Karen Handel Has a Race Problem
Tuesday, Democrat Jon Ossoff will face off against Republican Karen Handel in a special election that will determine the next member of Congress from Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. In a district that’s 13% Black and 13% Latino, people of color could make a decisive difference. With Karen Handel in the race, we have an opportunity to defeat a politician who has demonstrated her hostility to people of color over and over again.
Handel has spent much of her career trying to disenfranchise Black voters to help Republicans win. As Georgia’s Secretary of State, Handel pushed for discriminatory voter ID bill, and spearheaded a massive purge of the state’s voting rolls. The goal of these tactics is always to prevent certain kinds of people from voting. They disproportionately impact Black people, Latinos, the elderly, the poor, and students — all groups that are more likely to vote for Democrats. Karen Handel has been one of the leading political figures in Georgia pushing for measures that block people from voting while serving no other purpose.
Karen Handel’s actions as Secretary of State are enough to demonstrate her willingness to attack our rights for political gain. But a recent tweet from Handel’s husband make it even clearer how she and the people who surround her think about Black voters. Handel’s husband shared a racist pro-Handel meme that said “Criticizing Black kids for obeying the law, studying in school, and being ambitious as ‘acting White’ is a trick the Democrats play on Black people to keep them poor, ignorant and dependent. Free The Black Slaves From The Democratic Party Plantation. ” He shared this meme along with a message encouraging his followers to vote for Handel. After this disgusting post was called out by the media, he deleted the tweet, and Handel claimed that her husband had shared it by mistake. But given Handel’s history of attacking the political participation of Black people, that’s hard to believe.
The race between Handel and Ossoff is tied with less than a week to go. If enough of us turn out to vote against Handel (and for Ossoff) we can demonstrate that attacking Black voters is a losing strategy, not a way to build a political career — even for a Republican in Georgia.