Eugene Scott :''Unqualified' tag is all to do with Abrams being a black woman'

Stacey Abrams is hoping to make history as America’s first black female governor. But to hear US President Donald Trump tell it, the Georgia Democrat is unqualified.

Trump has not said exactly why he thinks Abrams is unqualified, but he has communicated why he thinks Ron DeSantis, a former Republican congressman running for governor in neighbouring Florida, is.

Trump sent out a tweet in support of DeSantis, citing his Yale undergraduate education and five-and-a-half years in the House of Representatives. Last Thursday, he opined on Abrams, telling reporters: “She is not qualified to be the governor of Georgia, not qualified.

“Take a look at her past, take a look at her history, take a look at what she wants to do and what she has in mind for the state. That state will be in big, big trouble very quickly, and the people of Georgia don’t want that.”

Let’s take a look at Abrams’s past and compare it with that of DeSantis, who Trump thinks would be “a great governor”. Abrams has a doctorate from Yale Law School, America’s top law school, according to US News & World Report. It’s also the same law school as Mr Trump’s most recent Supreme Court pick, Justice Brett Kavanaugh. She also has a master’s degree in public policy and has a longer political career than DeSantis, even serving as minority leader in Georgia’s House of Representatives.

DeSantis held no leadership positions while in Congress. And Brian Kemp, Abrams’s Republican opponent in the governor’s race, also held no leadership positions while serving the state Senate. (Kemp has been accused of using his position as Georgia’s secretary of state to suppress the vote of more than 50,000 residents.)

In fact, Abrams has more elite education and political experience than Trump himself. So how could she be “unqualified” for the job for which some say she’s been preparing since the days when Trump was a Democrat?

Judging by his comments and the policies he proposes, many Americans consider Trump to be racist and sexist. Given Abrams’s identity as a black woman, some conclude that this makes her “unqualified” to be the most powerful politico in Georgia, a state that Trump won in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump has a history of dismissing black women and the concerns and experiences that they bring to the table. Abrams supporter Representative Maxine Waters – who Trump frequently calls “a low IQ” individual – is one of his most frequent targets of derision.

And Oprah Winfrey, who campaigned for Abrams this week, has found herself on the receiving end of Trump attacks, after conversations about her running against Trump in 2020.

In the 2016 exit polls, 76pc of black women said they were “scared” of a Trump win.

And in a Gallup poll the summer before the election, 72pc of black women said they “strongly agreed” that they were afraid of what would happen if their preferred candidate did not win the election.

This is perhaps why black women are one of the groups that voted against Trump at the highest rate in 2016 – and are expected to continue to show lack of support for the Republicans in the midterms. (© The Washington Post)

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