Why Abrams won’t rebuke the ‘support black women’ protest against her rival

Democrat Stacey Abrams speaks at Netroots Nation. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Stacey Abrams tried to squelch growing criticism Monday over her refusal to rebuke protesters who shouted “support black women” over her white rival’s speech at a national progressive conference held this weekend in Atlanta.

In a lengthy Facebook post, Abrams said she would “never engage in any form of campaigning designed to ostracize my opponents based on race” and that the protest at the Netroots Nation conference revolved around state Rep. Stacey Evans’ support of education policies that demonstrators opposed.

The Abrams supporters formed a line in front of Evans on Saturday almost as soon as she took the podium, with some wielding signs equating the Smyrna Democrat to pro-Trump figures while others waved “trust black women” placards. Evans’ speech, which intended to make the case how progressives can reach out to moderate white voters, was drowned out over the racially-charged chants. A minor scuffle erupted after Evans retreated from the stage between the demonstrators and another group of activists in front of the stage.

More: The Stacey Evans speech protesters wouldn’t let her deliver

After the event, several of the sign-wielding protesters declined to comment. One of the demonstrators said she protested because she wanted “a candidate that truly speaks to my community.” Others said on social media they rallied against Evans because she backed a failed GOP effort to give the state new powers over struggling schools.

More: In Atlanta, activists oppose Trump — but also other Democrats

Abrams, an Atlanta state legislator who is vying to be the nation’s first black female governor, has faced criticism over her refusal to pan what she called a “peaceful protest,” including calls from a Democratic lawmaker to do so or risk his support and a torrent of critical posts on her Facebook page. Peggy Stentz Casey wrote that Abrams has lost her vote.

“Every candidate deserves to be heard,” she wrote. “If you had been shouted off the stage by demonstrators, I think you would feel differently.”

More: Stacey Evans gets shouted down at Netroots conference

In the Facebook post, Abrams said the protesters were “wholly unaffiliated” with her campaign and that the chants have a “long history grounded in Atlanta’s black women activist legacy.”

“We share a common devotion to Democrats taking the Governor’s Mansion; and, as I fight to be the next person to lead our state, I will always make the mission of serving every single Georgia family central to that effort,” Abrams wrote. “I welcome the debate and the Democratic victory to come.”

More: An Abrams ‘strike team’ revs up crowd at Netroots progressive bash

Read Abrams’ full statement:

Reader Comments 1

109 comments
Steve Britt
Steve Britt

Stacey Abrams is a racist bigot. We need representation for all. Not some bigot.

Beverly Roseberry
Beverly Roseberry

shouting should not be allowed during anyone trying to speak

Roger Smith
Roger Smith

About 300 million Americans can't see that the media and politicians are playing them like a fiddle

Jennie Marks
Jennie Marks

Another pos tryn to get in iffi e...use your RIGHT TO VOTE GA

Gary Huckaby
Gary Huckaby

This is the idiot that wants to deface stone mountain.....sad excuse for political job

Eric Ryan Barnard
Eric Ryan Barnard

She's not a leader then...if you won't rebuke such bad behavior then you can't lead. If someone who supports Evans shouted "support white women" and Evans didn't immediately rebuke them guess what she'd be forced to drop out of the campaign. Or face real backlash from civil rights groups and major Democratic Party officials.

Leon Jackson
Leon Jackson

Now why would she do that? Why shouldn't Black women support Black women. You can shout whatever you want to shout that doesn't mean we will place our support there. We are not monolithic and it's offensive that you suggest that we are.

James Graham
James Graham

99% of the Black Vote went to Obama. Why would it be inappropriate for us to think otherwise?

Leon Jackson
Leon Jackson

James Graham , We had some lost souls that voted for Romney & McCain (joking) just like Ben Carson and other lost souls that voted for the bigot that's currently occupying the White House (not joking in that one). Actually, McCain did fairly well among Black voters. I voted for the last reasonable republican candidate, Bush 41. Republicans candidates have been nuts every since. 99% of Blacks did not vote for Obama. Where did you get that number from. It was a historical election (Obama), naturally he would garner the majority of the Black vote. Same with Stacey Abrams so what's your point?

Bo Boling
Bo Boling

Get back under you rock smut but!!!!

Therese McNally
Therese McNally

The moderator should have called on them to be quiet. Rude is rude.

Robert Tuerke
Robert Tuerke

Imagine if whites did the same to her? Holy crap they would be calling on Evans to rebuke the protesters in a second and would call her a racist. The double standard is totally ridiculous.

Sam_Hill
Sam_Hill

Disappointing.  If the Democrats cannot allow moderates to speak they're not much different than the Tea Party/Trump no-nothings.  


If Stacey Evans gets the nomination Ms. Abrams will not support her; if Stacey Abrams gets the nomination her ability to pivot to the middle will be severely undercut by this.


Looks like the GOP is a lock to keep the Governor's mansion.


John Tinsley
John Tinsley

Hope she gets the nomination because she will lose big-time!

Gina Barcourt
Gina Barcourt

Why would she? What do you want her to say "Don't Support Me" , "No, I don't want your support?" "Support My Rival Instead?" Racist will stretch to support their ignorance #smh

Cynthia Daley
Cynthia Daley

Stacy Abrams is smart with an Ivy League education. She cannot truly believe that Stone Mountain's relief sculpture should be defaced and removed. Moreover, I cannot believe she did not stand up for courtesy and open discourse.

Nate Green
Nate Green

i can believe it, her true identity has been revealed..

Brenda Malcom Walker
Brenda Malcom Walker

She is inciting and not a good leader. She should be trying to pull the country together not separating, she will not have my support.

Chevy Cowart
Chevy Cowart

Well she is apart of the problem. When it's only about race and not issues, answers, and opinions then you are adding to the problem no matter what side of the spectrum you are on.

CharlesThomas Duke
CharlesThomas Duke

It's evident to me that she can only think of herself,she thinks it's all about her,she's living with a false narrative.peoole like that usually fail in the end and then they see it's not about her

Erin E
Erin E

I was still undecided about which Stacey I would vote for in the primary but Abrams's reaction has sealed the deal for me. I'm Team Evans now. Abrams owes her (you know a memeber of her caucus and a colleague) an apology. She was just trying to give a speech and Abrams's supporters wouldn't let her do it. I'll vote for Abrams if she gets the nomination because we need the Medicaid expansion badly but I'm not exactly going to support her.

GarySCox1
GarySCox1

This demonstration was not spontaneous ... it was orchestrated. Abrams lost my support because she should rebuke the demonstrators as her competition has a right to be heard as well.

George McGuire
George McGuire

Which one of these yahoos want to destroy Stone Mountain.

Joy Lee Fears
Joy Lee Fears

It is called courtesy; something this generation knows nothing about. The woman had the right (freedom of speech) to give her speech - the audience should have had the courtesy and respect to listen. Then, make rebuttal. I really dislike like it when interviews and media personnel ask a question and then "talk over" when the person tries to answer. AND if the speaker had been black and the audience shouted over her speeches - all kinds of chaos, protests , marches. Oh, goodness College and university students would have needed safe spaces again! PLUS, this woman who did not take action just showed how RACIST she is! How does it feel to have the tables turned and be called racist? Racist! Racist! Racist!

Nolan Sims
Nolan Sims

what else would you expect from buckwheat

David W Moore
David W Moore

These Alt-Left politicians only know how to support lawlessness and anarchy. She's part of the new American Taliban!

Anthony Negri
Anthony Negri

Not surprised. Told y'all the battle of the two Stacys would boil down to race. It's just how liberal think

Steve Morris
Steve Morris

Democrats are untrustworthy and violent and stupid. Here is an excellent example

Michael Hopson
Michael Hopson

The louder shouter wins ....we know who this is and it's not a black person. Heard it before Abrams ...go away you bother me. Absolute fraud Trumps undercover brothers sister in democratic clothing.

Michael Hopson
Michael Hopson

Thomas Hughes you think it's funny ....you do remember agent x....right.

Daniel Eason
Daniel Eason

It's hard to believe that someone with the political experience Stacy Abrams has would make such a huge mistake, as this. My first thought was that she lost my support, but I'm going to hold off on that decision, for now.

Tim Pope
Tim Pope

The lady is entitled to her own strategy, but it doesn't look good for your supporters to shout down an opponent. To have a chance of actually WINNING the office, Ms. Abrams will have to have appeal beyond her party. This incident will cost her votes from some of the people who usually vote Republican. Many of them think (wrongly, I believe) that a white candidate starts off with a disadvantage. The picture of Ms. Evans trying to discuss her political positions over a shouting crowd will be seen on many TV commercials for the final GOP candidate. It might be best for Ms. Abrams ultimate election fate to come out against this type of unfairness.

Harry K. James
Harry K. James

She is done. Reverend Sharpton will not win anything

Stephen Alexander
Stephen Alexander

It was purely racist to say people should support her because she is black. She is racist for not rebuking them and giving some better reason to vote for her. Is skin tone the only reason to vote for this woman? Is that all she offers?

James Graham
James Graham

THAT'S ALL SHE NEEDS. Some unfortunately Vote JUST that way and then claim others are ignorant to information and Racists.

Michael Perdue
Michael Perdue

Reverse the situation and there would be national news of racism against Ms. Evans. Clearly a double standard and a contributing factor to the state of race relations in our great country.

Howard Smith
Howard Smith

This has definitely impacted my support of her. This attitude is one of the reasons Clinton lost. She alienated many of Sanders' supporters and many of Sanders supporters refused to support her nomination. We must stand together as progressives/liberals if we are going to win. Her supporters were rude and it may cost the Democrats, and one Stacey or the other, the chance to take back the Governor's mansion. By all means support the Democrat candidate of your choice but don't negatively impact others. Have your favorite "player" but support the team.

Cecelia Landress
Cecelia Landress

Need Quality citizens who care about all people in office.

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  1. […] until she abandoned the stage. Pressed to rebuke the demonstration, Abrams said she would not “condemn peaceful protest” she said aimed to give voice to marginalized black […]

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