I had plans to write about the amazing accomplishment powered by the work of Black women: flipping Georgia blue in the run-off Senate races and giving Democrats a much-needed majority in the Senate, which has been holding back this country’s progress for the past 12 years.
But yesterday, a group of angered white folks decided to act a fool at the Capitol and we had to address the White Privilege of the situation, the incompetency of the police department and the existence of two Americas.
Still, as many of us were still processing the news of yesterday’s insurrection, Jon Ossoff was declared the winner in his Senate race, defeating David Perdue.
Rev. Raphael Warnock, the first Black senator from Georgia, had already defeated Kelly Loeffler.
And that feat, made possible through the organizing of Stacey Abrams and LaTosha Brown deserves to be celebrated.
Celebrated in a way that doesn’t make Black women responsible for “saving democracy” or saving America for other people but celebrated for doing what folks had believed impossible. For doing what’s best for Black folks and thereby the rest of the nation.
In 2018, when Abrams lost her gubernatorial race to Brian Kemp, because of alleged voter suppression, it would have been very easy for Abrams to disappear from public life, her pride wounded or her anger too strong to overcome.
But what she did instead was organize.
And that organization will save lives. With Democrats in control of the senate, Americans will get stimulus checks more than a couple of hundred dollars. With Democrats in control, Obamacare and healthcare at large won’t constantly be jeopardized. Hopefully, there will be a push to return balance to the Supreme Court. Children won’t be separated from their families at the border, people won’t be banned from the country based on their religious affiliations. Voter suppression will be less acceptable. Abortion rights won’t be up for debate.
Lives will be changed and saved.
And Black women did that.
In celebration of this historic moment, we’re sharing what some influential people have had to say about the organizing and also discussing how this moment should inspire people in any sector to listen to and respect the opinions of Black women.
Patrisse Cullors, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter had this to say about the election of Warnock and Ossoff.
“Last night we witnessed history as Rev. Raphael Warnock was elected as Georgia’s first Black U.S. Senator. Today, we congratulate Jon Ossoff on his victory, giving Democrats a majority in the U.S. Senate. Georgia has demonstrated that the best victories are born out of collective Black power. Thank you to the Black women organizers who organized and mobilized Georgia to make this possible.
Now is the time to continue to fight for a world in which all Black life matters. We must continue to hold our allies – including Rev. Warnock and Jon Ossoff – accountable to ensure their partnership in our pursuit of equity and justice for Black folks. This is not the end of our work. We’re going to keep showing up in the streets and the halls of power to make our voices heard until systems work for us.
At the same time, we cannot ignore the terrorist actions today by President Trump’s white supremacist supporters at the U.S. Capitol. Democracy is fragile and the violence and lawlessness demonstrates why our vote in Georgia – and everywhere across the country – is so important.”
Monica Simpson, executive director of Sistersong, an organization dedicated to amplifying the voices of indigenous women and women of color to achieve reproductive rights released this statement.
“If we needed an example of what is possible when we trust Black women — Georgia delivered that answer last night. Let’s be clear, this resounding victory is a culmination of the decades-long hard work that Black women organizers like Stacey Abrams, LaTosha Brown, Nse Ufot and many others have undertaken on the ground each and every day. Whether it’s mobilizing Black voters and registering them to vote, even in the face of rampant and relentless voter suppression, or leading court cases to defeat Governor Brian Kemp’s harmful legislation and fight for the transformative change our communities really need — this win is what happens when organizers lead.
“Yesterday, the people of Georgia — a former state of the Confederacy — not only rose up to show the country what is possible in the South, but also sent a clear message to America: Change is here. As we reflect on the historic nature of this win, it’s important we recognize that Georgia will now have two senators who believe that women have the right to make decisions about their own bodies, by themselves. Not to mention, a Democratic-led Senate that is far more receptive to the idea that people everywhere have the right to raise children in safe and sustainable communities — free from state violence and harmful legislation. Still, the work is far from over and as always, Black women in the South will continue the tireless work to secure a brighter future for everyone.”
In addition to calling the names of Stacey Abrams and LaTosha Brown and others, we also need to have a discussion about how to make life better for everyday Black women as a sign of appreciation outside of thanking us during the election season.