On the eve of the recent debate between Stacey Abrams and Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a photo from an Atlanta-Journal Constitution article written in 1992 surfaced portraying Abrams, then a young freshman at Spelman College, burning the old flag of Georgia with a group of young black activists. The flag in question contained within it, the Confederate flag and was the source of tremendous controversy.
Black people rightfully viewed the flag as the reinforcement of white supremacy and a painful reminder of the social hierarchy based on racial caste. The flag was introduced in 1956 to resist calls for desegregation and was designed by a man who was an outspoken supporter of segregation. A 2000 report by the Georgia Senate even admits that the Georgia General Assembly during this era was steeped in white supremacy and hell-bent (my words) on maintaining racial apartheid in Georgia.
That is the context by which Abrams’ burning of the flag in 1992 should be understood.
Mainstream media has been all over this and not for the right reasons. Brian Kemp’s campaign has sought to portray Stacey Abrams as a radical and the timely release of this photo is certainly suspect and beneficial to the Kemp campaign. Nevertheless, this photo has done nothing but made me like Stacey Abrams even more!
It is important to note that the Confederate flag is NOT the American flag. That should be obvious, but people get in their irrational emotions and they think the flag of the people who started a civil war with the federal government in 1860 (and lost) is somehow a flag that has real value and actually represents something that exists today. The Confederacy is dead and has been dead for a very long time. Good riddance! What we have today are the descendants of the losers who want to force the descendants of the victors to honor their bullshit country that never existed legitimately and its bullshit flag.
Pardon my language, but fuck the Confederate flag. It has zero legitimacy and it is not a flag that I, or any black person for that matter, should feel like we have to respect or honor. Like hell we do!
Stacey Abrams will be criticized for this, but we already know that they are nothing but appeals being made to the racist Trump voter. The same voter who sees black people being elected into a position as powerful as Governor, in a state with Georgia’s history heading into the 2020 Presidential election, as a problem.
It has already been shown in several studies that the real driving force behind support for Trump among Whites was the fear of losing their white privilege and social status. Not economics as has been the oft-used explanation for Trumpism. The notion that economic anxiety and economic populism is why we got Trump, instead of white identity politics driven by fear of a ‘browning’ America, has been thoroughly chipped away at.
What people don’t want to talk about is Brian Kemp and his attempts to suppress the vote on a mass scale in his state. This may be the topic of my next article. They want you to fear the black woman fighting oppression and not the white man fighting to maintain it.
This is why Black and Intellectual has to continue to exist. To fight this nonsense.