Former Georgia election worker Shaye Freeman Moss and her mother, volunteer Ruby Freeman aka Lady Ruby, delivered emotional testimonies on Tuesday to the Jan. 6 committee about how former President Donald Trump destroyed their lives by using them as scapegoats in his bogus story about election fraud.
Moss was visibly shaken as she recalled the moment her life was “turned upside down” by Trump, who publicly accused the two Black women of rigging ballots on the night of the 2020 presidential election.
Trump embarked on a smear campaign after he lost and saw a video featuring Moss and her mother passing around what ended up being a USB drive while counting ballots in Fulton County, Georgia. Disgraced former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who also served as Trump’s attorney, touted the footage as indisputable evidence of voter fraud, and MAGA world started harassing the hell out of them.
Moss, who was on the verge of tears as she testified, told the Jan. 6 committee that she’s been barely coping. “It’s turned my life upside down. I no longer give out my business card. I don’t transfer calls. I don’t want anyone knowing my name,” she said. “I don’t go anywhere with my mom. I don’t go to the grocery store at all. I haven’t been anywhere at all. I’ve gained about 60 pounds.”
Things have gotten so bad, Moss said, that she “don’t do nothing anymore. I don’t want to go anywhere. I second guess everything I do. It’s affected my life in a major way. In every way. All because of lies.”
Lady Ruby, Moss’ mother who volunteered on election night, shared a similarly heartbreaking experience. “Do you know how it feels to have the President of the United States target you?” she asked, in one of the more emotional moments of the hearing. “The president of the United States is supposed to represent every American, not to target one.”
Despite State and Federal regulators reviewing the controversial video and finding no wrongdoing, both Moss and her mother have paid a pretty high price for simply trying to be good citizens and participate in democracy. What’s even worse is that these two Black women already live in a country that threatens their lives and livelihoods all the time, without even the horror of being publicly berated by an outgoing president trying to protect his power and ego.
The sheer bravery it took for Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman to step out of hiding—as they essentially said they’ve been doing—to speak truth to power on a national stage and defend themselves is pretty remarkable. These women are the real American heroes.