Stacey Abrams is a political force to be reckoned with. In 2018, she ran for governor of Georgia and lost. When the signs of her loss led to voter suppression, she used her position and power to fight against it. It has been widely acknowledged that without her work, President Biden wouldn’t have won Georgia. She also worked tirelessly to deliver two crucial Senate seats in a special election earlier this year. And she’s the author of several books, including romance novels and a new political thriller. For her, the sky’s the limit. But when it comes to politics, there is something she definitely wants: to run for President.
“Do I hold it as an ambition? Absolutely,” she said in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning. “And even more importantly, when someone asks me if that’s my ambition, I have a responsibility to say yes, for every young woman, every person of color, every young person of color, who sees me and decides what they’re capable of based on what I think I am capable of.”
We talk all the time about how much representation matters. You may wish to do something, but if you don’t see anyone doing the same, you simply don’t think it’s possible. I didn’t grow up with a lot of visible Black women. Especially not in politics. It was never an ambition for me personally, but who knows? Maybe if there were more Black women in those positions, I would have felt differently back then. Seeing someone like Stacey Abrams, and knowing that she is working to make things better for all Black people may have had a profound impact on me. I mean, it does now, and I still have zero interest in politics.
There is still a profound lack of Black people in politics, especially in high ranking positions. To this day, there has never been a Black female governor in the United States. Currently, there are nine Black female mayors in major cities, including St. Louis, Boston and Atlanta. And while there are Black female congresswomen, there are zero senators now that Kamala Harris is vice president. Because of the limited amount of visibility, there probably is still hesitancy among Black women to run for political office. Especially those who live in places where white men still dominate politics. These are the people who need to see Black women like Stacey Abrams putting themselves out there politically, even if they don’t win.
The next generation needs to know that they can and will make a difference in this country. There will be obstacles in their way, be it their gender, sexuality, or race. But that doesn’t mean they should just sit back and be complacent. Sitting on the sidelines isn’t how anything gets done. Stacey Abrams has shown us that time and time again in the last three years. When some people may have said “fuck it,” and given up, she pushed harder. Younger people, especially young Black women, should be looking at her as someone who hasn’t let the systems that be tell her how she was going to proceed in life. And not only that, but she constantly shows that the biggest “f you” is to keep shining. If she can, they certainly can.
“It’s about you cannot have those things you refuse to dream of,” she added.
Some people would think that Stacey Abrams is a fool for even thinking about running for president. I mean honestly. Do we think we’re living in a country where it’s possible? Some people would say yes, but I’m not one of those people. No matter what people want to believe, the United States is an inherently racist country. I genuinely don’t know if we’ll be ready to elect a Black woman to the presidency in the next 20, 30 years. It’s a sad reality, but look at what we’re working with. Think about the things Stacey Abrams is still fighting against. Too many people still don’t even want Black folks to have the right to vote. They’re certainly not going to vote for the same Black woman who tried to stop voter suppression.
Here’s the thing though. Stacey Abrams can’t be bothered to worry about what other people have to say about her ambitions. She has to keep her eyes on her prize. Whether or not that turns out to be the White House is up to her. But only she gets to make the decision about what her life’s ambition is. And even if she decides to do something different, she shouldn’t let the obstacles in her way stop her from believing that she’s capable of running for president.
Ambition, and her willingness to be open about her own, is the thing that makes Stacey Abrams so dynamic. She makes it clear that she knows what she wants, and she’s going to do everything in her power to try. Because that’s the thing about ambition — it’s not always about succeeding, it’s about trying. And more than that, it’s about holding the belief that you’re capable, just as she’s said. She knows that she could handle the highest political office in the country. And because she has no doubt in her abilities, she has no problem admitting that she would like to see them through. What’s so wrong with that? Absolutely nothing.
Last year, before Joe Biden announced that his running mate would be Kamala Harris, a lot of people were throwing Stacey Abrams’s name in the ring. Even though she’s never held a high political office, everyone remembers her run for governor and the subsequent work she did to combat voter suppression. Many people believe she was robbed of the governorship (she was) and thought that vice president would be a perfect fit for her. The best part? She agreed.
“I would be an excellent running mate. I have the capacity to attract voters by motivating typically ignored communities. I have a strong history of executive and management experience in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. I’ve spent 25 years in independent study of foreign policy. I am ready to help advance an agenda of restoring America’s place in the world. If I am selected, I am prepared and excited to serve,” she told Elle magazine.
There are people out there who would see her words as off-putting because she’s so frank. But what the hell? She should be so honest about her capabilities. Why should she say anything else? This is a woman who is well aware of what she brings to the table. Far too often, women, Black women more specifically, are told they’re not allowed to be ambitious. And to that, I have to say, why the fuck not? Why shouldn’t a Black woman be honest about her ability to hold a powerful position? She’s the one doing the work, and she shouldn’t have to be quiet or demure about it. Stacey Abrams has earned the right to say — unapologetically — that she is not only ready for the position, but that she’s capable. If other people could see it in her, why shouldn’t she see it in herself?
It’s reductive to call Stacey Abrams inspiring. She’s more than just an inspiration or a role model. This is a woman who makes it clear that nothing is impossible to her. But more than that, she is well aware of what she’s bringing to the table. When she does run for president, I will cast my vote with unabashed joy.