port of harlem magazine
Theo Hodge, Jr. M.D.
Stacey Abrams, Marching On

December 5 – December 18, 2019
stacey abrams with wayne young

“I support the winner,” Stacey Abrams quickly responded when asked which of the Democratic candidates for President she supports. She made the remarks at a recent luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington. During her talk she focused on election reform and the importance of participating in Census 2020.

The fighter attributed her strength to her parents who taught her “to fight for the outcomes we want.” Some of her recent successes have been empowering citizens by informing them that Board of Elections meetings are open to the public and getting concerned citizens to attend them and to have their voices heard.

It’s the local Board of Elections that often determines which voting locations to close. Currently, she said there is an inverse relationship between closing polling places and the growing diversity of the population. She also sharply criticized efforts by states to purge voter rolls of infrequent voters. “I don’t lose my Second Amendment rights because I have not used my gun,” she quipped to much applause.

In weaving her concerns into a solid narrative, the Spelman College graduate often recounted history including the story of the US Constitution that initially counted Africans as three-fifths of a human, but did not allow them to vote. It allowed America to “count our bodies, but not our souls,” she emphasized.

She went on to explain that the founding fathers created the Electoral College as a compromise to allow Southern States to use African bodies to increase their Census count, therefore, their Southern slave-holding voices.  “Because Black people were not considered human or citizens, they wanted their bodies to count for the purposes of the population count but not their humanity," she affirmed.
The fighter attributed her strength to her parents who taught her “to fight for the outcomes we want.”
Generally, states also limited voting rights to property-owning or tax-paying White males. The Electoral College she insists is “racist and classist,” and the US should abolish the system.

Abrams is using her platform, Fair Fight, to advance both issues, election reform and Census 2020 participation.  And the fighting Georgian is not shy about being on the Democratic ticket as Vice President.  As a Black woman, she says, “We cannot be coy about our ambitions.”
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