State Rep. Park Cannon, D-Atlanta, is placed into the back of a Georgia State Capitol patrol car after being arrested by Georgia State Troopers at the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta, Thursday, March 25, 2021. Cannon was arrested by Capitol police after she attempted to knock on the door of the Gov. Brian Kemp office during his remarks after he signed into law a sweeping Republican-sponsored overhaul of state elections that includes new restrictions on voting by mail and greater legislative control over how elections are run. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

By Wayne Dawkins
Special to the AFRO

“A solution in search of a problem,” is how some pundits explain Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s signing of a bill that restricts voting in the Peach State. 

Instead of solving problems, Kemp and his cronies created them.

Let’s shout it loud, again with feeling: NO FRAUD was found in the Nov. 5 Georgia election that helped defeat the 45th U.S. president and former occupant of the White House. State election officials – many of them Republicans like No. 45 – recounted ballots three times and found no monkey business. 

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is now being sued by civil rights groups. He was the person who repeatedly said the voting was clean and fair, and respectfully told Donald Trump, no sir, I can’t manufacture 11,780 votes so you can win Georgia and have that Electoral College puzzle piece re-elect you. 

In addition to Nov. 5, the new, restrictive Georgia election law is a reaction to the Jan. 5 Special Election in which two Georgia Republicans lost their U.S. Senate seats to two Democrats, a Black pastor and a young White man who worked for civil rights warrior John Lewis. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff’s wins dramatically changed the U.S. Senate from an immovable Republican majority to an unpredictable 50/50 Democrats and Republicans mix, with Vice President Kamala Harris, a former member of that chamber, as the tie-breaking vote.

What matters here is the people voted and brought the change, fair and square. Black people particularly rose up in greater numbers and voted. A deadly, debilitating coronavirus pandemic did not keep people home. Instead of risking exposure by standing on lines, people voted early, or by absentee ballot, or put their votes in drop-off boxes, as Gov. Kemp did for his personal safety.

Kemp is tone deaf to irony and hypocrisy. He is governor largely because his ran his own election in 2018 when he was secretary of state and supervisor of the election. Say what? 

And if that were not outrageous enough, Park Cannon, a Georgia State representative, was arrested and charged with a felony for knocking on the governor’s door as he signed the new, restrictive voting law with a half dozen masked White men hovering near the seated Kemp. 

So, blood pressure-raising video of a Black woman being manhandled by sheriff deputies did not faze the governor and his crew, nor the optics that Kemp signed the bill in front of a painting of antebellum Callaway slave plantation, located between Athens and Augusta. 

President Biden last week called the political roughhousing in Georgia “Un-American” and “Jim Crow” 21st century style. 

Kemp’s answer: Gaslighting. 

He said the law expands voting rights. Yes, there’s improved access in the predominantly White rural counties, yet limits in largely Black, urban Georgia such as greater Atlanta and Savannah. 

And what’s right about making it a crime to give voters waiting on lines bottles of water or snacks? Those changes are in the new law.

Wayne Dawkins is a writer, and a professor of professional practice at Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication.

Kemp’s haughty, cruel actions exposed phony moral relativism. 

“There is no midpoint between a firefighter and an arsonist,” I heard an election expert say last weekend. Indeed, the fire roaring in Georgia must be doused, with voting rights lawsuits and citizen organizing in preparation of the next election, the 2022 midterm congressional races, and election of a new Georgia governor. 

The writer is a professor of professional practice at Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication.

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