Post-Racial America

Georgia's Olivia Pearson Arrested For Helping Black People Vote. Again.

Oh, sorry, this time it's 'trespassing.' At the elections office.

You might recall the insane story of how Olivia Pearson, a civil rights activist and the first Black member of the Douglas, Georgia, city commission, got arrested and charged with voting fraud in 2012 for showing a first-time voter how to use a voting machine — Pearson didn't touch the machine or tell the voter who to vote for, but she was prosecuted anyway because Georgia only allows helping people with voting if the helper certifies that the voter is illiterate, not just unfamiliar with the voting machine technology. Pearson was also charged for "falsely swearing" that the person she'd helped was illiterate or disabled, although she said poll workers had asked her to help the voter and given her the form to sign afterward.

If you get the sense that there's a bit of bad blood between Pearson and local white officials in Douglas and Coffee County, you would get a nice pat on the head for being observant. She had also been investigated for such suspect activities as driving people to the polls, registering people to vote, and urging them to vote at election time. Such a troublemaker, in the John Lewis "good trouble" mold. And you know how many times he got arrested.

Pearson's first trial, in 2017, resulted in a hung jury; when she was finally able to get the venue moved to another county for her second trial in 2018, the jury acquitted her after just 20 minutes of deliberation, and everyone except the people she made uncomfortable in Douglas cheered. Oh, and don't forget, the prosecutor who went after Pearson over the six years of that case, District Attorney George Barnhill Sr., is the same worthless schmuck who initially decided the two white men who killed Ahmaud Arbery didn't need to be arrested, because "self defense." It's a small racist world, isn't it?

Now that Georgia has gone blue in the 2020 presidential election, thanks to the work of lots of Black women activists who followed Pearson, Slate reporter Joel Anderson, who had covered her trials, wanted to check in and see what she thought. She texted him back, telling him, "SURE I would LOVE to talk about it. [...] AND MY NEW ARREST AT THE POLLS."

Freaking Georgia.

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2020 presidential election

This Week's Sunday Show Rundown Is About WE WON!

Also some Sunday show idiots, as usual.

We won.

It was a long four hundred years coming since 2016, but we won!

In spite of or because of a still raging pandemic, the 2020 presidential election had the highest turnout rate (66.9 percent) in 120 years (since 1900 when the turnout was 73.7 percent), by preliminary estimates. Both Republicans and Democrats mobilized as many voters as they've ever done before in over a century.

But we won.

After President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris made history and gave their amazing victory speeches Saturday night, you could see on the Sunday shows that Republicans were already rewriting the narrative to seem like our victory is hollow.

Take Willard "Mittens" Romney. Making multiple appearances on CNN, ABC, NBC and Fox News (I didn't check Telemundo), the uncle of Ronna McDaniel tried to sound like a reasonable Republican. Here is a Romney quote from CNN's "State Of The Union" with Jake Tapper, responding to whether he thought it was good for the country that Biden was elected:

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2020 presidential election

Let’s Get Stacey Abrams Her Nobel Prize, Please.

She delivered some good trouble for Georgia.

I was up late last night, watching the updated numbers come in from Clayton County, Georgia, a majority Black town 30 minutes south of Atlanta. It is the heart of the late John Lewis's former congressional district, one soon-to-be former President Donald Trump once claimed was “crime-infested" and “falling apart," so it was fitting that this county was the one that put Joe Biden over the top in Georgia (barring sad Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's desperately awaited military ballots).

Yes, Georgia. No Democratic presidential candidate has won the state since Bill Clinton in 1992. I was a college freshman during that election. My friend Zach ran around the Tate Student Center at the University of Georgia, cheering and dancing, once Clinton was declared president-elect. We were excited for change, but we didn't fear that democracy was at stake. We also didn't think we'd have to fumigate the White House once George H.W. Bush left.

It's a different, much darker time now, and not just because I've grown old and wear my trousers rolled. But I want us to reclaim our joy today and try not to think too much about President Klan Robe. Today is for the heroes.

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2020 presidential election

If It's Monday, Here's Your Pre-Election Day Trump Idiot Sunday Show Roundup!

This week with an extra helping of SAYING OUT LOUD HOW THEY WANT TO STEAL THE ELECTION.

With less than 24 hours before Election Day officially begins and the GOP begin its official election night fuckery, it's clear the "Grand Old Party" is desperate to try to steal this thing if it's close. While most actual Trump administration and campaign members avoided coming on the Sunday shows, the few Republicans that did were dealing with the stages of grief at the possibility of losing, and badly.

On CBS's "Face The Nation," RNC Chairperson Ronna Romney McDaniel tried to spin a shiny, happy narrative to deal with her denial of how the election seems to be headed. After host Margaret Brennan pointed out the record-breaking pace of early voting turnout in key swing states, McDaniel said rosy words about a Trump "surge" on Tuesday.

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel predicts Election Day surge for Trump

MCDANIEL: COVID has changed things, so it's pulled a lot of Democrat Election Day voters into that absentee and early vote category. And Republicans are wanting to vote on Election Day in person and cast their ballot that way. So we feel very strong that we have a surge coming on Election Day.

But the fragility of that denial quickly faded as McDaniel contradicted herself.

BRENNAN: He's playing defense in Florida. He's playing defense in Georgia. What is the path to 270 that you have charted?

MCDANIEL: Well, Florida is critical, and we've seen us take the lead in early voting and really erase the deficit we had with the absentee ballots. So as our voters- as early voting becomes available to our voters, they're doing it.

So are Democratic votes coming in early overwhelmingly and that is why you are behind now instead of Tuesday? Or are Republicans taking the lead due to early voting so there wont be a "surge"? Can't claim you are going to have this election day wave, but then argue that actually your supporters are early voting now.

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