Here’s How to Support Democracy Right Now
As I write this, MAGA extremists have breached the U.S. Capitol. It is, to say the least, a surreal contrast to yesterday’s Georgia Senate runoff election in which Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, defeated Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler, and Democrat Jon Ossoff beat Republican David Perdue. There’s an equally stark difference between the militant movement that led to this coup attempt—and the hate-mongering campaigns that Trump Republicans have recently mounted—and the inclusive grassroots organizing on the left that resulted in the Georgia vote.
Loeffler campaigned with a former KKK leader and ran Facebook ads darkening the skin of her Black opponent. Perdue ran a digital ad that elongated the nose of Ossoff, who is Jewish. Donald Trump was recorded asking the Georgia Secretary of State to overturn the result of the Presidential election, and by extension call the Senate election votes into question.
FOX News walked up rolling live, and I appreciated the free air time!— Jon Ossoff (@ossoff) December 31, 2020
Also, Kelly Loeffler campaigned with a klansman. pic.twitter.com/ZlmO0xoFvr
Meanwhile, Stacey Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia Senate and one-time gubernatorial candidate, put together a small army of organizers and volunteers who worked tirelessly to get out the vote in Black, Latino, and Asian communities. But Abrams and her team didn’t do it alone.
As Felicia Davis, the powerhouse Georgia organizer and activist, told The New York Times in November, “I am unapologetically Black. My agenda is Black. My community is Black. My county is Black. So what I do is Black. And for 20 years, we’ve been trying to tell people what was possible.” Her efforts showed in the Senate race.
LaTosha Brown, the co-founder of Black Voters Matter, personally knocked on thousands of doors across Georgia, urging residents to register, to vote, and to make their voices—marginalized and silenced for so long—heard.
"The way I talk about community power is like electricity: Thomas Edison didn’t create electricity. What he created was a conduit to organize the energy and direct it. It was already there."— GEN (@GENmag) January 6, 2021
Black women, in short, were key in delivering this election to Democrats. But they did it for themselves, as voters and constituents who want to see a more fair and equitable Georgia that prioritizes the issues that matter most to them. The fact that many of those issues are also important to white voters is a wonderful convergence of activism and organization. So in addition to “thanking a Black woman,” the most important thing allies can do is make this activism a part of their everyday lives: taking on the actual work and becoming a dedicated and vocal part of the movement.
Change is hard work, and we all need to share the labor. Take the example of the women of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, who came out early and came out hard for Warnock—even though Kelly Loeffler is one of the owners of their team.
As ya’ll wake up, don’t sleep on the role WNBA played in Georgia race. Warnock was polling below ten percent when the Atlanta Dream started wearing his name in response to co-owner Kelly Loefler’s condemnation of the BLM movement. It spread thru the league & upped his profile pic.twitter.com/0cV34zrSu5— Michele Norris (@michele_norris) January 6, 2021
Black women did this—but this isn't just "Black Girl Magic." This is the result of pure organizing, labor, and love that Black women have poured into GA.— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) January 6, 2021
Gratitude to every one of my sisters who willed the possibilities of this moment into existence. We see you and we love you.
If you’ve been inspired, as so many have, you can support these groups on social media and on the ground. Here are some to get you started.