In These United States: Georgia is on My Mind by Marie Cartier


Photo by Ted Fisher and Douglas Mcculloh. Author, mixed media installation, “the story of ohhh.”

Georgia on my mind, so goes the song, and right now the road leads back to you, Georgia.

The run-off election which could make two senators blue and give control of the Senate to the Democrats, remove a Republican as speaker, and Goddess willing, and the creek don’t rise…make America kind again… is happening now.

Early voting started December fourteenth and the federal election will be January fifth.

And then we will know. For right now, Georgia is on our minds in these United States.

There are white Southern political leaders who treat the Southern states they work in as if…

it is an acknowledged fact that the states are racist. But states are made up of people,

and all of those people are not racist. Racism may have worked as political strategy,

but the times they are a’changing.

Racist systems machinate and nightmare vision their reality… it will come as no surprise, it is expected, how could it happen that a Black woman could become governor in “our “state? It can’t happen. It’s impossible to imagine, we have rigged it so it won’t happen—and so.

Steal the election from that first Black would-be governor, disavow over 53,000 mostly Black votes in that recent governor’s race because of discrepancies in signatures.

Because, everyone knew it couldn’t happen. Not in a racist state, not in Georgia.

Black lives matter. I wake up most days, still, with the image of George Floyd under the knee of a white police officer. In Minnesota.

But we are talking about Georgia.

I know.

History matters. The Southern states are not inherently racist in terms of who lives there. Only

in terms of who gets to have power there. Who gets to breathe there?

I can’t breathe.

There are people in states, Southern and elsewhere, who can’t fathom being governed by a person with black or brown skin. There are others who are determined that those people stop thinking that way, and acting on the way they think. Systematic racism. Well….

A thousand wells make a river, my mother used to say.

The power in place may be racist, but that’s not all the power there is.

Power to the people… how many times have I chanted that into a night sky? And right now, Georgia on my mind: power, power to the people.

Black lives not only matter, they are changing the American system …of systematic racism.

This system is changing…the times they are.

Georgia peach.  Sweet tea and corn bread and collards and catfish and BBQ. And people who are people who are people. There are people who believe they are better with white skin than those who have brown or black skin. And there are people determined to change

what people can do who think like that. Power to those people.

Georgia on my mind. Georgia: where the black vote may change everything. And so, it is.

There are people and then there are people.

George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. And so many others. Names upon names upon names.

Time’s up in these United States. Georgia is on our minds.

I try to explain the electoral college to my students, gerrymandering and voter suppression.

There are people and then there are people.

California butts up against the Pacific. Yemaya wash us all clean.

This land is your land. From California…and Georgia is on my mind. I write letters. I make phone calls in these United States in 2020. This land is your land. This land is my land.

The people united will never be defeated. Georgia.

Sweet Jesus, Georgia, the peaches are ripe. The stove is hot. We can smell the cobbler

clear across the country. We’ll set the table, Georgia.

You just keep cooking.

We are waiting on you,

Georgia. Oh, Georgia.

Georgia is. On our minds.

–Marie Cartier
December 2020
In These United States

If you’d like to help with the effort to turn the Senate blue with the Georgia run-off election, information can be found here at: Fair Fight Fair Fight 2020 | Fair Fight and also at Mobilize US Events · Mobilize and at Vote Forward Vote Forward Events · Mobilize . Thanks for all you do FAR family!

 

Marie Cartier has a Ph.D. in Religion with an emphasis on Women and Religion from Claremont Graduate University.  She is the author of the critically acclaimed book Baby, You Are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology Before Stonewall (Routledge 2013). She is a senior lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies and Queer Studies at California State University Northridge, and in Film Studies at Univ. of CA Irvine.



Categories: In the News, Politics, Women's Voices

Tags: , ,

7 replies

  1. A fabulous, important post! Yes – we all need to really focus on the Georgia races in these next couple of weeks. I’ve been writing letters and postcards, particularly through a national organization with local chapters called Grandmothers for a Brighter Future (you don’t have to be a grandmother to help them out – I’m not a grandmother, though I’m old enough to be one. They focus on sending postcards to older women voters, though also others. The local group I wrote postcards with informally calls themselves among themselves Grandmeres Aux Barricades. These women aren’t fooling around.) Thanks for the post and all you do!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Carolyn, Love the concept of Grandmothers for a Brighter Future. I just joined their mailing list. I would love to write postcards for them. Is there still time? I couldn’t find a link for that part of their work. Do you know of any?

      BTW I am due to become a first-time grandma right around the time of the Georgia election. I hope that means it is an auspicious time.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hi Janet,

        Congratulations on becoming a grandmother soon! That’s exciting!

        My group finished writing postcards a week ago, but I don’t know what other groups might be doing. You’re right – there doesn’t seem to be a link to find local chapters on the webpage, but perhaps now that you’ve joined they’ll be in touch and you can ask them. If I get any more information about their work, I’ll let you know!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I donated to Stacey Abrams and other groups working to get out the vote.

    Hee hee I think it might be pecan pie time now in Georgia. Not exactly peach season is it, in winter?

    Great post.

    And a merry christmas!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. “the times they are a’changing” Amen! Amama ua noa (so may it be without limit)! Love your politics to poetry. Lyrical, haunting and beautiful. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, wonderful post and yes Georgia is on our mind… I pray we can shift the nightmare reality of people who have lost the ability to be human.

    Like

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