Will DC Become the 51st State?

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DC flag blowing at half-staff by DDOTDC is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The District of Colombia is very close to becoming the 51st American state. 

A bill called House Resolution (HR) 51 to make DC the next state passed the House recently by a partisan vote of 216 to 208, with the Democrats in favor. It is now headed to the Senate. 


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Although it will probably not clear the split Senate, the push to make DC the 51st state and call it the “Douglass Commonwealth” after civil rights icon Frederick Douglass is not going to let up anytime soon. 

The reason has nothing to do with giving Black DC residents representation like the Democrats claim. 

Instead, of course, it has everything to do with the left trying to seize permanent political power in the United States.

Washington DC by barnyz is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

All About DC

The DC federal capital district was created on July 16, 1790 by the signing of the Residence Act. This put DC fully under the jurisdiction of the US Congress. DC officially became the capital in 1801 and took in small bits of land from Maryland and Virginia, including the nearby city of Alexandria, VA, although this was returned in 1846 and to this day is part of Virginia. 

The DC statehood movement has existed since the 1880s and the highly Democrat district has a population of over 700,000. This is more than Vermont or Wyoming, causing statehood supporters to argue that DC deserves its own Representatives in the US House and Senators in the Senate.

In addition, DC has the highest federal tax payments per capita in the country so it should have representation if it has so much taxation, they argue. Supporters of statehood forget to mention that it pays such high taxes because it’s stuffed with corrupt bureaucrats feeding at the trough of the bloated US government and leeching off taxpayers in the rest of the country through all sorts of foundations, think tanks, policy initiatives, lobbying organizations and so on. 

Currently DC is only represented in Congress by a non-voting delegate, namely Eleanor Holmes Norton. 

Surprise, Surprise: Democrats Say DC Statehood is About Fighting Racism

DC is majority non-white and has a Black population of 46%. If created as a state it would be the first with a plurality of Black voters. The bill gives DC two Senators and a representative in the House. It would leave the White House, Capitol and National Mall under federal government jurisdiction. 

Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York says that this is about racism and fighting “bigotry.”

“I shouldn’t have to remind my colleagues that it’s shockingly inappropriate to imply that lives and occupations and rights of D.C. residents are somehow less than their fellow citizens in other, more real, quote-unquote, and almost always more white parts of the country,” Schumer said in the Senate in support of the bill.

“We all know that the minority party opposes D.C. statehood because it fears giving political power and representation to American citizens that might not vote for Republicans,” Schumer added. 

The head of a local group that supports DC statehood, Dr. Ravi Perry, who also serves as chair of Howard University’s political science department put it even more strongly on the racial angle, pointing out that much of DC was built by Black people:

“They look at those buildings built by Black folks, built by slaves, and they see hope. And they know every single day when they wake up that they don’t have those same rights [as other Americans],” Perry said of Black DC residents. 

The question, of course, is whether the bill passed by the House can pass in the Senate, in which the Democrats have a 50-seat majority. They need to be up by 60 votes to pass a bill, however, and the chance of 10 Republicans coming onboard a DC statehood bill is very remote. 

Nonetheless, this “symbolic victory” shows just how many angles and avenues the Democrats are trying to use to back conservatives in a corner and seize permanent power.