have elected black congressional members — four Democrats and one Republican. That’s 18.5 percent of districts in a state where blacks make up 16 percent of residents.

According to the Almanac of American Politics, the only current black majority district is the 20th in South Florida with a 53 percent African American population. Only two other districts — the 5th and the 24th — come close, with 47 percent each. Democrat Val Demings and Republican Byron Donalds both were elected in other districts that are white majority.

The DeSantis plan would eliminate the 5th District in North Florida which would also make that and other northern districts less gerrymandered with more regular shapes. The two districts in South Florida would be re-numbered as the 23rd and 24th with black percentages of 46.5 and 47.3 percent, still making it likely blacks would be elected.

The district held by Demings would be re-numbered from district 10 to district 7, and would have its black population change only slightly from 29.5 to 28.7 percent while the white population would be cut from 54 down to 38 percent. The Hispanic population would be increased. So, in spite of claims to the contrary, the district held by Demings is not being eliminated.

This misinformation designed to smear a prominent Republican was sponsored in part by Philadelphia cream cheese and Liberty Mutual. Their contact information is linked.

Transcripts follow:

Deadline: White House

January 18, 2022

5:07 p.m. Eastern

NICOLLE WALLACE: You mentioned the map. I want to read to you a little bit more of the reporting about it. “DeSantis’s map would cut in half the number of African American from four on current-proposed congressional maps to two, while boosting the number of seats Donald Trump would have won in 2020 to 18 from the 16 on the map being considered by the GOP-led Florida Senate. It would also wipe out the 5th Congressional District seat held by African American Representative Al Lawson.”

We probably don’t spend enough time here talking about the redistricting power grabs, but this one seems particularly egregious

(…)

The ReidOut

January 18, 2022

7:20 p.m. Eastern

JOY REID: The junior Don has also taken upon himself to meddle in the state’s congressional redistricting process, submitting his own map which — you guessed it — dilutes the voting power of people of color, cutting in half the number of majority African American districts, splitting up Hispanic voters in South Florida districts, and giving Republicans an eight-seat advantage.

I guess when President Biden spoke of whether Republicans wanted to be Bull Connor, DeSantis was at home raising his hand, “Me, me, I want to be Bull Connor!”

(…)

The Rachel Maddow Show

January 18, 2022

9:01 p.m.Eastern

RACHEL MADDOW: So Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, has just submitted a proposed new map for congressional districts in his state. What he proposes is that Florida should cut in half the number of congressional districts that are majority black.

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