Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams could make history in November as the first black woman to ever be elected governor of a U.S. state, as well as the first black governor from the Deep South since Reconstruction. So naturally, you know what that means: commence the ratfucking.
The New York Times dug up two Atlanta Journal-Constitution articles in 1992 which showed Abrams burning a Georgia state flag when she was a freshman at Spelman College in Atlanta. At the time, the flag had a giant Confederate battle flag on it. And for some strange reason, it appears that we’re supposed to think that this isn’t rad as hell.
As the Times’ story notes, a debate over the flag consumed the state in the 1990s, and ultimately led to Georgia finally dumping the symbol of white supremacy from the flag in 2003. Abrams was unapologetic (good) about her role in the burning and the movement to change the flag.
“During Stacey Abrams’ college years, Georgia was at a crossroads, struggling with how to overcome racially divisive issues, including symbols of the Confederacy, the sharpest of which was the inclusion of the Confederate emblem in the Georgia state flag,” her campaign said in a statement to the Times. “This conversation was sweeping across Georgia as numerous organizations, prominent leaders, and students engaged in the ultimately successful effort to change the flag.”
Abrams hasn’t shied away from the issue of Confederate and white supremacist imagery in her campaign, calling for the removal of the Confederate memorial carvings of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson on Stone Mountain, a KKK-backed operation which preceded Mount Rushmore.
Meanwhile, her Republican opponent Brian Kemp—who, in his current role as Secretary of State, oversees the state’s elections—is being sued by the Georgia NAACP to stop enforcement of the state’s “exact match” law requiring that a voter’s information be exactly the same on all forms of identification. The AP reported earlier this month that Kemp’s office had put 53,000 new voter registrations on hold. According to the AP report, “nearly 70 percent” of those new registrations on hold were for black voters. What a coincidence!
Kemp and Abrams face off tonight for the first gubernatorial debate. Seems like they’ll have a lot to talk about.