MSNBC contributor and Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart said Tuesday that Georgia needs to elect Democrat Stacey Abrams as governor to overcome its Civil War-era racism.
Capehart said Georgia is stuck being "the Georgia of Gone With the Wind," citing Abrams’ opponent Brian Kemp tying her to the Black Panthers by tweeting a picture of some party members with Abrams signs. Gone With the Wind is a classic novel and Hollywood film about Civil War- and Reconstruction-era Georgia, which depicts slavery and mistreatment of black Americans.
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"So this is about the direction of the country and who we are as a people," he said, "and Georgia tonight has an opportunity to say that the Georgia of Gone With the Wind is gone with the wind."
Capehart also attacked a racist robocall from a white nationalist group, although Kemp vigorously denounced the call as "vile," "racist" and "absolutely disgusting." According to Capehart, Republicans' racist message comes from President Donald Trump.
Capehart insisted Republicans were fixated on voter suppression to prevent a majority of voters from duly electing Abrams, who has been polling close with Kemp.
"The key thing about the Abrams campaign: Before she announced she was running, she ran all the traps and knew what all the obstacles would be, including every particular stunt that Brian Kemp would pull to suppress the vote, keep people from coming out to vote, and thereby suppressing people who might vote for her," Capehart said.
As state attorney general, Kemp has been blamed for supposed voter suppression efforts in which about 50,000 voters have "pending" status. However, eligible voters with pending status are still able to vote if they bring ID, leading Republicans and some in the media to doubt the validity of that charge.
On MSNBC and other mainstream outlets, Kemp has been roundly denounced for the alleged voter suppression, but Georgia voters as a whole are hardly convinced he is suppressing votes. A judge did rule against the state in a case involving official identification documents, but it applies to a much smaller number of potential voters, and Kemp’s secretary of state office called it a "minor change."