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Voting Gangnam Style: The New Kim Crow in Georgia

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From Greg Palast Website

Georgian voter leaving a voting booth
Georgian voter leaving a voting booth
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For eight years now, I've investigated how Georgia's Secretaries of State have amp'd up the old Jim Crow tactics against Asian-Americans. Call it, the New Kim Crow.

This attack on Georgia's rising Asian-American voting power is part of a vilification of immigrants as "other" -- and cannot be disregarded in creating the poisonous tropes which triggered a sick killer this month to target that community.

Asian-Americans, the fastest growing community in Georgia, gave Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff their US Senate victories. That display of political power was long feared by Georgia's GOP pols who had made Asian-Americans the prime target of vicious vote suppression attacks, from erasing hundreds of voters named "Kim" (sneaky Asian double voters according to the Georgia GOP) to threatening elderly Korean-American registrars with felony charges.

Before the 2016 presidential race, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, armed and ready for combat, raided an office in northern Atlanta. They seized computer files and prepared for mass arrests.

Georgia is filled with violent white supremacist groups. I stood with a passel of them called The Proud Boys at a Macon rally for Brian Kemp hosted by Donald Trump. (I was disguised because I'm not insane.) The Proud Boys, co-sponsors of the Charlottesville mayhem, were founded by Gavin McInnis (tag line: "Hitler was right. Gas the Jews.").

But the Georgia G-men didn't do a damn thing about the Proud Boys. The raid was against a group called "10,000 Koreans Vote."

Their crime was asking a question: What happened to our voter registrations?

[Watch the original report for Democracy Now.]

A few facts about Americans of the Asian persuasion: Historically, Asian-Americans were the least voting racial group in America. Until recently, only one in three Asian-Americans voted.

And when they did vote, until 2000, they voted Republican, big time: a huge majority voted for George Bush Sr. over Bill Clinton in 1992. Then, something happened. Beginning with Bush Jr.'s election and accelerating through 2020, Asian-Americans began voting as if they'd turned Black: In 2012, 73% of Asian-Americans voted for Barack Obama.

Need proof of the change? Check out Voting Gangnam Style on Vimeo. At the end of the video, one Korean student turns into John Lewis. Excellent joke.

But the GOP isn't laughing. They knew that if these citizens were allowed to register and vote at the level of Caucasian-Americans, Stacey Abrams would be Governor of Georgia, and Donald Trump would still be a reality show host.

Why did Asian-Americans switch parties?

Maybe it was the "War on Terror," which looked an awful lot like a war on Muslims. And then there's the Republican war on immigrants, which is new: Ronald Reagan issued the first "amnesty" to undocumented migrants.

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Greg Palastà ‚¬ „ s investigative reports appear in Rolling Stone, the Guardian and on BBC Television. His latest film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, on how Donald Trump stole the 2016 election, is available on Amazon. Palast is Patron of the (more...)
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