Stacey Abrams: ‘There Is a Disease of Racism That Is Embedded in the Veins of America’

Politician and author Stacey Abrams speaks to an audience about voter supresssion on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, in Atlanta. Abrams spoke during a roundtable summit as one in a series of events leading up athe Democratic debate to be held in Atlanta. Abrams' failed bid for Georgia's governor's seat was …
AP Photo/ Ron Harris

As she hits the Oscar campaign trail in earnest to promote her Amazon documentary about voter suppression for awards consideration, failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D) diagnosed America as suffering from a battery of diseases that include racism, bigotry, homophobia, sexism, and xenophobia.

In an interview with actress Viola Davis for Variety, Stacey Abrams touted her recent Amazon documentary All In: The Fight for Democracy for Academy Award consideration. She also celebrated her recent efforts to flip Georgia blue and get Georgia Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock elected to the Senate.

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Abrams took the opportunity to portray America as a bigoted country.

“There is a disease of racism that is embedded in the veins of America,” she said. “There is a disease of bigotry that winds its way throughout how we’ve made our rules and who has access — [plus] sexism, homophobia, this broader construct of xenophobia.”

She also spoke about the trauma of growing up in Mississippi and Georgia at a time when the state flags featured the Confederate battle insignia.

“I grew up in Mississippi under a state flag that until this year was the Confederate battle flag of traitors who went to war to keep our people enslaved,” she said. “I came of age in Georgia, where the state flag also included the Confederate emblem. I know what that means. I know that despite all the attempts to wrap that story in veneration and heritage, it is fundamentally a conversation about my humanity.”

All In: The Fight for Democracy follows Abrams during her run for governor of Georgia and documents her one-woman battle against what she sees as voter suppression. The movie is generating awards buzz in Hollywood and has already received recognition from the Writers Guild of America and the National Board of Review.

Amazon released the documentary in cinemas in September in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, followed by a streaming roll out ahead of the presidential election.

Abrams said she intends to take advantage of Democrats’ new political capital.

“My battle is to make power real,” she said. “For us to believe that our communities deserve the power, that our people deserve power. That the marginalized and the disadvantaged — those who have been diminished by society in their minds — we have to know we are mighty in our power.”

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