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Friday, January 28, 2022

The optics of the Georgia voter suppression bill signing are even worse than they first appeared

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Gov. Brian Kemp signs SB202 into law, with nearly 100 pages of new voter restrictions

Rep. Brian Kemp signs a legal monument to white supremacy, under a painting of another monument to white supremacy.

On Thursday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a viciously anti-voter law that would, among other things, penalize people for simply handing out water or snacks to people waiting in hours-long lines. (Lines that are long by design.) In fact, the bill is so blatantly designed to suppress the vote in Georgia that it includes nearly 100 pages of new voter restrictions.

There is no question these restrictions are racist in nature, from the first to the last. As Nsé Ufot of The New Georgia Project told Kos and Kerry Eleveld on an episode of The Brief, this bill and others like them are a “whitelash” response to the success of Stacey Abrams, The New Georgia Project, Fair Fight, and the campaigns of Sens. Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. 

As bad as this bill is, there is another sinister element to this bill signing, which took place as six white men looked over the shoulder of Kemp. Philadephia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch noticed the painting behind Kemp and rattled off a Twitter thread about the historical significance of that painting and the plantation depicted in it. Buckle up, folks—this is going to be infuriating.


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