Abrams drew much of her strength from the metro areas near Atlanta and Augusta, according to The New York Times.
During her speech on Wednesday, Abrams suggested she lost the battle but won the war.
“I do recognize I am not the governor of Georgia,” she said. “But I do like to point out something that is true for me and for many in our state: and that is we won.”
“We won by transforming an electorate we were told was static.”
Abrams suggested that if candidates do not focus on the needs of minority voters, “they have no reason to engage and no reason to show up.”
“By centering communities in Georgia, we not only increased voter participation, we brought new folks to the process,” she said, according to the Washington Examiner.
Not everyone on Twitter was impressed.
“Identity politics is why we win” says losing candidate currently looking for a job. https://t.co/tx3FW2LmZP
— Lucas Lynch (@lucasjlynch) May 23, 2019
“We have to recognize that the internal threat we face is a fear of who we are,” Abrams said.
“The internal threat that we face can only be fought back by making sure we have candidates running for office who see everyone, who understand all of us, and who are willing to do the work standing at podiums but also standing in the streets and pushing people to vote,” she said.
Abrams said the use of identity politics, despite ridicule by its opponents, is essential in a diverse electorate.
“When we refuse to engage in the conversation of identity politics, when we refuse to acknowledge that we see you and we understand you and we understand the barriers that you face, then what we are met with is a lack of trust,” she said.
Critics don’t get it, she said.
“The notion of identity politics has been peddled for the last 10 years, and it’s been used as a dog whistle to say that we shouldn’t pay too much attention to the new voices coming into progress,” Abrams said.
Abrams said she is concerned that as Democrats look to 2020, not all of them share her view on identity politics.
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) May 24, 2019
“When I hear Democratic candidates, progressive candidates, American candidates decrying the identities of their voters, I am deeply worried for our democracy,” she said.
One of those downplaying identity politics is Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and a candidate for the White House in 2020.
Earlier this month, Buttigieg said “so-called identity politics” helped stoke a “crisis of belonging” in the country and has “divided and carved up” the diverse electorate, The Hill reported.
Buttigieg said “divisive lines of thinking” are part of Democratic Party dogma, making it appear that candidates must “choose between supporting an auto worker and supporting a trans woman of color, without stopping to think about the fact that sometimes the auto worker is a trans woman of color.”
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