Editor’s Note: & nbspEvery week we publish an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column on WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column Here.
Last week revealed both America’s poison and promise. Unsurprisingly, the poison – Wednesday’s Capitol riot by a predominantly white mob who looked like Mike Davis written downMuch like a “big biker gang disguised as circus performers and barbarians with a war surplus” – received worldwide attention. Meanwhile, the promise – the formidable election of an African American and a Jew to represent Georgia in the Senate – was practically lost in the general condemnation of the mob and President Trump. While prosecuting the perpetrators and rejecting Trump are imperative, the future Biden administration should focus on building on success in Georgia.
The Democrats’ victories last week demonstrated that through intense organization and passionate mobilization, the rising majority can overcome obstacles both historical and current. As Eric Foner wrote for The nationGeorgia’s history includes the lynching of Jewish factory superintendent Leo Frank in 1915, the transformation of populist Tom Watson into a rabid racist and anti-Semite after the election defeat, and the Atlanta Race Riot of 1906, which killed white mobs between the ages of 25 and 25 40 African American. The runoff election on Wednesday resulted from one 1963 law For this, those seeking office had to receive more than 50 percent of the vote. This measure blocked the victory of a black-backed candidate if several conservatives shared the white vote. More recently the beleaguered Republican Party of the state has systematically used modern mechanisms to stifle the vote, from cleaning up the electoral roll to reducing early polling days to closing polling stations.
Overcoming these obstacles required an extraordinary long-term organization led by Stacey Abrams and LaTosha Brown from Black Voters Matter including courageous candidates and a majority of Georgians who rejected the hysterical Republican claims that a GOP-controlled Senate would be the last redoubt against radical socialism. But the Victories by Rev. Raphael Warnock, pastor of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. historical churchand Jon Ossoff were more than symbolic. They ousted Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., The Master of Disability, as majority leader and appointed Democrats to control the Senate and chair the committee. This Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will likely head The Committee on Budgets demonstrates the fundamental change.
Read the full text of Katrina’s column Here.