In Alabama on Tuesday night, Roy Moore and Doug Jones competed for a Senate seat, and the race was a tight one. Throughout the day, and in the evening as the votes were tallied, politicians, celebrities, and public personas spoke in support or opposition to the candidates. Among them were popular authors, including Stephen King and J.K. Rowling.
Late in the evening, the count was still close when the Associated Press called the race in favor of Doug Jones. Roy Moore, however, was not quick to concede. With the margin between votes so close — Roy Moore was losing by only about 1.5 percent of the total vote count — Moore indicated that the as-yet uncounted military ballots might make enough difference to spur an automatic recount. This would occur if the margin between the candidates was 0.5 percent or less.
So saying, Moore told his supporters that the election wasn’t over yet and that the results were still in God’s hands.
It was in response to this that J.K. Rowling weighed in, declaring that Roy Moore was right about God being in charge, but that he had missed a crucial fact about God: that she is a black woman.
Among Roy Moore’s more controversial past statements was, as the New York Post documents, an assertion that America would be better off if all amendments to the U.S. Constitution after the tenth were removed. These include, of course, the abolition of slavery (the 13th amendment), and eliminating sex and race as permissible reasons to deny voting rights (15th and 19th amendments).
Narrator's voice: Roy was right. God was in control. What he didn't realise was, She's black. https://t.co/pCpVifXgbq— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 13, 2017
In fact, USA Today credits black women for bringing Doug Jones to a victory over Roy Moore, with exit polls showing that 98 percent of black women, and 96 percent of all black voters, voting to reject Moore.
Donald Trump weighed in on the results Wednesday morning. Unlike Roy Moore, he appeared to accept Moore’s loss as a final answer. He congratulated Jones on the win and himself on his prior endorsement of Luther Strange over Roy Moore in the primary.
Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2017
The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election. I was right! Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2017
Though J.K. Rowling may have been the only one to characterize Roy Moore’s loss as connecting to the race and sex of God, she was far from the only one to focus on the race and sex of voters. Political analyst and author George Ciccariello-Maher spoke up to remind the public of the effect of the white vote, and Patricia Arquette specifically spoke to white women’s support of Moore.
Don't forget: white people elected Roy Moore by a landslide— George Ciccariello (@ciccmaher) December 13, 2017
65 percent of White women voted for Roy Moore.— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) December 13, 2017
Along with the wave of crediting black women for Roy Moore’s defeat came another viral sentiment: a call to support black women as candidates and in their communities.
#BlackWomen helped elect a Democrat to the US Senate in AL for the first time in more than 20 years. But we need to do more than congratulate them. Let’s address issues that disproportionately affect Black women—like pay disparity, housing & under-representation in elected office— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) December 13, 2017
For non-Black folks praising Black women in tonight's election - do more. Support Black women. Stand up for Black women. Hire Black women. Vote for Black women.— ReBecca Theodore-Vachon (@FilmFatale_NYC) December 13, 2017
The @DNC can, however, listen to Black women. Help us gather the resources to run. Support the candidates who embody values that benefit us and our families. Stop neglecting your base.— Evette Dionne ???? (@freeblackgirl) December 13, 2017
Doug Jones’ narrow win over Roy Moore results in a U.S. Senate almost equally divided, with 49 Democrats and 51 Republicans.