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Why Did Georgia Arrest The Black Woman Lawmaker And Not The White Male One?

Rep. Dryer, white and male, has harsh words for Georgia State Capitol Police for their obvious racism in choosing who gets arrested at protests. Why just arrest State Senator Nikema Williams? Is being a black woman grounds for arrest in Georgia? Ya think?

I don't know if you're aware, but there was an election last week.

If you're only vaguely aware of the election, you might not know some of the races were close, and as of today, have not yet even been decided. In Florida, the races have advanced to a manual recount. In Georgia, ballots are still being counted, despite the Republican candidate's insistence they should NOT all be counted. ("Come on, guys, can't we just forget about evidence of widespread electoral shenanigans and suppression?")

If you know all that, golf clap. Perhaps, then, you also know that some of the races (not just in the South) have been tinged with a dainty soupçon (sarcasm) of racism. Witness Steve King in Iowa, referring to immigrants as "dirt," Cindy Hyde-Smith declaring enthusiasm for public hangings, Ron DeSantis' affinity for "monkey" analogies, and the list goes on.

If you know all of that, a respectful standing ovation for you. Now, in Georgia, a large number of citizens have descended upon the Capitol building to insist all of the votes be counted before the race is called. This seems like something people in a 230+-year-old democratic republic should not have to fight so hard for, but this is the United States, and it's still run primarily by white folks, so... we have yesterday's story of the Capitol police in Atlanta deciding to arrest some of the citizens of Georgia while exercising their right to free speech and assembly.

One of those arrested was a State Senator, Nikema Williams. The statute under which she was arrested was for disturbing the peace, though she was simply standing silently with her constituents in an attempt to bear witness and de-escalate the situation — in her place of work, mind you. For her trouble, she spent five hours in a cold paddywagon, and emerged with an arrest record in which she was charged with obstruction.

Fellow State lawmaker, Rep. David Dreyer, noticed that while he was also at the protest with Sen. Williams, for the same reason, doing the same thing, he was treated slightly differently by the Capitol police. You know, in that he WAS NOT ARRESTED. He stood outside the Fulton County Jail to protest the treatment of Senator Nikema Williams, and sarcastically wondered what could have possibly caused the difference in their treatment. Hmmmmm...cue Seinfeld reference...look to the cookie...


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Rep. Dryer not only called out the police for arresting a Black lawmaker while leaving him, a white lawmaker, alone. He spouted off statistics about incarceration rates for Black citizens in this country, and lay blame for that where it belonged: on our racist forms of government and ways of enforcing the laws. He called on the police and all of us to do better. I'm won't glorify white people for doing the bare minimum, or what we should have been doing all along. I will, however, give credit and thanks to the ones who are showing solidarity and willingness to speak truth out loud; truth that the vast majority of white people still cannot even speak silently to themselves.

So, Rep. David Dreyer gets his own standing ovation. Senator Nikema Williams doesn't just get a standing ovation, though - she gets a full-on Kermit the Frog flail.

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