Day has passed, but the election isn’t over, at least not in
Georgia. There are two Senate
taking place Jan. 5 in the Peach State, pitting Democrat
Sen. David Perdue,
Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
races are crucial, as the outcome will determine whether Republicans
retain control of the Senate and Mitch
remains Senate majority leader - an outcome spelling potential
disaster for a President
and blocking progress for a Democratic agenda.
win for Warnock and Ossoff would effectively give Democrats control
of the U.S. Senate, with a 50-50 tie and Vice
President Kamala Harris
providing a tie-breaking vote in the upper chamber of Congress.
in the Union, Georgia is ground zero for Black political power, the
New South, and the future of democracy in America. Black voters,
and Black grassroots organizations turned Georgia blue and helped
propel Biden to victory.
is a time of transformation in a new South where Black folks, in
coalition with other communities of color and progressive whites,
have the power to fight off the remaining vestige of Jim Crow and
white nationalist rule. Other states can and will follow suit. And
once that happens, there is no turning back to the days of low
voter turnout and high voter suppression,
and the weapons and tactics that white supremacists have employed in
the South to maintain power when they lack the votes to win.
candidates in these two Georgia Senate races provide stark choices.
On the Democratic side, Rev. Warnock, the senior pastor of Martin
Luther King Jr.’s
came on the political scene when he led a sit-in
and was arrested at the state capitol to demand that lawmakers expand
Medicaid coverage under the Affordable
also served as a spiritual adviser to wrongfully executed death row
and hosted a training for climate
investigative journalist and former aide to Rep.
Ossoff narrowly lost to Republican Karen
the 2017 special election in Georgia
6th congressional district,
the once Republican stronghold of Newt
now represented by Black Democrat Lucy
Ossoff had received endorsements from Rep.
Sen. Bernie Sanders.
the two Republican senators seeking reelection, Loeffler and Perdue,
have a few things in common –in particular, both are accused of
whose husband owns the New York Stock Exchange, reportedly sold
millions in stock
days after attending a Feb. 24 White House meeting on the
coronavirus. Perdue reportedly bought $185,000
worth of stock
in a personal protective equipment company during the same time
period. And both candidates have called on Brad
the Georgia Republican secretary of state to resign, presumably
because he did not sufficiently rig the election and Biden
and other Democrats did too well
in the state.
issue linking Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue is their negrophobic
stance, in one of the nation’s largest Black population. Loeffner,
who touts her “100
voting record, is a co-owner of the Atlanta
a WNBA team, and hates Black
adamantly oppose the Black Lives Matter political movement, which has
advocated for the defunding of police, called for the removal of
Jesus from churches and the disruption of the nuclear family
structure, harbored anti-Semitic views, and promoted violence and
destruction across the country,” said
who criticized the WNBA support for Black Lives Matter and social
believe it is totally misaligned with the values and goals of the
WNBA and the Atlanta Dream, where we support tolerance and
inclusion.” In response, WNBA team members wore “Vote
in support of the Democratic challenger.
has attempted to smear Warnock for supporting
Black Lives Matter,
and label him “anti-Israel” for signing a letter comparing the
treatment of West Bank Palestinians to apartheid South Africa.
revealed his raw racism when he mocked
at an October Trump rally in Macon, Georgia. “Ka-MAL-a, Ka-MAL-a or
Kamala, Kamala, Ka-mala, -mala, -mala, I don’t know, whatever,”
Perdue said of his colleague to a laughing crowd as he introduced
out a Black woman’s name in such a manner was Purdue’s way of
demonstrating to a white audience that Sen. Harris is different, the
“other,” from one of those “shithole” countries - reflecting
Trump’s verbal and policy assaults on people
of color and immigrants.
Senate runoffs are crucial because Democratic control of the Senate
would allow Biden to pass all the legislation undergirding the
Democratic agenda, particularly policies he will be unable to promote
through executive orders.
from the devastating impact of COVID-19,
restoration of the Voting
cancellation of the student
crippling the Black community, a green
and so many other pivotal issues will require Democratic control of
it is quaint that Biden
and McConnell are friends
who brokered deals in the Senate, we can dispel any notion that
McConnell would do anything short of undermining a Biden
administration, just as he pledged to make Obama a one-term president
and refused to clear his judicial picks.
McConnell stands with Trump in refusing
to acknowledge Biden as the president-elect,
and supporting his president’s open-air coup
and fight against “election fraud” - which does not exist and is
a mere codeword for Black people voting.
voters, particularly young
turned Georgia blue. Now it is time to flip the Senate, not for
Democrats or Joe Biden, but for ourselves. This is not about
permanent friends but permanent interests, and voting like our lives
depend on it because they most certainly do.
you have until Dec.
to register to vote to participate in the runoffs.
commentary was originally published by The Grio.