Neither Voter Suppression Nor Being Called ‘Coon’ and the N-Word Will Stop Black Georgia From Voting

 

Waynesboro, Georgia—Sarah Jenkins has long had to deal with simmering community tensions. She owns a small business in a white part of town that caters to senior citizens and people with mental disabilities, an arrangement many of her neighbors frown upon.

Stacey Abrams supporters posing for a photo with the candidate in Waynesboro, Ga., on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. Photo: Terrell Jermaine Starr

Stacey Abrams supporters posing for a photo with the candidate in Waynesboro, Ga., on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. Photo: Terrell Jermaine Starr

But since “Ms. Jenkins,” as folks like to call her, became a big supporter of Stacey Abrams—who is trying to become the first black woman to become governor anywhere in the nation—those tensions have boiled over. They’ve grown especially ugly since Abrams won the Democratic nomination in her quest to lead Georgia.

The Abrams campaign signs Jenkins placed on her lawn were frequently stolen; she would replace them. But then came the one-word, handwritten messages on white pieces of paper that started showing up in her mailbox.

“Coon,” some of them said.

There were other choice racist terms Jenkins didn’t want to repeat.

“It’s people intimidation,” Jenkins said. “They don’t want us to exist as a business. They especially don’t want us to go vote for someone who may be able to help us.”

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