April 02, 2006

At-large elections don't represent all

Far from being "the more democratic system" as described by many Harford County residents, at-large representation should be denounced as the instrument of racism that it clearly is in a county with such stark ethnic dividing lines.

Uncritical support of such is shameful in this day and age.

My observations aren't expressed to endorse any political position, but rather to address a fundamental issue of fairness and respect. The equitable solution to the issues of conflicted boundaries for police, fire companies and rec councils is to adjust the boundaries, not institute the de facto disenfranchisement of a portion of our diverse citizenry.

In a county that celebrates history so much, we conveniently ignore it here. In-district representation was a tool of "Jim Crow" all across the Old South to dilute voting power and deny persons of color a meaningful voice in the political process. So it is here.

We forget that when there were water fountains marked "colored" and schools titled "colored," there was also at-large representation to keep it that way.

The people of Harford County are better than this. This isn't about party affiliation. Persons of all political persuasions join in a spirit of good will to say, "Keep the Plantation closed."

Kenneth H. Homer Bel Air

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