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White people are being hella weird about Stacey Abrams

The constant fetishizing and magical othering of Abrams is sickening and unnecessary.

 

Kahron Spearman

IRL

Published Jan 6, 2021   Updated Jan 6, 2021, 12:38 pm CST

Analysis

Some white people are getting super weird about Stacey Abrams, again. And much of it is just going way too far.

Going bananas over Abrams, who along with several other groups greatly enhanced voter mobilization efforts in Georgia on Tuesday, is reasonable. She and these groups virtually thrust Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff toward crucial Senate runoff election wins.

The wins give Democrats hold of the Senate, providing them a path forward in implementing a (somewhat) progressive agenda. So famous people like Rosanna Arquette, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, and Cher, notable liberals and critics of President Donald Trump, lauded Abrams’ efforts with mostly reasonable plaudits. 

https://twitter.com/RoArquette/status/1346697827250892807
https://twitter.com/cher/status/1346822428341755904

But, whew, some white people got way out of line with some of their problematic, virtue-signaling posts that made Abrams into a totem. That’s especially troublesome in light of this historic water-carrying of the Georgia vote by the Black community. Some, for example, called for her to be made into a Marvel movie.

Black people are usually last at the metaphorical trough but are expected to continually save white people from themselves in order for Black folk (and other minorities) to survive, making the two apparent Senate wins bittersweet.

https://twitter.com/Afro_Herper/status/1346851514921353217

The constant fetishizing and magical othering of Abrams and Black people is sickening and unnecessary, but also part and parcel with Black existence in the Western world. Moreover, the energy spent on praising Abrams seems to be a performative sit-in for actually working, affirming, and re-affirming Black people and voices (especially of Black women) in real life.

As @purplechrain wrote: “Dear fellow non-Black people, I promise it’s possible for you to praise Stacey Abrams (and other Black politicians!) without treating her as a symbol or a totem instead of as a person and without acting as if her political activism was done for your benefit.”

“(More broadly, it’s possible to praise politicians without investing weird emotional energy into them & idolizing & projecting parasocial relationships onto them, but the specific ways it’s done to Black people & especially Black women is uncomfortable & kind of dehumanizing.)”

Like, seriously bro?


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*First Published: Jan 6, 2021, 12:32 pm CST