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).

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Texas Republicans Are Recruiting An ‘Army’ of Poll-Watchers To Go Into Black and Brown Precincts To ‘Fight Voter Fraud’

Things That Matter

Texas Republicans Are Recruiting An ‘Army’ of Poll-Watchers To Go Into Black and Brown Precincts To ‘Fight Voter Fraud’

Photo via Getty Images

The GOP’S voter-suppression tactics in Georgia have been gripping the nation. But now, the media is also turning its attention to other voter-suppression tactics in the rest of the country. Now, Texas Republicans are taking the heat.

According to Common Cause Texas, Texas Republicans are planning on recruiting thousands of volunteers create an “election integrity brigade”. They want the “brigade” to go into Black and brown neighborhoods in Houston and “fight voter fraud”.

A Texas GOP presentation was leaked that outlined plans to send an “army” of poll-watchers to Black and brown precincts.

“I’m trying to encourage and recruit, as a precinct chair, about 30 people in my precinct who will have the confidence and courage to come down in here…,” said an unnamed GOP official, pointing to majority non-white urban areas, “…in these areas where we really need poll-workers. Because this is where the problem is occuring.”

“So me finding poll-watchers out here, it helps, but it’s a pretty safe precinct”. He said this while pointing to majority-white Houston neighborhoods.

The video inspired outrage among people who saw these tactics as blatant attempts to suppress the voting rights of POC.

“The impetus for releasing [the video] right now is there are some bills in the legislature that seek to empower poll watchers in some really scary ways,” said executive director of Common Cause Texas, Anthony Gutierrez, to NBC News. “And also at the same time, take away the power of the presiding judge at the poll site from being able to remove a disruptive poll watcher.”

“It’s very clear that we’re talking about recruiting people from the predominantly Anglo parts of town to go to Black and Brown neighborhoods,” said Gutierrez to The Washington Post.

“This is a role that’s supposed to do nothing but stand at a poll site and observe,” he added. Why is he suggesting someone needs to be ‘courageous’?”

This “election integrity brigade” comes on the heels of a problematic election bill the Texas Senate just passed.

According to NBC News, the bill “bans overnight early voting and drive-thru early voting” and also “empowers partisan poll watchers.”

“It’s part of the intimidation, the confusion, the antics that (the Republican Party) has engaged in for so many generations that culminated in President Trump asking people to overturn the election,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo to CNN.

“What they’re doing is filing bills that are essentially a poll tax that weaponize the election system against our own voters,” she continued. “And what they’re proposing is absolutely tragic and reminiscent of the worst of what we’ve seen in Texas and across the South since Reconstruction.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

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

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com