How Did Medium Fail to Curate My Georgia Election Stories?

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Georgia is on the minds of a lot of people these days. It comes as no surprise to me. It seems that the nation is taking notice of the raw political power in the Peach State.

This newfound interest in Georgia results from President-Elect Joe Biden’s stunning General Election victory in the state. Georgia had not voted for a Democrat since 1992 when Bill Clinton took Georgia over the incumbent President George Herbert Walker Bush (R). That would be 28 years ago.

Following the Georgia Primaries in June, I researched the polling data and concluded that Georgia could be in play with a little interest from the Democratic National Committee. Two reasons led me to this posit. First, in the Republican Primary in Georgia, Senator David Perdue received more votes from Republican loyalists than did President Donald Trump, albeit they both were running unopposed.

Nevertheless, I concluded that the white Republican base was a wee-bit soft on Donald Trump. With a little work, Joe Biden could exploit this weakness and pull off a victory.

Also, because of Senator Johnny Isakson’s (R) retirement, Georgia had the unique opportunity to elect two Democratic senators in the same year. If this has happened before, it has not happened often.

So, on September 3, 2020, I penned a story titled Why the DNC Should Target Georgia and submitted it to Medium. (See https://medium.com/@hmichaelharvey/why-the-dnc-should-target-georgia-db568f4fd236). I believed this to be a well-researched, balanced, and professionally written story.

The Medium curator said it didn’t pass the mustard test for broad circulation. I then submitted it to one of the publications that had published a recent story. The editor of this Medium publication wrote back to say they would pass on this story too.

The story of this year’s election cycle was passed over and not widely circulated by Medium. Who knew three months before the General Election that Georgia was in play and would create much political drama on election night that would extend into 2021?

Simply one solitary scribe diligently seeking to break the story of the year.

What could Harold Michael Harvey, with a political science degree from an HBCU (Tuskegee University), and a juris doctorate from a night law school (Atlanta Law School) possibly know about the most crucial election since the civil war?

At least this is what I imagined the curators mused. I have never been shy about my HBCU or night law school degrees. They both came after hard work and dedication to the discipline. Maybe if my undergraduate degree was from a predominately white institution and let us say Harvard Law, my views would be more widely respected on this platform.

I do know how to read the tea leaves, and anyone paying attention to the June Primary could see that the road to the White House would travel through Georgia this year. All but certain that few people would read this piece, I tagged Joe Biden.

Around September 17, 2020, “Majority Forward” announced they were putting $6 million into the senatorial campaigns of Warnock and Ossoff. A day later I follow up my medium piece with story about this interest: ( See https://medium.com/@hmichaelharvey/democrats-targets-georgia-senate-races-9070a8b49e5). Again, no curation, and this time I did not seek out a Medium publication editor to submit it. What’s the point of that, right.

By October 1, Warnock and Ossoff’s poll numbers began to surge, then Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris started their trek into Georgia. In 2016 Hillary Clinton came to Georgia during the primary, but she did not step into Georgia after winning the nomination. The Biden campaign focused on Georgia and did the work that allowed Georgia to turn Spelman College blue days after the election.

How did Medium miss the mark on the curation of my Georgia Election stories?

Let’s face it; there are voices on this platform that we do not hear that we should read. I do not know what the answer is; I am just a writer, so I keep writing, hoping that the curators and publication editors will “open the door and let me in…”

Harold Michael Harvey is the Living Now 2020 Bronze Medal winner for his memoir Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. He is a Past President of the Gate City Bar Association. He is the recipient of Gate City’s R. E. Thomas Civil Rights Award, which he received for his pro bono representation of Black college students arrested during Freaknik celebrations in the mid to late 1990s. Harvey is an engaging public speaker, contact him at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com.

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Harvey is Living Now Book Awards 2020 Bronze Medalist for his memoir Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. Available at haroldmichaelharvey.com

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