Breaking Out of the Mold: Minority-Majority Districts and the Sustenance of White Privilege


The election of Barack Obama suggests that the United States’ racial climate has improved, but incarceration, education, and employment data all suggest that much more change is needed. In order to bring about the improvement that is so plainly needed, political action must be taken. In order for these political steps to take place, the voting public must first elect candidates who will support policies desired by minority communities.

The best way to improve minority political representation within the current political framework is to rework congressional districting schemes to make minority votes count. By integrating congressional districts, non-white voters would be able to influence a greater number of representatives, and white citizens would become more aware of the injustices that current legal systems impose on minority groups. This Note discusses the history of minority voting rights, describes the history of non-white majority congressional districting schemes, evaluates the pros and cons of non-white majority schemes, and criticizes the “crossover” district model proposed by some scholars. Lastly, this Note concludes that full integration of congressional districts might produce the best long-term political results for non-white communities.


racial discrimination, voting rights, minority voting rights, Gomillion v. Lightfoot, Baker v. Carr, Reynolds v. Sims, Voting Rights Act, Civil Rights Movement, privilege, white privilege, Mobile v. Bolden, Thornburg v. Gingles, Congressional districting plans, League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry, LULAC v. Perry, Northwest Austin Municipal Utilities District No. One v. Holder (NAMUDNO), Shelby v. Holder



Joe Mitchell (Washington University School of Law)



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