Things That Matter

Stacey Abrams Was Just Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and People Are Excited

Photo via Getty Images

Add “Nobel Prize nominee” to the list of Stacey Abrams’ accomplishments, right behind “voting rights activist” and “icon”. Today, Reuters reported that a Norwegian politician nominated Abrams for the historic prize.

Norwegian parliament member Lars Haltbrekken invoked Dr. Martin Luther King in his nomination speech for Abrams.

“Abrams’ work follows in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s footsteps in the fight for equality before the law and for civil rights,” he said. “Abrams’ efforts to complete King’s work are crucial if the United States of America shall succeed in its effort to create fraternity between all its peoples and a peaceful and just society.”

The connection between Stacey Abrams and Dr. Martin Luther King is valid–both Georgians worked tirelessly for African-Americans’ right to vote.

In 1957, Dr. King delivered an entire speech dedicated to voter suppression, now known as the “Give Us the Ballot” speech. “Give us the ballot, and we will transform the salient misdeeds of bloodthirsty mobs into the calculated good deeds of orderly citizens,” he said.

In 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King led a historic march in the town of Selma, Alabama because still only 2% of African-Americans were registered to vote. The march was intended to bring attention to the Jim Crow laws the town used to suppress the Black Vote.

Just months later, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the 1965 Voting Rights Act into law, a law that ended discriminatory election practices like literacy tests and poll taxes that required people registering to vote to pay a fee.

Stacey Abrams was instrumental in flipping Georgia from red to blue in 2020, people believe the nomination is well-deserved.

“Having researched what has been going on in Georgia’s fight for election reform the last few years,” wrote one Twitter user. “I’ve come to the conclusion that Stacey Abrams is not only a hero for what we have seen her doing, but also for what she did behind the scenes. She deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.”

Through her organization Fair Fight Action, Abrams and her team managed to register an estimated 800,000 new voters since its founding in 2014–many of them being people of color.

While Abrams’ nomination is meaningful, it’s also worth noting that the Nobel committee does not have a direct hand in who is nominated for their prizes. The nomination committee is made up if thousands of people, from international politicians to former winners.

Other exciting 2021 nominees were the Black Lives Matter Movement, environmental activist Greta Thunberg, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

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They Helped Get Out The Vote In November, Now These Atlanta Strippers Are Focused On The Georgia Senate Races

Things That Matter

They Helped Get Out The Vote In November, Now These Atlanta Strippers Are Focused On The Georgia Senate Races

Get Your Booty To The Poll / Facebook

For those of you who thought the 2020 election was behind us, well hold on to your seats because what just may be the most consequential election ever is about to take place in Georgia.

And thanks to a team of dancers from Atlanta, we won’t soon forget just how important the upcoming special election is.

A team of female dancers are focused on turning out the vote for Georgia’s upcoming dual senate run offs.

In the days following this year’s presidential election, Georgia went blue (voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris) for the first time since 1992. And the state saw record turnout, especially among Black and Brown voters. Much of this success is attributed to Stacey Abrams and other activists who helped register a record number of new voters.

Part of the success should also be given to a group of Atlanta strippers and dancers who made a viral get-out-the-vote ad aimed at persuading Black men to go to the polls. But with Georgia’s Senate races facing a runoff vote, the women say the work is far from done, and they are calling on young people to turn out once more.

These Atlanta dancers are hoping to reach an often overlooked electorate: Black men.

Of men age 18-34, African Americans had the lowest turnout among any listed racial group of men during the 2016 presidential election in Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties, according to an analysis of the data. Men who identified as Native American had the lowest turnout for Gwinnett, and were followed by Black males.

In Fulton, 29 percent of registered young Black men voted in the 2016 presidential election. Compare that to 45 percent of young Hispanic and 52 percent of young White men in Fulton.

Barnes said she wanted to connect with those Black men who feel voting and its outcomes aren’t for them. And having grown up in the metro area, she knows strip clubs are a big part of the culture — including its massive influence on hip-hop.

Original Story published October 17, 2020:

These are wild times, y’all. We are facing the election of our lifetime and on the line is the rights of millions and the dignity of our nation. This means that everyone is getting mobilized and active to make sure that voters come out in full force on Nov. 3. One ad is catching everyone’s attention.

Get Your Booty To The Poll is using pole dancing to get people to do their duty and vote.

Director Angela Barnes wanted to do something that would catch everyone’s attention during the pandemic and to remind them to vote. Her idea was to get some of the best exotic dancers from Atlanta’s best gentlemen’s clubs to do a PSA about voting. After all, we have all been told several times that “sex sells.”

The ad is getting people talking.

Some people are excited to see the ad targeting a specific group of people to vote. Others are offended that women are being objected in order to make the PSA. However, one this is for sure, the 3.4 million viewers on the tweet shows that the ad is getting everyone’s attention.

The Barnes wanted to target Black southern men, specifically in Georgia.

I wrote and directed a PSA enlisting Atlanta's finest pole dancers to encourage Black voters, specifically Black male…

Posted by Angela Barnes on Wednesday, August 12, 2020

According to her Facebook post, the video is intended to make sure that Black men in the south go out and vote. One key element in the video that the director points out is the use of ballots as dollar bills on the stage. That’s right. The cast and crew used ballots in place of dollar bills to really sell the idea of getting out to the polls to vote.

Some people are not convinced that the people who are mad are really mad.

It is a very creative way to get people’s attention, especially for voting. There are voting PSAs from almost every organization targeting almost every community. This one is clearly designed with specific people in mind and it seems to be doing its job. This is the viral content voting PSAs wish to be, tbh.

Barnes and the dancers are definitely doing their part to remind you to vote so do your part and get to the polls to vote (or vote by mail-in ballot).

The U.S. is facing a tough and very important election. The Trump administration is fighting to secure another term while Democrats are doing everything in their power to stop them. Communities of color have been the target of some of the administration’s most hateful and damaging legislation.

Get ready to vote. Register your friends. Bring them to the polls. The general election is on Nov. 3 and it is up to all of us to vote to see the policies we want.

READ: As Trump Does All He Can To Sabotage Mail-In Voting, He And Melania Request Mail-In Ballots

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How Latino Organizers in Arizona Helped Flip the State From Red to Blue

Entertainment

How Latino Organizers in Arizona Helped Flip the State From Red to Blue

Photo by Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images

When Arizona was officially called for Joe Biden this year, a number of think pieces appeared on the internet that assigned the responsibility of Biden’s win to white Republicans. Headlines ran calling the victory “John McCain’s Revenge”–a reference to the late Arizona senator who had a contentious relationship with Donald Trump. Pundits hypothesized that white Republican voters cast their vote for Biden to spite Donald Trump, who had previously insulted the beloved Arizona Senator’s military record.

Soon after this narrative began to trend, Latinos quickly took to social media to set the record straight. “Hey @CNN,” wrote Julio Ricardo Varela on Twitter. “@CindyMcCain is not the only reason that Biden won Arizona. It wasn’t just that. Can you at least discuss the overwhelming Latino support and the organizing history of young Latinos in the time of SB1070?”

In the noise of election pontificating, the media largely ignored the efforts of Latino grassroots organizers. The efforts that ultimately helped flip Arizona. It is not a coincidence that Latinos now constitute the base of the Democratic party in Arizona.

It was no coincidence that so many Latinos mobilized this year. In fact, the event was a deliberate and organized process spearheaded by activist groups like the MiAZ coalition. The MiAZ coalition is a five activist groups that organized a massive field campaign targeting Latino voters. Altogether, Mi AZ reports that they made nearly 8 million calls and knocked on over 1.15 million doors.

Mi AZ reports Latino voter turnout in Arizona was at an all-time high of 50% this year, up from the record of 44% in 2016. The organization also reported to local news website AZ Central that according to their data analysis, “nearly 73% of Latino voters in key Latino-majority precincts in Arizona chose President-elect Joe Biden” over President Trump.

In an in-depth and touching Twitter thread, Arizona-based educator and organizer Reyna Montoya wrote a briefer on what changed Arizona from blue to red “for folks who may be wondering what is going on.”

In the thread, Montoya described her first-hand account of the trauma that Latinos in Arizona faced through the last few decades. A collective trauma that ended up mobilizing the Latino community for Biden.

Montoya described Arizona’s “English Only” law that passed in 2000. She then described Prop 300 in 2006, a measure that forbid students from receiving state financial aid for college if they couldn’t prove they were legal residents of Arizona. The final event was what most personally affected her: the passage of SB1070, a law that required all immigrants over the age of 18 to carry immigration documentation with them at all times.

“This was personal,” Montoya wrote on Twitter. “I remember my mom being scared. I remember being extreme cautions about driving anywhere.”

It was Arizona’s anti-Latino sentiment and, consequently, the legislation the state government passed to curb the rights of Latinos in the state that ended up backfiring. Instead of suppressing a community, the anti-Latino legislation ended up lighting a fire under many young Latinos, prompting them to organize. To fight back.

“In 2011, we decided to organize, build community and focus on rebuilding Arizona.,” Montoya wrote so brilliantly on Twitter. “Since 2011 until now, we have been educating others on immigration.”

“We have decided to no longer remain in the shadows,” she said. “We decided to let our voices be heard.”

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