Stacy Abrams Meets With American Historians

Abrams

Stacy Abrams, who lost a very close race for Georgia governor in November, was in Philadelphia on Friday to talk to American historians in town for the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians.  The topic was voter suppression.  Here is a taste of  Jennifer Schuessler‘s piece at The New York Times:

...last Friday, Ms. Abrams dropped in on a much quieter venue: the Library Company of Philadelphia, founded in 1731 by Ben Franklin, which bills itself as the oldest cultural institution in the United States.

It wasn’t a stop on Ms. Abrams’s book tour. Instead, she was there to participate in an intimate two-hour conversation about the history of voter suppression with four leading scholars. It will be published next year by the University of Georgia Press as part of a new series called History in the Headlines, which aims to bring historical expertise to bear on today’s most hotly debated issues.The Trump era has been a red-alert moment for many historians, who have mobilized in the classroom, on op-ed pages and on social media to combat what they see as the erosion of democratic norms and an attack on truth itself.

For the conversation, the moderator, Jim Downs, a professor at Connecticut College, had recruited what he called a “dream team”: Carol Anderson, the author of “One Person, No Vote;” Heather Cox Richardson, an expert in the history of the Republican Party; Heather Ann Thompson, the author of a Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the Attica prison revolt; and Kevin Kruse, who has become famous for his epic Twitter threads smiting the dubious historical claims of pundits and politicians.

Before the event, they seemed galvanized at the prospect of talking with someone who has, as Mr. Kruse put it, skin in the game.

“When the email went out saying she was coming, I was like —,” Dr. Anderson, a professor at Emory University, said, clutching her heart. A few minutes later, Ms. Abrams approached.

Read the entire piece here.

2 thoughts on “Stacy Abrams Meets With American Historians

  1. Ms. Abrams is suffering from the same problem which plagued Hillary Clinton two years ago; specifically, she is in denial concerning the results of an election. Factors, other than their own actual campaign tactics, prevented them from winning. Blame someone or something else.

    As the article states, the session was closed to the public. Accordingly, in fairness to the participants no outsider can speak definitively about the full tone of the meeting, Just reading the narrative presented here, however, leads me to wonder if the assembled historical luminaries might have been a mite sycophantic toward their political guest. There were no examples of “hardball” questions which might have probed objectivity into the broad subject of legitimate and illegitimate voting patterns in the USA. Was the meeting just a big love-in void of serious historical probing?

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    • Here are a few questions Ms. Abrams’ admiring panel of ideological fellow travelers could have asked in an alternative universe:

      “You’ve refused to concede a gubernatorial election that you lost by more than 50,000 votes. Isn’t it important to ‘respect the outcome of elections’? Doesn’t this sort of behavior ‘undermine democracy?” (I could swear I’ve heard this somewhere before.)

      “You’ve said: ‘I believe in identity politics. I believe identity politics are the politics that win.’ Yet, this attitude would seem to encourage explicit appeals to white nationalism. Could you maybe differentiate for us between the Good and Bad identity politics?”

      “You’ve blamed your loss entirely on voter suppression, without any meaningful evidence that 1) it occurred, and 2) that it had any bearing on the outcome. Do you accept any responsibility for your loss? Isn’t it both irresponsible and immoral to make racially-charged claims of this type without substantiation? Or is that just part of the Winning Identity Politics playbook?”

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