Inside a scramble in North Carolina as Democrats grapple with a post-Stacey Abrams electoral challenge

Some see the North Carolina legislature’s vote to change the way the state draws its legislative and congressional districts as a possible turning point for his Democratic colleagues in the Southern portion of the country.

But behind the scenes, worried activists face mounting pressure to distance themselves from the move. They say it threatens the effectiveness of their politics, because power was once wielded by a few powerful Black politicians.

As evidence, they point to the opening scene of “Doubt,” in which a White principal (Laurie Metcalf) tells a Hispanic nun: “When has there ever been a problem that didn’t have a solution?”

Rick Ridder, of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, tells that story to some of his colleagues, who tell him Black politics have never been stronger.

Instead, they say, Republicans have shifted the rules and their advantage to pit Black districts against each other. So far, not a single Southern Black lawmaker has called for legislation of their own, Ridder says.

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