Ralph Moore Jr. discusses the plight of Ruby Freeman and Wandrea. (AFRO File Photo)

By Ralph E. Moore Jr.

Recently, a grand jury in Georgia decided to charge Donald Trump with racketeering after allegedly conspiring with 18 others to steal that state’s election results. Georgia’s results helped Joe Biden win the election, so Trump and company allegedly tried to alter or simply steal the results with stunts, lies and videotape.

This is Trump’s fourth set of charges, and not the first relating to election interference. In Georgia, 18 of his ill-advised sycophant-supporters are being charged with him. They had until Aug. 25, 2023 to surrender voluntarily to the Fulton County Jail.  District Attorney Fani Willis intends to try all 19 defendants together.

In the course of their alleged thieving, Donald Trump and Rudy Guiliani, with their fellow cowards, picked out and then picked on two African-American campaign workers in Georgia. Those charged lodged false accusations  against Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, claiming the pair mishandled election results handled in a way that gave favor to current president, Joe Biden. 

Donald and Rudy were lying, of course, desperate to hang onto power, in need of persons to blame for their own shortcomings and giving in to their deep-seeded racist and sexist natures.  They found two 2020 election workers in Georgia and accused them of using disc drives to alter the voting machines. They told the world the women were guilty of election fraud when Trump and Rudy knew they were not.  

During their lies, which came with threats of violence and jail time for Freeman and Moss, the innocent women’s lives were turned upside down.  They received innumerable threatening phone calls, texts and emails as well as visitors to their door, while crowds formed outside the house shouting threats and insults.  The women who had done absolutely nothing wrong became fearful for their lives. The “president” was calling them out by name on national television while his “lawyer” even accused the women of being drug dealers.  Trump mentioned Ruby Freeman by name at least 18 times in the media as a “professional vote scammer.”  

In all the drama of all of Donald’s four indictments and of all of the lives of all of the people that he ruined, the story of these two election workers is the saddest. It is also the most outrageous and the most angering. 

Freeman and Moss were your average everyday heroes, election workers: underpaid. Freeman was paid $16 an hour, handling tedious but necessary work for hours on end.  They were heroes devilishly made villains by the ruthless, greedy power grabbers as power slipped away from “the Donald” and his alleged accomplices. 

This Election Day 2020 story starts with Moss. In 2017, she began working as a registration officer at the Fulton County Department of Registrations and Elections. Moss’ regular duties were to handle absentee ballot requests and voter applications, but she was reassigned on Election Day to process the election results working at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena, one of the area’s polling places.  Moss asked her mother, Ruby Freeman, to help with the vote counting, which she graciously did.  And their trouble began when a video circulated that showed them working late one night to tabulate votes.  That video appeared on Facebook, where right wingers began to accuse the mother and daughter of falsifying election results by way of tampering with voting machines and stealing votes from Trump and attributing them to Biden.  

When one of the ladies in the video passed a mint candy to the other it was said that they were actually slipping flash drives with falsified vote totals.  

The lies began on Facebook, but they were made bigger and worse by Donald Trump, Rudy Guiliani and the likes of Sidney Powell, a female former federal prosecutor. Like Rudy, she should know better than to operate outside of the law and yet they did. 

The alleged conspirators lied and slandered two innocent women and by virtue of their false public accusations, they invited the public to castigate and threaten harm to Moss and Freeman. They attempted to scare the women into claiming they cheated with the vote counting in Georgia and the bullies were simply unmerciful in their meanness.  

Ruby Freeman made a very striking point later, “Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you? The president of the United States made up lies about two ordinary Americans for his own personal gain.” She hit the proverbial nail right on the head.

The election result deniers were routinely passing along already disproved rumors and ruining reputations (and lives) with words they knew were lies, about election results and workers that they knew were untrue.  

Trevian Kutti, a formerly a publicist for Kanye West, visited Freeman on the evening of Jan. 4, 2021, just two days before the capitol invasion.  Freeman agreed to meet with Kutti if a police officer were present at the time. Freeman was pressured during the meeting to admit to committing voter fraud.  Kutti claimed to have been sent “by a high-profile individual.” She told Freeman that she was in danger because of the election and had 48 hours to get herself clear of the danger.  She threatened that someone she wouldn’t name would show up at Freeman’s door. 

Harrison Floyd participated in the meeting on speakerphone from another location. Floyd claimed in the media that they were trying to get Freeman an immunity deal.  She was completely innocent and had not been charged, let alone convicted of any crime.  Kutti, Floyd and Stephen Cliffgard Lee were all recently indicted with Trump, Giuliani, Powell (and sixteen others) for their conspiracy to steal the election in the state of Georgia.  Thank goodness for the Georgia state District Attorney, Fani Willis, for her courage and thoroughness to seek the indictments.

As advised by the authorities, Ruby Freeman moved out of her house for a year in fear for her safety. Her daughter refused to leave the house for about the same stretch of time for the same reason.  Neither woman could work outside the home anymore. 

They have entered lawsuits and favorably settled with at least one media outlet, OAN (the One America News Network) which had broadcast the voter fraud accusations against the two election workers. They have been officially cleared of all the false election fraud claims by the FBI, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and investigators from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. Rudy Guiliani admitted in a recent court filing that he made false statements against Freeman and Moss.

The two courageous, cruelly defiled women were honored in January 2023 by President Joe Biden.  For their courage and selflessness, they were awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal.  Shaye Moss was given the prestigious Profiles in Courage Award by the Kennedy family.

Nothing can give back the time Freeman and Moss lost living in utter fear for their lives after “the President” falsely accused them of stealing the election from him. And Trump named them publicly for anyone interested in attacking them physically and/or emotionally.  They were simply doing their professional and civic duty carrying out the voter count of the 2020 election in Georgia. They were picked out and picked on because they are Black women.  The election deniers knew others with like minds would find it easiest to accuse Black women of disregarding Trump enough to aid and abet in stealing election results from him.

But these women were nowhere near the villains that Trump and the now indicted 18 co-defendants tried to make them out to be.  Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss are heroes.  And if anyone goes to jail or pay fines for attempting to steal the presidential election of 2020, it first and foremost must be those who did the hateful, dangerous ugly things to two innocent women. 

If nothing happens to those evildoers who ruthlessly attacked Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, then we know America’s “over” for sure. And the nation is one where you can do anything to anybody in a power grab—including brutally bullying and endangering completely innocent people.