Class based reforms must be combined with a fierce crackdown on the violators of the law on January 6th, says Gerald Horne. He provides deep historical context in this discussion with Paul Jay on theAnalysis.news podcast.
I wrote a piece titled The Real Coup on January 6th, saying that Mitch McConnell set a trap for Trump, knowing that Trump would incite his adoring crowd to storm the Capitol building.
Hi, I’m Paul Jay. Welcome to theAnalysis.news podcast. Please don’t forget the donate button at the top of the web page.
The sergeant at arms who controls the Capitol Police, who was nominated by the majority leader, that means McConnell and serves the Senate. And as the majority leader who speaks for the Senate with weeks to prepare, did not follow the most basic security protocol and set up a security perimeter around the building.
This has to be a decision to not follow procedure, not just incompetence. The internet was full of plans to storm the building amongst the far-right groups, Steve Bannon had said the war starts on November 3rd.
How do you not call in overwhelming policing to make sure the building is protected? If it wasn’t McConnell directly, then the sergeant at Arms made a deliberate decision not to follow protocol, but McConnell had to be informed of it.
It was far too a political decision to be left up just to the what’s called the executive of the Senate, who’s in charge of many, many things. It’s actually quite a powerful position. He doesn’t just guard some doors.
Of course, I don’t have any hard evidence of such a conspiracy, but surely there’s at the very least enough evidence that a full inquiry must be held and not just by the Senate itself. Why would McConnell do this? Because Trump was clearly going mad.
He contributed to the GOP losing two seats in Georgia. He was threatening not to leave office. There are even reports that he was trying to get the military to intervene on his behalf.
The elites didn’t want this chaos. They didn’t want this maniac destroying their investors’ paradise, as Mark Blyth calls it. And it took only a few hours for the American Manufacturers Association to call for Trump to be removed by the 25th Amendment.
Now, McConnell, Pence, and Graham, after years of enabling and encouraging Trump, can go down as the man who stood up to him. Trump had outlived its usefulness, and this became a way to bury him. By no means is this the end of the racist and fascist movement Trump helped galvanize. But it wasn’t something new that Trump did. He picked up from where Ronald Reagan left off. And the Republican leadership will find a new standard-bearer soon enough.
I’ve received some mail saying, how could I accuse the Republicans of deliberately allowing the fascists to attack the hallowed grounds of the Congress? Excuse me? This is the hallowed grounds of mostly about lobbyists. If you’ve ever been there, all you see is Senators and House members, with a few exceptions, meeting with lobbyists.
This is a place that’s been bought and sold. Remember, these are also the same Republican leaders that are the ones that deliberately created the fabrication about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that led to a war that killed over a million people, they live on lies and deception, and this wasn’t much of a stretch.
Now joining us to discuss all this is Gerald Horne. Gerald holds the John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston. He’s the author of many books, most recently The Bittersweet Science, Racism, Racketeering and the Political Economy of Boxing. And, of course, his very famous account of the Revolution of 1776, slave resistance, and the origins of the United States of America. Thanks very much for joining us, Gerald.
Thank you for inviting me.
So, first of all, what’s your take on how all this went down? And then we can talk more about the significance of it all?
Well, The Business Insider on January 8th, 2021 has an article based upon sources in the European Union, sources that cooperate with the United States in terms of security, that suggests that what took place in Washington on January 6th was not a failure of security, it was a failure of a coup d’etat.
In that regard let me point folks to the striking op-ed piece that appeared in the Washington Post on January 4th, 2021 by all surviving former Pentagon chiefs led by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, somehow warning the U.S. military not to get involved in domestic politics.
The next day, the Financial Times of London had an editorial asking, what do Cheney and Rumsfeld know that the rest of us do not know? And suggesting that this was a very strange op-ed to write at this particular moment, although I think we might have gotten a hint of the answer on January 6th, 2021 with the storming of the Capitol.
Now, this leaves a number of open and nagging questions. First of all, with regard to the US ruling elite, the one percent, they have had a very useful model for themselves whereby non-elite, you’re all Americans for the most part, 70 percent in Georgia, 90 percent in Mississippi, Alabama, vote for the GOP and in return, the GOP shows up in Washington and pushes tax cuts for the wealthy and other giveaways. The non-elites have not done as well, shall we say, through a burst of understatement.
And a possible result was the storming of the Capitol.
It seems to me that the elite may be trapped. That National Association of Manufacturer’s statement notwithstanding, because they are now relying upon a base that is unstable as nitroglycerin.
With regard to the non-elites, it seems to me that they will be very difficult to assuage because I’m not convinced that class-based remedies will be enough to buy them off, so to speak.
I’m not sure if a Green New Deal, higher minimum wage, Medicare for All will be enough unless you can say it’s for whites only.
Because let’s be clear, this storming of the Capitol was mostly executed by white supremacists carrying Confederate flags in the Capitol by Proud Boys, Boogaloo Bois, Three Percenters, and all the rest.
And I’m not so sure if they are Social Democrats in disguise just waiting for social democratic programs. But internationally, it seems to me that there is the biggest danger for the US elite even before January 6th, 2021, the European Union had brokered an investment deal with the People’s Republic of China over the objections not only of Trump but Biden. What we have to realize is that part of the fallout from Brexit, the British exit from the European Union, is that Washington’s main agent in the higher councils of Brussels, the European Union, has been removed, thereby strengthening French political leadership in the European Union.
France, as you know, over the decades, has been an imperialist power that from time to time has been able to buck U.S. Domination and hegemony.
Mr. Macron, the President speaks of strategic autonomy of the European Union and it’s apparent that the European Union sees no reason why it should continue to play the Pips to the United States’ Gladys Knight.
And so from their point of view, they should engage in a kind of arbitrage between Washington and Beijing for example. And if the European Union does not sign up for this new Cold War that has been launched by Trump and has enormous support in the United States of America throughout all classes and sectors, virtually, it’s going to be very difficult for Japan to sign on, for India to sign on. And so the bottom line might be that this is further impetus for the People’s Republic of China, which, by the way, has suffered about 4000 fatalities as a result of the coronavirus, which was the total for one day in the United States of America just a day or two ago.
The Chinese economy is slated to grow by eight to nine percent this year. We can only hope that the United States economy will begin to recover by the summer.
So this event of January 6 2021 may very well prove to be a hinge moment, not only in the history of the United States but of the world.
Well, let’s talk about the domestic side first, and then let’s talk about the international consequences of all this.
I think the people that stormed Capitol Hill are not going to not storm Capitol Hill because they get Medicare for all, although some of them might need it after because the possibility of that being a Covid super spreader event I think is enormous.
Thousands and thousands of people not wearing masks and all over each other and so on, including what the threat from the Covid point of view of the staff and other people inside the buildings and so on.
So Medicare for All actually might help some of these people quite a bit, but I don’t think it’s going to change their mind anyway, because this is that kind of fanaticism is into religious hostility at the extremes.
But of the 74 million, 75 million people that voted for Trump, a lot of them aren’t that. And I specifically think what’s important, if the Democrats were to actually pass meaningful reforms that deal with inequality, a large section, and I don’t know what the numbers are, but it’s significant of those people voted for Obama in 08.
I think that’s the strategy that might actually respond to if their life actually gets better and maybe even a little broader than that. Most of the people I’ve talked to who voted for Trump and I’ve talked to lots of them, they’re just completely cynical about the entire process.
We once interviewed this guy at a diner outside Baltimore and he says, I know Trump is a liar. I know he’s a fraud. I know he’s a scam. I know he’s this. I know he’s that. And the guy says I’m voting for him anyway. What does that make? What does that tell you about what I think about the other guys?
Meaningful change where people’s lives get better economically, I think will affect a significant portion, and I’m not saying it’s going to stop them from having racial prejudices and having all kinds of remnants of the most horrible culture of systemic racist ideology.
They may still think that, but they’re going to support people to make their life better, except for, I don’t know, maybe that 20, 25 percent that are so solidly extremist and racist and fascist, nothing will change their minds.
But a significant number could. But I don’t know if you want to jump on that or I want to jump on something else, but go ahead if you want.
Sure. I mean, once again, since we are in the United States of America, we would be remiss if we would not look to look at this through a racial lens.
And with regard to these folks who stormed the Capitol, you should take notice of the fact that they were overwhelmingly melanin deficient, as they say in some quarters, and that the base for Trump is of a similar character.
And so the question that needs to be posed is for that sector of the working class, which turns to the right. Well, and it’s not like the black community is doing so well. Why don’t they turn to the right, for example, they continue to vote against the right, nine to one.
That was the lesson of the election in Georgia the day before January 6th, whereby the black community, which is 30 percent of the state’s population, the overwhelming majority of the Democratic Party coalition, turned out in record numbers even compared to past elections to help to put into office the first black senator, by the way, the first Jewish senator as well. And more on that in a moment.
And I don’t think that we should necessarily assume that class-based measures, once again, will be enough to assuage those members of the working class who vote for Mr. Trump, although I agree wholeheartedly, a 1000% that these measures should be promoted and pursued aggressively. Medicare for All Green New Deal, raise the minimum wage, moratorium on evictions, and all the rest.
But at the same time, I think that strategically going forward, one of the other points we must emphasize is a fierce crackdown on the violators of the law on January 6th, 2021, not only because they violated the law, but also I think it will introduce further strains into the Republican Party coalition, just like the strains you see erupting today between those Republicans who even after the storming of the Capitol voted to decertify the Electoral College results and those Republicans who voted to certify the Electoral College results.
And then it takes these dangerous elements off the streets, which I think might be useful to the ongoing health of people like myself, for example. If a deterrence, because the inauguration is coming up, other two dates are coming up. We keep hearing these stories about how many of these forces have not left Washington, D.C., how bombs have been discovered in Washington, D.C. We all saw the pictures of the noose that they built on the grounds of the Capitol.
We all know that in terms of the right-wing literature, The Turner Diaries, for example, part of that fictionalized story involves, I’m afraid to say, the lynching of various legislators. We all know that as we speak in Lansing, Michigan, there are militia members under detention who had a harebrained scheme, at least I hope it was a harebrained scheme to enter the Capitol building of the state of Michigan to take legislators hostages, to blow up the building, a made for television exercise, and then to execute many of the legislators.
And, of course, they had a plan to execute Gretchen Whitmer, the governor of Michigan who, of course, had been baited by Mr. Trump repeatedly because of her lockdown measures.
Gretchen Whitmer also happens to be Jewish. And there hangs a tail because I don’t think that we should downplay the anti-Semitism of these ultra righteous forces, these pro-Nazi forces. Once again Jon Ossoff the first Jewish Senator elected from the state of Georgia who coincidentally is elected the day before the storming of the Capitol. This comes approximately 105 years after the lynching of Leo Frank, a Jewish entrepreneur in Georgia, which was a turning point, a hinge moment in terms of the civil rights movement, because it induces more Jewish Americans to enter with full force the civil rights movement, the anti-Jim Crow movement, joining the NAACP, contributing to the NAACP, etc.
And so, once again, I think that we should realize in the United States, that a deep hole has been dug for ourselves, or perhaps we should say we have dug a deep hole for ourselves because, with the McCarthy period in particular, which led to a weakening of progressive labor and a weakening of class-based organizations, it created an ideological vacuum that then was filled with the kind of right-wing populism that Donald J. Trump exemplifies. As we speak on the horizon, it does not appear to be any glimmering of a rising of a new left-wing labor movement.
And in that regard, let me point to some of the other pitfalls we’ll have to navigate going forward.
Bernie Sanders expressed public sentiment in favor of being appointed Secretary of Labor. Now, I assumed that Mr. Biden, understandably and justifiably, that he’s trying to construct the most diverse cabinet in history, he says. And so I assume that if Bernie didn’t get that post, it would be because he felt he had to give it to Julie Soup, the Asian American woman from California, for example.
Instead, he gives it to Marty Walsh, the governor, excuse me, the mayor of Boston, a traditional labor hack before he became mayor, for example, tied to some of the most corrupt unions in the United States of America and the building trades and the labor unions and international union, a union which is known to have mob ties. That particular union endorsed him in a full-throated measure. That was not reassuring.
Quite frankly, with regard to the Biden regime being able to revive the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which could be very aggressive in terms of attacking the coronavirus and meat plants, where it has cut a prodigious swath, particularly through immigrant workers. And so, once again, I’m all for all of these progressive measures. But at the same time, I don’t think that we should downplay the obstacles that we will be facing in terms of accomplishing.
Yeah, I think it’s this very strange moment, in a sense, because of what happened on January 6 and the disarray of the Republican Party.
It’s going to be more difficult for them to be as obstructionist as they might have been in the Senate.
Which in theory frees the hand for more progressive measures, although it’s very interesting. I watch a lot of Fox these days and before the Georgia election, many of the pundits on Fox were saying secretly they thought Biden was hoping the Republicans would win Georgia because at least he’d have an excuse not to have to do the progressive things that people are pushing him to do.
It’s this very freaky moment, the existential threat of climate change, that they seem to understand the threat, but they certainly don’t seem to want to go where they need to go. They being the Biden administration to actually deal with it.
The stock market, after Biden won and after they won, Georgia reached new historic highs.
It didn’t go down because the Democrats control the Senate. There was always this thought all the Republicans could mitigate the Democrats if they Republicans held the Senate. And that’s what Wall Street wanted. Except after they won Georgia, the stock markets went up anyway.
So the one thing that maybe is a positive in this story is that because the Democrats lost seats at the House, the clout of the progressives in the House is a little stronger than it might have been otherwise.
Whether they to the extent they can use it, we’ll have to see.
But I mean, our conversations always end up, is there going to be a people’s movement outside of the party that’s going to create enough storm and not you don’t have to walk into Congress, but maybe you do need to surround it with a million people. I mean, there needs to be mass mobilization to force through some of the kinds of measures that we’re talking about. And it’s not just about inequality.
It’s about the existence of human society, both in terms of climate, nuclear weapons. And I was going to say the next pandemic. But this one is far from over.
But going back to the events of January 6, one of the things I’m struck by is the and I made a little reference to this in the intro, the hallowed house, the People’s house, the place of democracy, and all of this.
You know, anyone that knows what goes on in there is that it’s rife with corruption. It’s not every member, but most, whether it’s the military-industrial complex or whether it’s finance, it’s the house of lobbying and the media and everybody making such a thing about what happened there. You know, the threat to democracy. I don’t you know, there’s no insurrection without the military. And if Trump was trying to get the military involved, which I don’t doubt that he probably was given the kind of crazy phone calls.
And that letter you refer to from the former secretaries of defense, there must have been something going on there. And maybe that helped spur my theory that McConnell, Graham, and Pence realize now is the time to bail on this guy. He’s so gone over the edge. But the term of insurrection of these people who just broke into the buildings, to me is such an exaggeration. And it’s all for on the Democrat side, for partisan political advantage.
Finally, they got Trump. They couldn’t get him on Ukraine. They couldn’t get him on Russia. Well, finally, they got him.
And, of course, as I say, for the leaders of the Republican Party who have been groveling at this guy’s feet, bending over their backsides, this guy for four years finally get some revenge and get control back of the Republican Party, at least for now. I don’t know that’s. What do you think?
Well, first of all, I think it would be worthwhile to pursue an impeachment measure that would lead to the consequence of Mr. Trump being disqualified from running for public office again, particularly since we suspect that he’s gearing up already for 2024.
And I’m not sure if the Trump wannabes, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, even Tom Cotton of Arkansas, have the chops or the muscle to emulate one Donald J. Trump.
And so I think that that would be a good strategic move to pursue. Secondly to touch another important base. I agree with the consensus that even Joseph R. Biden has articulated that Black Lives Matter movement people would have been treated differently in the capital. And as others have said, certainly left-wing protesters, anti-war protesters would be treated differently.
But the problem is, is that even the radicals in the United States don’t seem to realize that that’s not some sort of coincidence. That’s a feature, not a bug of the system. And that’s because I don’t think that they understand adequately the history of this country, the fact that settler colonialism is a term that is generally absent from their vocabulary in the settler-colonial society.
It would be as if in pre-1994 South Africa, the term racism was absent from the vocabulary of folks in South Africa.
And then that brings me back to the ideological weaknesses of the United States, which afflicts and affects all sectors. I think of the NAACP, which by all measures should be a kind of broad church with many pews like the African National Congress aspired to be at one time where you would find both communists and capitalists. Of course, the NAACP, like most organizations, including the ACLU, went through a purge during the McCarthy era, has yet to apologize for this purge, has yet to make amends for this purge, and of course, has not had a word to say about the fact that the great Paul Robeson, the leading actor and activist of his generation, was basically skewered by the NAACP and certainly the progeny of Paul Robeson have been treated likewise.
So how are we going to dig ourselves out of this deep hole when you have an organization that purports to represent the black community, which votes most heavily against the right, tends to be apprehensive and nervous and afraid about confronting this anti-left psychosis which afflicts the United States of America. Now, this also means that in terms of the measures that need to be pursued, for example, move the money.
A certain activist pointed out the United States spent $740 billion a year on, quote, defense, unquote, but yet was not able to defend the Capitol building. I mean, something is wrong here. And it reminds me of the domestic slogan of defund the police. That is to say, you take money away from the police and put it into social workers, for example, because you don’t need a man or woman with a gun to write up traffic tickets or to file accident reports or to respond to noise complaints.
Likewise, you don’t need to give the military-industrial complex $740 billion, particularly when it creates these ancillary problems of sending the flower of youth overseas to settle political disputes through the barrel of a gun in Afghanistan and Iraq and then come back. And as they have tended to do, join the Three Percenters, the Proud Boys, the Boogalo Bois, and once again engage in that blowback and try to settle political disputes domestically through the barrel of a gun is clearly a case of chickens coming home to roost.
And with regard to Fox News, in terms of their misdirection, with regard to saying that Biden was secretly hoping that the Democrats would not control the Senate, then these are some of the same people who are telling us that it was not the alt-right, so-called, who stormed the Capitol it was actually Antifa. These were actually left-wingers in a total false flag operation who invaded the Capitol and trashed the Capitol, etc. Even though there is tons of visual and photographic evidence to the contrary.
Which brings us back to the Democrats. And I know that many people are optimistic and I don’t want to rain on their parade. But at the same time, you still have Democrats like Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who has a D after his name, but for many purposes could just as well have an R after his name.
And given the arcane rules of the US Senate, which somehow mandates you need 60 votes to pass measures as opposed to 50 plus one, it’s still going to be an uphill climb and tough sledding post-January 20th, not only because of what I’ve just articulated in the last moment but also because of these ideological weaknesses that I try to outline a sketch.
There’s a few litmus tests for the Biden administration. That we could talk about both domestically and internationally about whether or not they’re going to do anything, even a little bit in a progressive direction.
But let me give one that just pops to mind from what you were talking about with the police. In Baltimore, the DOJ under Obama did an investigation of the Baltimore police force after the murder of Freddie Gray and the protests and their report in terms of what happened was pretty good I thought. In several places, the report said that the constitutional rights of citizens of Baltimore were violated every single day by the Baltimore police force. And they use that phrasing. The constitutional rights were violated every single day.
And they reminded me we once had a meeting down there where after some whistleblowing and people were talking about the rise of a police state and Eddie Conway stood up and said, I’m glad you guys are finally getting it. But we’ve been living in this city for decades in Baltimore.
But I think a litmus test, a litmus test for the Biden administration, and I’m not a fan of the slogan defund the police. I think it just scares people for no reason. I think community control of police is better. But I got another one. Purge the police.
Purge the police of racists, purge them of fascists, fire them, not just obviously put the cops that are shooting black men and Latinos and others put them in jail, of course, but the culture within the police departments needs to be purged and the DOJ would have the power to do something like that.
The will is another story altogether. What are some litmus tests that you might want to say we will judge this administration by?
Well, so far, not so good. I mean, I’m looking at these cabinet appointments, for example, I’ve already made reference to Marty Walsh, the incoming secretary of Labor, assuming that he is confirmed that was not reassuring the incoming attorney general Merrick Garland.
That’s not reassuring, because if you’re really concerned about criminal justice issues and this question of police, which is tearing the country apart, witness the controversies in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Ferguson, Missouri, and all the rest.
Well, you would think that Mr. Biden would have wanted to make a statement thereby appointing someone other than Mr. Garland, particularly since he said after he was confirmed as the victor, that he owes a debt of gratitude to the black community, which rescued his tattered campaign in South Carolina and put him back on his feet so that he could charge ahead to win the nomination.
Well, thus far. I don’t really see him repaying that historic debt. And with regard to defund the police.
Well, it’s interesting, Paul Butler, who is a law professor at Georgetown and a specialist in criminal justice, he wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post after Mr. Obama had made a similar criticism of that slogan. And Paul Butler pointed out that for years the progressive movement had a slogan of Justice Reinvestment nobody ever heard of. And then they came up with defund the police. And now there is an outcry.
And in any case, I think that it’s very curious that the Democratic Party in 2000 blamed the victory of George W. Bush on the Greens and Ralph Nader. In 2016, they blamed the defeat on Jill Stein. And so the message is that people with left-wing platforms and left-wing slogans should enter in mass the Democratic Party, which many of them did in 2020.
But then afterwards, you had centrist Democrats complaining that left-wing slogans like defund the police contributed to down-ballot losses for the Democrats in the House in particular. And so the message is to left-wing people, you shouldn’t run independently. You shouldn’t raise your slogans within the Democratic Party. You should become a centrist and shut up and sit down. And I don’t think that that’s a reasonable approach, to put it mildly. And I don’t think that’s going to work, secondly.
Yeah, I don’t disagree with that, but just on that particular slogan, not that I have any say on these things, but community control of the police, I think is a more important principle.
Of course, police budgets should be cut in half. I mean, it’s ridiculous, the militarization of the police. And I’m all for I’m for defunding police. I just think it’s a shitty slogan, more important is community control. And as I say, I like the slogan purge the police.
Even in Baltimore, I would say the majority of the cops and not just the black cops, they know who the racists in the fascists are. And honestly, most of the corruption, the real serious corruption of which is there’s endless amounts in Baltimore and cities across the country. It’s the same racists and fascists that are involved in most of the hardcore corruption. They seem to go well together.
The Brennan Center at New York University Law School has done report after report basically substantiating the fact that you just articulated, which is that police departments from the Atlantic to the Pacific out to Honolulu are infiltrated heavily by right-wing ultra-rightist forces, which helps to explain and explicate the extreme levels of police terror that leads to tragedies in Staten Island with Eric Garner, in Ferguson with Michael Brown, in Kenosha with Jacob Blake.
The list is long and the list is endless. It’s also once again to return to the international front, now being debated at the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. In fact, we expect some sort of judgment of some sort within a few weeks, ideally during Black History Month of February 2021.
The best-case scenario and I’m not saying this is going to happen, but the best-case scenario would be that member states of the United Nations have a mandate, per the Human Rights Council, to impose sanctions on the United States government because of its uncivilized policies with regard to police misconduct and police terror, not unlike the sanctions that have been imposed on Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and once again, to bring this full circle, January 6th, 2021, I dare say, will be a factor in the deliberations, because even the president of Zimbabwe said in expressing a viewpoint that’s held widely throughout Africa, what gives the United States the right to pronounce on democracy and democratic rights after January 6th, 2021?
And hopefully, we’ll see the impact and import of that particular utterance in Geneva, Switzerland, at the Human Rights Council, within a few weeks.
So before we end, let me just talk to ask you about the significance of the Georgia Senate races.
It’s very significant and I think also too much should not be made of it, what I mean is, is that the result in Georgia was a direct result of political economy. What I mean by that is, is that beginning in the 1970s, as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 began to assert itself and black Americans began to exercise the franchise where
before they were not able to.
You saw the election of the former chief aide to Martin Luther King Jr. Andrew Young as both congressman and mayor. You saw the election of Maynard Jackson following Andrew Young. Andrew Young in particular, you may recall, was former United Nations ambassador under Jimmy Carter before being sacked because of alleged untoward dealings with the Palestine Liberation Organization.
But he used those contacts as the United Nations ambassador to come back to his city, Atlanta and helped to attract international businesses to Atlanta, turning it from a sleepy capital into something of a metropolis, even a cosmopolitan metropolis. By some measures, the airport in Atlanta is the busiest airport on planet Earth. It happens to be named after Maynard Jackson, his black American successor, as mayor.
With the transformation of Atlanta, you saw the influx of more Asian Americans. You saw the influx of more black X folk as well. You saw more blacks returning from New York City and Boston to Atlanta. That transformed the city in terms of the politics and electorally, which means that it has to be distinguished from its neighbors, particularly South Carolina and Alabama, which have not had a similar transformation. And so, therefore, it will be difficult to expect a similar electoral result in those particular states.
I would also be remiss if I fail to acknowledge the particular role of Stacey Abrams, the black woman who once ran for governor in 2018, lost by 55,000 votes, charged justifiably that there was hanky panky that prevented her from winning, and then formed organizations that not only began to try to reform voting laws, but also began to try to organize people as opposed to the usual Democratic Party strategy, which is to let the airwaves give money to people on television stations by running these ads and radio stations, as opposed to registering people to vote, for example, and organizing caravans to vote.
I should also mention the role of the sports teams in Atlanta, particularly the National Basketball Association, not only in Atlanta, the Atlanta Hawks but nationally. And of course, Grant Hill, the former Duke star and former Detroit Pistons and Phoenix Suns star, is a part-owner of the Atlanta Hawks team, and their arena was turned into a massive voting site on January 5th, 2021, just like it was a massive voting site on November 3rd, 2021. So this is a very significant victory. There was a lot of mud that was being tossed at Raphael Warnock, the victorious senator, the first black senator in Georgia.
Of course, I would be remiss also if I failed to mention how historically black colleges and universities mobilized on his behalf, including his alma mater, Morehouse College, also the alma mater of Martin Luther King Jr., Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, et cetera.
And as well, his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, just likes the fraternity of Kamala Harris and Howard University, AKA–Alpha Kappa Alpha mobilized on her behalf and brought in other so-called black Greek organizations.
And so this was a very important and significant victory. But once again, I’m not sure if it forms a template for similar victories throughout the South, not least in neighboring South Carolina and Alabama.
But I do think it may have import for a similar sort of campaign in a state like Texas, which has some of the earmarks of Georgia in terms of having a diverse population, having international business, having a large Asian-American population, certainly a large Mexican-American population there as well. So obviously, political activists need to study what happened in Georgia so that we can replicate it at least regionally.
And just finally, about Georgia. What do you make of the way the governor and particularly the secretary of state stood up to Trump? I was sort of impressed. But I don’t know what the back story is there. I mean, I know the secretary of state was involved, at least allegedly in voter suppression during Stacey Abrams’ run for the governor. But he didn’t just stand up to Trump. He leaked that phone conversation, which did Trump some real damage.
I would like to know the back story as well, but certainly, of Brian Kemp, the governor is going to face a primary when he runs for reelection, presumably in 2022. And I’m not sure he’ll be able to prevail because once again, I think the part of the story of the United States that’s oftentimes neglected in January 6th to come full circle helps to exemplify in a strange sort of way, it exemplifies a left-wing dictum, which is that the people are the motive force of history, in this case, the United States of America.
The people are not necessarily acting in a progressive fashion. And that helps to explain part of the problem in confronting the Republican Party because a lot of the reactionary energy oftentimes is coming from the grassroots and they’re pushing the leaders. And I think that Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz were responding to the grassroots when they tried to decertify the victory of Joseph Biden.
And if I’m not mistaken, polls suggest that a good deal of the Republican base continues to feel that Mr. Trump was cheated out of the election, that there was fraud in the election. The good news there, because every cloud has a silver lining, is that that might have suppressed turnout on January 5th, allowing for Raphael Warnock and Mr. Ossoff to triumph in these two senatorial races.
All right. Well, thanks very much, Joe. Thank you. And thank you for joining us on theAnalysis.News podcast, and again, please don’t forget there’s a donate button at the top of the webpage.