Black Voters Matter co-founders Cliff Albright and LaTosha Brown issued this statement following the Georgia Senate runoff results.
“Today we have the pleasure of congratulating Sen. Raphael Warnock on his latest Senate victory against Herschel Walker in Georgia, becoming the first full-term Black Senator in the history of the state. This is not only a win for Georgia; it is a win for democracy. It is a win for coalition work and nation-building. It is a win for the people.
“We’ve long believed that what happens in the South sets the tone for the nation.The runoff election results are proof yet again that Black voters are fundamental to the voting base in Georgia and the U.S., and that when we come together, when we use our power at the ballot box, when we stand up for freedom, we prevail.
“Right-wing media, state legislators and white supremacists threw everything they had at Black voters in Georgia to discourage and suppress the Black vote. But Black voters persisted. Like Sen. Warnock said in his acceptance speech last night, ‘‘You cannot serve me, if you cannot see me.”
“We closed the margins throughout the state – flipping key rural counties like Baldwin blue. We pushed back against negative stereotypes of Black men in the media. We fought against Republican legal tactics to deny us early voting access. Despite – or perhaps because of – new voting restrictions, like SB 202, and vigilante scare tactics, Black voters turned out in force and proved once again that we are the engine that drives progressive power in the state.
“And, yet, our democracy remains fragile. Division, hatred, ignorance, racism is alive and well.
“This runoff – the most expensive in history – is part of a larger system of voter suppression designed to deplete voters and advocates of our time, energy and resources. And that is problematic. Our current voting system is unsustainable.
“This midterm election is a sobering reminder of the overwhelming need for comprehensive voting reform in America today. Without a national standard that protects our right to vote and prevents barriers to the ballot box, our elections will always be a contentious battle for truth and justice.
“As we look ahead to 2024, Democrats must start now to clear the path, to strategize, and put into place the systems that we know get voters to turnout like community organizing and coalition-building. Our 365 day commitment to this work will continue. Today, we rest and celebrate. But tomorrow we will be ready to get back to work because no matter the challenge, no matter the opposition, We Won’t Black Down.”