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USA Today appears to have retroactively edited an op-ed written by Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams, under fire for calling for boycotts after the new state voter ID laws.
Just days before the MLB moved its All-Star Game out of Atlanta, the failed gubernatorial candidate from Georgia called the bill “racist” on March 31.
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GOP strategist Matt Whitlock was the first to notice Politifact and other media outlets falsely claimed Abrams was strongly opposed to the boycotts, but those lines were added after the MLB move.
“Twitter gave it an entire trending blurb, CITING the op-Ed she had edited after the MLB move to cement the narrative that the MLB move wasn’t her fault. That’s some Orwellian stuff,” Whitlock pointed out Saturday.
“The impassioned response to the racist, classist bill that is now the law of Georgia is to boycott in order to achieve change,” Abrams wrote in the original piece. “Events hosted by major league baseball, world class soccer, college sports and dozens of Hollywood films hang in the balance. At the same time, activists urge Georgians to swear off of hometown products to express our outrage. Until we hear clear, unequivocal statements that show Georgia-based companies get what’s at stake, I can’t argue with an individual’s choice to opt for their competition.”
Abrams continued, “However, one lesson of boycotts is that the pain of deprivation must be shared to be sustainable. Otherwise, those least resilient bear the brunt of these actions; and in the aftermath, they struggle to access the victory. And boycotts are complicated affairs that require a long-term commitment to action. I have no doubt that voters of color, particularly Black voters, are willing to endure the hardships of boycotts. But I don’t think that’s necessary — yet… I ask you to bring your business to Georgia and, if you’re already here, stay and fight. Stay and vote.”
The article was “updated” April 6 after Abrams came under a firestorm of controversy. Fox News says “Abrams’ commentary went through quite the transformation,” including several caveats about how boycotts cost the state money and jobs and claiming Republicans are blaming her instead of focusing on voting rights.
Her revised op-ed adds, “Instead of a boycott, I strongly urge other events and productions to do business in Georgia and speak out against our law and similar proposals in other states.”