Monday Morning Quotes

Monday Morning Quotes
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Since 1998 I've been sending out these reflections first thing each week--one or more quotes plus my thoughts about the intersections and contradictions. They're archived here back to 2002, and a new one is posted every Monday morning. Dialogue is still welcome . . .

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Quote #850 - #NoConcession

19 Nov, 2018

ACCEPTANCE BUT NO CONCESSION



"Let's be clear. This is not a speech of concession, because concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true, or proper. As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede that. But my assessment is the law currently allows no further viable remedy. Now, I can certainly bring a new case to keep this one contest alive, but I don't want to hold public office if I need to scheme my way into the post. Because the title of governor isn't nearly as important as our shared title--voters. And that is why we fight on ... The antidote to injustice is progress."
Stacey Abrams
in her Non-Concession Concession Speech 11/16/18


"Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it."
Howard Zinn


Stacey Abrams is my hero today.

This Thanksgiving, Stacey Abrams is the powerhouse that I am most deeply thankful for.

Her conclusion: accept the results, because there is no other legal, honorable recourse for this particular race, but vow to continue the struggle against the process that has been abused by those in power to disenfranchise the powerless.

Thank you, S.A. I needed that, we all needed that, even though before she said it I could not have conceptualized a politician doing what she did. That is leadership. That is vision. That is progress.

If Gore had done this after the Supreme Court's distorted finding for Bush (only affecting this one election, not a precedent, as they said, because, of course, it would have been a ridiculous and unjustifiable precedent) or Clinton had done this after the shameful 2016 election, we might be in a very different place right now. I am not talking about revolution, I am talking about concerted, determined collective action called for on the national stage by the chosen voice of the majority.

I've said this before: they thought they were saving democracy by graciously conceding. But what they were doing was allowing ruthless, mercenary, abusive power-seekers to keep their power with minimal accountability. And then those mercenaries and all their cronies still accuse them of the very things that they did not do if it serves their agenda to say they did. (Yes, the right is calling Abrams unconscionable, but although Gore was never accused of that--can you say white male?--Clinton was accused of all kinds of subterfuge after she slinked away just like Gore. And let us add she was already turned into the devil incarnate to run against by the very people who spoke glowingly of her as a colleague when she was in office--yes, the Benghazi hearings didn't start until she was no longer secretary of state, and was carefully cultivated just to bring down her presidential bid.)

The difference in 2016 is that we, the people, didn't slink away. But we deserve leaders who do the same, who stand up and call out the abuse of power. I hope more of them take the lead from Stacey Abrams.

With an autocratic, narcissistic president who broke numerous local, national, and international laws to take office, we have no other choice. We have made huge progress this mid-term election (or 'midtown' election, as our ignorant repulsive president called it), but it is not nearly enough, particularly in the deep south.

We can still be nice guys.
We just have to be nice guys not taking any shit,
calling out all injustice,
fighting as hard as we can for justice.
Let them call us whatever they want--they don't believe a word they say--
it's all just tactics anyway.

This is not a speech of concession.
We cannot concede.


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