In the first of two events on Thursday, Oprah Winfrey gave an electrifying speech in Marietta in support of Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
“I’m here today because of the men and because of the women who were lynched, who were humiliated, who were discriminated against, who were suppressed, who were repressed and oppressed, for the right for the equality at the polls,” Winfrey said. “And I want you to know that their blood has seeped into my DNA, and I refuse to let their sacrifices be in vain. I refuse.”
The crowd erupted in cheers and applause.
“Don’t let nobody turn you around,” she added.
Ahead of the midterm election next Tuesday, the billionaire media mogul said she called up Abrams three days ago telling her she wanted to come to Georgia to support her campaign.
“I said, ‘Stacey, this is Oprah,'” Winfrey explained.
“Do you know what she said” she asked the audience.
“She said, ‘Girl, let me pull over to the side of the road.'”
Winfrey said she told Abrams that she’d been watching how she handles herself when faced with opposition.
“I’ve been watching you in the midst of the onslaught of haters and vitriol that’s thrown against you,” Winfrey told her.
“You keep standing strong for the values that matter to me, and the values that matter to Georgians, all over this state.”
If elected, Abrams would make history as the first Black female governor in the country. Winfrey named issues that she said matter to Abrams, including Medicaid expansion, keeping families together, environmental protection, affordable housing, criminal justice reform and common-sense gun control.
She also said that Abrams would “serve the underserved of the state of Georgia.”
Winfrey then starting talking about being woke.
“Here’s the truth: all of us may have been created equal, but if you’re woke, if you’re woke just a little bit, you’ve got sense enough to know that everyone is not treated equally,” she said.
“The reality is this: we see injustices big and small all around us every single day of our lives. And, I know it’s easy for a lot of people to feel that you have no power against those injustices.”
Winfrey then referred to the voter suppression that is said to be happening in Georgia.
She said that voting “If done in numbers too big to tamper with, cannot be suppressed and cannot be denied. As our civil rights predecessors used to say, ‘we shall not be moved.'”
Abrams’ Republican opponent, Brian Kemp, is also Georgia’s secretary of state, a role in which he oversees state elections. Last month, a coalition of state civil rights groups sued Kemp, accusing him of voter suppression to improve his chances of winning.
Kemp was accused of putting more than 53,000 voter registration applications on hold to boost his campaign. According to an Associated Press report, the voter registrations are predominantly from Black people.
Winfrey also said she has no political aspirations, is a registered independent voter, and pointed out the significance of honoring one’s ancestors by getting to the polls.
“For anybody here who has an ancestor who didn’t have the right to vote, and you are choosing not to vote — wherever you are in this state, in this country — you are dishonoring your family,” Winfrey said. “You are disrespecting and disregarding their legacy, their suffering and their dreams, when you don’t vote.”
Oprah campaigns for Stacey Abrams in tight Georgia governor’s race