Stacey Abrams on the Capitol attack: ‘I don’t have the capacity for surprise at this’

Embed from Getty Images
On the heels of one of the biggest political upsets of the decade, the GQP in Georgia have enacted the most repressive voting laws since Jim Crow. The GOP’s heavy-handedness is a desperate reaction to their double Senate runoff loss. We can thank activists including Stacey Abrams for that. She isn’t done with the state of Georgia or the south. Stacey is profiled in Marie Claire where she talks about the future she hopes to build in the south and particularly in communities of color. Stacey goes on to say that she is setting her sights on redistricting by leveraging the data from the census. Here are a few excerpts from Marie Claire:

On her activism
“This isn’t magic. This is math. It is maneuvering, but it is also a mental reset of who we are and what we’re capable of. I’m aware of my limits. I give myself permission to step back.

“When you’re trying to build for a future, if you’re only building for your future, you are destined to fail…

“My success is tied at the most base level with the success of my people, and my people are the South. My people are Americans. My people are people of color. My success can only ever be real if I’m doing it for the success of others.”

On what she wants
“I want to be defending voting rights. I want us to effectively leverage the census and redistricting, and I want us to serve the disproportionately harmed communities. I want us to rebuild the public infrastructure of the South, using COVID not as an excuse for what was broken but as a template for what we need to do right.”

On the attack on the Capitol
“I’m certainly always dismayed by the level of treachery that we saw on [January 6], but I wouldn’t say that that is new. When I see the surprise, the aghast reaction, I think what people are reacting to is the immediacy of their interaction with this, but they forget about the years of conditioned exposure that so many more of us have lived with.”

“I grew up in the state of Mississippi, where the Confederate battle flag was the state flag. I moved to Georgia, where the Confederate battle flag was incorporated into the state flag, where you could not enter a bank or the state capitol without this waving notion of what you should expect inside. I don’t have the capacity for surprise at this.”

[From Marie Claire]

As we know I am a super supporter of Stacey’s. She took an unfair loss and rebuilt a damn country with it. My girl wasn’t going to sit around and cry over spilt milk and I love her for it. My favorite quote from that interview is when Stacey said “I don’t have the capacity for surprise at this.” I was am so tired of folks’ reaction to January 6th. As if they didn’t understand that white terrorism has always been an issue in this nation and that the flames of it were being stoked for decades. Stacey is not a one and done type of woman. She is ready to fully commit to taking on the establishment GOP of Georgia and by extension the rest of the country. The GOP don’t understand what they are up against.

I am working with Beto O’Rourke to flip Texas in 2024 (hopefully he will run for governor in 2022). I have recently been deputized and plan on spending my summer registering people to vote across Texas, especially after what happened here with our power grids a few weeks ago and our idiot governor lifting the mask mandate last week. Like Stacey, I refuse to be someone who complains about a problem without doing anything about it.

This is just the first act for Stacey. She is going to be the thorn in the southern GOP’s side for decades. I hope women like Stacey and LaTosha Brown of Black Votes Matter continue to be spotlighted and rewarded for their efforts. We have a battle on our hands in this nation. The rise of fascism is very real. And it’s going to take women like Stacey, LaTosha and all of us to keep from falling into the abyss. Enough of my very standard soap box, I look forward to seeing how Stacey builds upon the momentum she has created. I think it will be the blueprint for the rest of our efforts across the country. I look forward to the day that Ole Dixie will fall and none of the remnants of that hateful time remains except in a museum.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

16 Responses to “Stacey Abrams on the Capitol attack: ‘I don’t have the capacity for surprise at this’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Tiffany says:

    You know what, white women gotta be out here talking to other white women.

    Abrams, Brown and every other Black activist along with Black women who handle business and vote in record numbers every time, is out here literally saving the country from itself and white women reap the benefits without putting in the work. We tell y’all time and time again you are gonna be next.

    It’s time for y’all to do something about it.

    • Lilly (with the double-L) says:

      So true. It’s too easy to allow others to do the work. We’re still in the woods being stalked and democracy needs constant vigilance from all the people. Thanks Tiffany for saying this.

  2. Jais says:

    This law makes me soooooooooo engraged, like paralyzed with rage.
    Which makes the way Stacey Abrams just keeps on moving and fighting no matter the setback so much more inspiring.
    My paralysis of rage is a privilege and Stacey’s actions are continually a reminder of that.

  3. tealily says:

    “She is going to be the thorn in the southern GOP’s side for decades.” This is exactly what we need!!

    This is exhausting work and the Republican party is counting on that working in their favor, but so many people have been mobilized in the past few years, I truly think/hope there is no going back.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Oya— thank you so much for the work you are doing and planning to do in Texas!! I’m also volunteering and encourage everyone please to get involved to support local or national Democratic candidates as you are able.

  5. Case says:

    I was also kind of annoyed by people’s shock and comments of “This isn’t the America I know!” at what happened on Jan. 6. It’s exactly what America was particularly under Trump but always has been to a certain degree, and anyone paying attention could see it coming from a mile away. It was a horrifying and sad day, yes. But surprising? No, not at all.

  6. BearcatLawyer says:

    Oya, you are my new heroine. Thank you for continuing to keep the spotlight on these issues both here and in real life. Love from a fellow blue Texan

  7. Esmom says:

    She is a force, and so is LaTosha Brown. Thank you, Oya, for stepping up to flip Texas. I feel like it is so close and it would be amazing to end the era of what passes for top leadership in that state once and for all.

  8. Emmy Rae says:


  9. Mely says:

    I love that cover of Stacey Abrams wearing the blue cape. Evokes the power of George Washington. I’ve been so overwhelmed reading about the voter suppression tactics in 40+ states. But these interviews remind me to focus and keep stepping. Big shout out Oya, for your work in Texas!

    • Tiffany says:

      This is all just a plan to get this in front of the Supreme Court and I think they might actually be successful.

      Roberts is very much okay with making sure Black people never have the right to vote again.

  10. Another Anna says:

    For years I’ve been telling my mom that the Republicans aren’t interested in governing and trying to negotiate with them is pointless because that’s not their goal. She’s usually pushed back with the “good republicans” she knows and talk about bipartisanship. I have been trying to convince her that the Republicans she knew are gone. The point I’ve been trying to make to the Boomer-generation people I talk to is that they view the Republican party as savable because they think there is something left to save.

    For my generation, this is who the Republicans have always been. I pointed out to her that my first two memories of the Republican party are the impeachment of Bill Clinton and Bush v. Gore. And that SCOTUS damn well knew that what they were doing was wrong with the 2000 election, as evidenced by the fact that they essentially wrote into the opinion “one night only, don’t use this opinion as precedent.” When Barr was attempting to hollow out the DOJ, I pointed out to my mom that “Iran-Contra AG comes back and attempts a more blatant version of Iran-Contra” should not be a surprise. Especially not to anyone who actually lived through, and remembers, the 80s.

    After Trump’s refusal to concede his loss and his attempts to overturn the election, she started to get more open to hearing that the Republicans were straight up dangerous. She started listening when I explained how Roger Ailes conceived of Fox News as an invisible arm of the Republican Party. I pointed out that Ailes was a Nixon aide who, in his own memos, described how Fox News could be used to prevent a corrupt Republican president from having to resign. Once she started understanding how the right-wing disinformation cycle was designed to inevitably create he kind of terrorism on January 6th, she got a lot more open to hearing that the rise of the right wing was no accident.

    My mom and I have always been fairly politically aligned and we’re Jewish (her grandparents fled Russia and my father’s parents fled Europe – the trauma is not so far removed) so it was really concerning to hear her buy into the Republican narrative that they were just presenting the balanced other side to the Democrats. It has taken at least a year of constant attempts to get her to understand the danger of the Republicans. I’m glad she’s starting to realize it, but I’m concerned about how many people saw the insurrection and still aren’t willing to understand what’s happening.

  11. Miranda says:

    Back in the ’60s, my dad was a member of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), and was one of a number of white activists from NYC who traveled to the South to participate in voter registration drives and help organize freedom schools. This was how he met his best friend, a black man from Mississippi who eventually became my godfather. They recently celebrated their COVID vaccinations by getting together for dinner for the first time in a year, and got to talking about voter suppression. It got loud and angry enough that they accidentally scared the dogs into taking refuge in my room. My dad just turned 80 and his friend is 82, and it breaks my heart that, in their old age, they’ve had to watch the destruction of hard-fought civil rights legislation, and voting rights most of all. They risked serious harm in order to help others weaponize their ballots, and certainly never wanted their children and grandchildren to be forced to endure threats and violence and fight the same damn fight they did almost 60 years ago. They were acquainted with James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, the “Mississippi Burning” victims who gave their lives to the cause, and numerous other activists who were physically and verbally terrorized. Was that all for nothing? We have a duty to ensure that it was not. White people in particular MUST get involved. It’s unfair to PoC to expect them to rescue the Democratic Party (if not America itself) every damn election cycle.

    • Lilly (with the double-L) says:

      Oh my gosh… You can tell them thank you from me – I truly honor their work. A few months ago I was at an outdoor restaurant and A Change Is Gonna Come was on their playlist and I started crying, I thought of people just like your dad and his friend. People who had hope and risked everything to change the world to a better place and I thought “have we made any progress?” But, I have to believe we have and just like they haven’t given up neither will I. Thanks @Miranda for sharing, I’m sure you carry on your dad’s good work too.

  12. phlyfiremama says:

    #Shero #GirlCrushGoals
    #RunBetoRun wishes coming from THIS 4th generation Texan!!!

  13. Lizzythe2 says:

    Stacy needs to be cloned and go to all of these other states to help them get people registered. Seems they need the Stacy manic touch. She is definitely positive, motivated and personable.