by Abby Zimet, Further columnist
March 9, 2021
Almost 60 years later, the fight goes on.
Georgia’s ” horror” of a new voter suppression law, dubbed “Jim Crow 2.0” and passed the day after Bloody Sunday, exposes a flailing GOP that only wants people to vote if they’ll vote for them. Last we heard that isn’t the way this whole democracy thing is supposed to work, but they evidently didn’t get the memo and are so terrified by peerless, home-town Queen of Democracy Stacey Abrams – black and female, their worst nightmare – they’re thinking even less clearly than usual. Over the last decade, Abrams helped register about 800,000 voters in Georgia; en route, as she told Stephen Colbert, she painstakingly worked to create an infrastructure to maintain voter involvement from one election to the next. Since her 55,000-vote loss to Gov. Brian Kemp – thanks to Kemp illegally removing almost 350,000 voters, largely of color – Abrams has continued to mobilize voters through Fair Fight; her work is widely credited with helping give Biden the state and Democrats the Senate with the victories of Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, and now she has a plan to eliminate the filibuster. Given her broad support – she now polls higher than Kemp, with 51% approval vs. his 42% – and the GOP’s inability to understand their failures reflect real changes in the electorate they could try to address rather than running more ads of Kemp shooting things, they’re running so scared they already set up a feverish “Stop Stacey” campaign to prevent “a complete left-wing takeover of Georgia,” even though Abrams hasn’t even said if she’ll run for governor again.
Launched by some of Kemp’s former crooked cronies, StopStacey.org boasts seed funding of at least six figures and wildly inflammatory rhetoric: “Radical leftist Stacey Abrams is on a mission to destroy our country. She “flipped” Georgia for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris… Now, she’s aiming for total control. We have to Stop Stacey and Save America before it’s too late!” It tosses in multiple-choice dog-whistles for good measure, charging Abrams is “funded by Hollywood and billionaire socialists like George Soros.” It also reveals her Very Scary “radical record”: She “flipped Georgia BLUE,” “stacked the U.S. Senate with extreme leftists,” and “Undermined election laws to help elect Democrats” – a claim, given Kemp’s sleazy machinations, that truly takes chutzpah. To date, Georgians seem unimpressed by the rabid charges, maybe because Abrams’ call for “a new Georgia and new America” resonates for many, or they realize Biden’s COVID relief bill wouldn’t have passed without Warnock and Ossoff, or they rightly credit Abrams and all the other women of color who labored to rid us of the orange menace – a popular t-shirt bearing images of Abrams reads, “Saved America. No Big Deal.” She’s also won enormous respect for her no-self-pity-let’s-get-to-work response to losing, unfairly, to Kemp – “If turn your test into a testimony was a person” – and for her portrayal in the documentary, “All In: The Fight For Democracy,” now on Amazon. The film features the powerful song “Turntables,” by Janelle Monae, with a video that offers searing historical context on their ongoing fight: “The table ’bout to turn.” So sure, try to stop Stacey. “We ready here in Georgia,” reads one post on Twitter. “The battle for democracy begins today.”
This collum published by Common Dreams on March 9, 2021, here…