Is America Ready for a Black-Dominated 51st State?

Is America Ready for a Black-Dominated 51st State?

Overview

Posted by David Love

Is now the time for statehood for the District of Columbia?  As the 51st state of the Union, the nation’s capital would be known as New Columbia. It is not a new concept, but one that is receiving more attention these days.

Statehood bills have been introduced in Congress, most notably by Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.  Further, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser wants to have the issue on the November ballot.

In the view of its residents, Washington is a colony.  And it remains a political anomaly in the world, the only seat of government whose citizens do not have voting rights.  The District has more people than Wyoming and Vermont, and its residents pay the highest taxes per capita.  Yet, Congress can dictate the city’s spending, and the city has no representation in Congress.  Even the U.N. Human Rights committee expressed its concern over the lack of voting rights for the city’s residents.

“The whole system we have in D.C. is a violation of every principle we stand for,” Shadow Senator Michael Brown (D-D.C.) told Atlanta Black Star.  The second-term, non-voting Senator represents D.C. on Capitol Hill and lobbies lawmakers for statehood.

“In the District of Columbia, the motivations for the denial of statehood have in the past pretty much tracked a kind of course of policies — economic, political policies, social policies — that have tracked the emergence of Washington D.C. as a major city,” Samuel Jordan, the executive director of Health Care Now! toldAtlanta Black Star.  A protégé of D.C. Statehood Party founders Julius Hobson and Josephine Butler, Jordan was the last president of the D.C. Statehood Party.