Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Abby Zimet: Mother On A Mission — What Else Could You Do To Hurt Me?

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Campaigning. Photo by Jessica McGowan/AP

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Among the stories still trickling in of improbable mid-term victories – including news that recounts are now underway in the Florida races of both Nelson and Gillum, even as Rick Scott freaks out, and Abrams in Georgia may yet be possible – consider Lucy McBath. The African-American two-time breast cancer survivor, retired flight attendant, fiery gun control advocate and mother of Jordan Davis, shot and killed in 2012 for being a black kid listening to music, has just been declared the winner in Georgia’s 6th District Congressional race – a suburban seat safely held for 40 years by Republicans, including Newt Gingrich and Tom Price. With her opponent GOP Rep. Karen Handel conceding Thursday, McBath will become the first person of color to represent the 6th District.

Jordan Davis – named by his deeply religious mother for a Biblical crossing of the Jordan River – was 17 and parked at a Jacksonville gas station with friends when he was murdered by a white man citing Florida’s “stand your ground” laws. After Jordan, then Newtown and Parkland, activism became McBath’s life. She joined Moms Demand Action and Mothers of the Movement along with the moms of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown; she spoke at the Dems convention in 2016 to endorse Hillary; she supported Obamacare and expanding Medicaid; she sought unlikely alliances with pro-life activists, urging them to “do what you know in your heart is right.” Still, in stump speeches, she insists she’s “always going to be Jordan’s mom.” Now she will carry on her work and his name in D.C. “We’ve sent a strong message to the entire country,” she wrote. “Absolutely nothing – no politician & no special interest – is more powerful than a mother on a mission.”

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Consider Lucy McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, shot and killed in 2012 for being a black kid listening to music, who just won her race in Georgia’s suburban 6th Congressional District – a seat held for 40 years by Republicans, including Newt Gingrich and Tom Price. So yeah, there may be hope.
First published in Common Dreams.

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