Stacey Abrams Did NOT Concede, She Never Lost, She Was Cheated
"This is not a concession speech."
Stacey Abrams, who served as minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017, is a living revolution wrapped up inside the package of a fierce, intelligent, and independent confederate flag burning black woman. At times, it has been said that surviving as a Black woman in the United States is a revolutionary act in and of itself. Revolutions are not won on just one battlefield, or at one time. Some revolutions are like a gentle breeze upon the sea, a breeze that builds waves, waves that roll and build into tsunamis; eventually those tsunamis break the levees of oppression, washing away old powers to make room for new coalitions.
But the levees of Georgia unfortunately held, and it took every underhanded, scandalous, unfair, sneaky, dirty, rotten trick to ensure they held. The levees of white dominance held this time... but its foundations are crumbling.
This particular revolutionary wave, while it did reach the Georgia coast, did not deracinate the "Good ol Boys" from their cozy haunts in the upper echelons of power where they have been planted for generations. What this wave did do was test the strength and durability of the levees around the boundaries of white male supremacy in the South. The waves found cracks aplenty in the flawed system, and it forced the would be "Lords of the Land" to be blatant, bold, dishonest, and disreputable while under public scrutiny. The nation was watching aghast; America was filled with anger, sadness, disgust and misery, yet strangely, it was fortified with determination and resolute about changing the future. This will not be our tomorrow, America says to itself. For the first time ever in a long time, America believes itself capable of fulfilling that promise. The inheritors of the bulwarks against black liberation and empowerment are living on borrowed time, and Father time always collects his debts.
Speech: Abrams ends her campaign
In her speech, Stacey Abrams was not some mealy-mouthed sycophant playing an anachronism of a black woman; she was certainly not a Mammy figure "bending the knee" to "Master of all he surveys", Brian Kemp, no she was not. She was honest, she was bold, she was speaking truth to power, and she was defiant while she did it.
"Concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper. As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede," Abrams said. "I will not concede because the erosion of our democracy is not right."
"On September 18, thousands of Georgians began casting absentee ballots, determined to lift their voices in the democratic process of electing our leaders for the next two years, the next four years. A few weeks later, more than two million Georgians declared their choices, heading to polling places for early votes. Then, on November 6, more than a million folks arrived in precincts around our beloved state – anxious and excited to express their patriotism through the basic, fundamental act of voting."
The Voting Rights Act was supposed to be our salvation. It wasn't. Broken and weakened, the VRA has become so impotent, it is and was unable to do its fundamental duty of ensuring that black people are allowed to vote and participate in our Democracy as equal citizens. It was bound to fail, perhaps even born to fail, in a nation where basic Civil Rights for black people are left up to the whims and vagaries of the inattentive and often unempathetic white majority.
The Abrams campaign was not born when she made the decision to file her paperwork. It was conceived in the hope tucked deep in the hearts of the slaves of America's Plantation system, nourished with the pride and struggles of the Freemen of Segregation, and born with the pangs of liberty's struggle during the Civil Rights Movement. Abrams was a long time coming, she isn't going anywhere, and the world is lucky to have her here.
We all understand challenges and complications; however, this year, more than two hundred years into Georgia's democratic experiment, the state failed its voters. You see, despite a record high population in Georgia, more than a million citizens found their names stripped from the rolls by the Secretary of State, including a 92 year-old civil rights activist who had cast her ballot in the same neighborhood since 1968. Tens of thousands hung in limbo, rejected due to human error and a system of suppression that had already proven its bias. The remedy, they were told, was simply to show up – only they, like thousands of others, found polling places shut down, understaffed, ill-equipped or simply unable to serve its basic function for lack of a power cord.
Brian Kemp, Secretary of State for the lovely peach filled Americana Wonderland of the South, is a soldier in the army of the status quo. His mission was to stop as many of his fellow citizens from voting for Stacey Abrams as he could, and through actions false and fair (though mostly false), he lobbed vote suppression bombs for all he was worth. Yet Stacey Abrams remained undaunted, she still remains undaunted; her focus was her mission to allow all the citizens of her state the opportunity to make their voices heard and choose their own representation. For Stacey, her goal of universal suffrage for all Georgians not being met, due to voter suppression, simply means she has more work to do. Everyone has more work to do, and Abrams proved how vulnerable the old guard is to the simple act of voting.
"Students drove hours to hometowns to cast votes because mismanagement prevented absentee ballots from arriving on time. Parents stood in the fitful rain in four-hour lines, watching as less fortunate voters had to abandon democracy in favor of keeping their jobs. Eligible voters were refused ballots because poll workers thought they didn't have enough paper to go around. Ballots were rejected by the handwriting police. Georgia citizens tried to exercise their constitutional rights and were still denied the ability to elect their leaders. Under the watch of the now former Secretary of State, democracy failed Georgians of every political party, every race, every region. Again."
Democracy failed, yet the cold hard truth is America failed at Democracy once again. Brian Kemp, while mediocre and privileged, may be moving into the Governor's mansion. But he and his "victory" are forever tainted by the underhanded and despicable way he used the power of his office to gain the privilege to reside in that residence. Adages such as "cheaters never prosper" taste like bitter acid on the tongue, burning and stinging, it feels as much an attack as an attempt to comfort the victimized. A cheater DID prosper, and nothing can be done to change that reality. There are some willing to boycott the State of Georgia for the actions of its new Executive, *Governor Asterisk, Mr. Brian Kemp., willing to use their financial power to hold his feet to the fire.
There are over 20 productions shooting in Georgia.
Is the entertainment industry willing to support the economy of a totally corrupt state that suppresses democracy; where the winner isn't the best choice for the people but the best schemer or crook?
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) November 17, 2018
Stacey Abrams will not be boycotting Georgia with the Hollywood crowd or anyone else who decides to show their anger with their wallets. Abrams is a singular woman. She will fight FOR the voters of Georgia, and for the citizens of her state to be heard.
Today, I announce the launch of Fair Fight Georgia, an operation that will pursue accountability in Georgia's elections and integrity in the process of maintaining our voting rolls. #gapol
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) November 17, 2018
Stacey Abrams isn't leaving Georgia behind, Stacey Abrams IS Georgia and she will pull good old Georgia forward into the future.
"Now, I could certainly bring a new case to keep this one contest alive, but I don't want to hold public office if I need to scheme my way into the post. Because the title of Governor isn't nearly as important as our shared title. Voters.
And this is why we fight on and why I want to say thank you. Thank you for organizing your communities and shattering records – more than 1.9 million voters who stood up for protecting our public schools, continued criminal justice reform, Medicaid expansion and real economic mobility for all of our counties. We won state House races and Senate races, a new seat in Congress and put America on notice that change is not coming – it has arrived. And you made it so."
Abrams will continue the struggle started so long ago and she implores the citizens of Georgia to fight along with her. The levees of oppression are weakened, the cracks are as deep as they are visible, and enough sustained pressure will open up the floodgates of freedom. The struggle is long and hard.
I implore each of you to not give in to that anger or apathy but instead turn to action. Because the antidote to injustice is progress. The cure to this malpractice is a fight for fairness in every election held – in every law passed – in every decision made.
Stacey Abrams is the evolution of the revolution that has been going on since the first African slaves arrived on these cold and distant shores; she was a struggle continued and liberation personified. To be alive at such a time, with such a woman is remarkably satisfying. Perhaps a blessing. She is a dream realized, not deferred. A woman like Abrams cannot be beaten, she must be cheated.
And so she was.
Even some in the GOP can clearly see that Kemp is illegitimate.
This hack @BrianKempGA is the next "governor*" of Georgia. But he cheated & undermined democracy every step of the way. @staceyabrams should be governor, but isn't due to actions that can't be tolerated. She has a bright future. We need a new, enforceable Voting Rights Act. Now!
— John Weaver (@jwgop) November 17, 2018
The tactics used against her will begin to lose their effectiveness, exposure of dark acts to the cleansing sunlight will simply cause the warriors for justice and civil rights to prepare better, earlier, fight more, harder, longer, and stronger.
Our tomorrows will be better, they must be better. The future will be equal and just, fair and righteous, and we have the power to make it so.
The struggle continues.
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