This story of naked racist white power should be from the 1870s. That it’s from the current governor of Georgia shows how sick today’s G.O.P. leadership (not you, dear moderate Republican reader) has become.
Executive summary, from Fair Fight:
The story of the Quitman 10+2 seems almost a caricature in revealing America’s battle with deep structural racism, voter intimidation, the legacy of racial violence, abuses of power, and the myth of voter fraud. None of the details in this tragic narrative are exaggerated.
In December 2010, twelve Black residents of Quitman, Georgia — eleven of them women — were arrested and charged with 120 separate felony counts of criminality involving election integrity. Among them were local candidates for school board, community organizers, campaign staff, and local leaders.
Their alleged crime? Running an effective absentee ballot campaign to elect a black-majority school board.
Situated near Georgia’s southern border, Quitman is the seat of Brooks County, named for South Carolina’s Congressman Preston Brooks who infamously assaulted Senator Charles Sumner on the U.S. Senate floor for his speech against slavery. In the century that followed the county’s founding, Brooks County saw more lynchings than all but two counties in the state.
The investigation that led to these felony charges represented Governor Brian Kemp’s first major act of voter intimidation as Secretary of State, aimed at voters of color. Yet, Kemp’s assault on democracy was not limited to its targets.
The investigation and subsequent criminal proceedings that dragged on for years offered further proof that efforts to suppress the vote were never meant to simply block voters from the ballot, but to create a culture of fear for voters of color — a culture in which exercising your right to vote could cost you your job or your freedom.
Kemp’s intimidation and harassment in Quitman began a disturbing pattern of behavior: abusing the powers of his office to target Georgia groups who register, engage, and mobilize voters of color. In 2012, he raided the offices of the Asian American Legal Advocacy Center. In 2014, he subpoenaed the New Georgia Project. And just this year, Kemp’s ethics chief announced he would subpoena bank records of the Abrams for Governor campaign.
But just as the Quitman 10+2 never gave up their fight for justice, we won’t be deterred. We need a Fair Fight in Georgia in 2020 and beyond. Please share this story with your network today.
Michael T. Martin: “In the recent Democrat debate, Buttigieg said Republicans would call Democrats ‘socialists’ regardless of what policies they advocated. It reminded me what the conservative pundit David Frum wrote in New York Magazine eight years ago (When Did the GOP Lose Touch With Reality?): ‘Some of the smartest and most sophisticated people I know—canny investors, erudite authors—sincerely and passionately believe that President Barack Obama has gone far beyond conventional American liberalism and is willfully and relentlessly driving the United States down the road to socialism. No counterevidence will dissuade them from this belief: not record-high corporate profits, not almost 500,000 job losses in the public sector, not the lowest tax rates since the Truman administration. It is not easy to fit this belief alongside the equally strongly held belief that the president is a pitiful, bumbling amateur, dazed and overwhelmed by a job too big for him—and yet that is done too.’ The reality of the Republican Party is that there is no reality and hasn’t been for years.”
Have a great weekend.