Following Georgia’s approval of new voter restrictions on Thursday, various voices are considering boycotting state-owned companies.
The Republican-led legislation, which imposes an identification requirement for voters by mail, has been criticized by President Joe Biden as “a blatant attack on the Constitution and good conscience.”
One of the loudest voices is that of Bishop Reginald Jackson of the Sixth Episcopal District of the AME Church, who told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he is calling for a boycott of Coca-Cola products until the company declares strong opposition. to the new law.
“We will talk to our wallets,” he said. “Last summer, Coca-Cola and other corporations said they needed to speak out against racism. But they have been very quiet about this.”
The Atlanta-based company said in a statement that it has been in favor of greater accessibility for voters.
“Throughout the legislative session, we have been active with the Metro Atlanta House to voice our concerns and advocate for a positive change in election law,” he said. “We, along with our business coalition partners, seek improvements that improve accessibility, maximize voter participation, maintain electoral integrity and serve all Georgians.”
Others point to the state’s burgeoning movie industry. Director James Mangold (“Girl, Interrupted”, “Logan”) tweeted Friday, “I will not direct a movie in Georgia.”
LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, has started a campaign to pressure Georgia-based companies to oppose voter restrictions.
When asked by MSNBC host Joy Reid on Friday if a boycott was in order, Brown said, “I think all things should be considered on the table.”
Voting rights platform Democracy Docket said in a statement Friday that Aflac, Delta Air Lines, Home Depot and UPS are among the companies that are being pressured to speak out against the law.
Aflac said in a statement last week that it would “only support solutions that make voting easy and accessible to all eligible voters while maintaining the security and transparency of the voting process.”
Delta said Friday that it “believes that full and equal access to the vote is a fundamental right for all citizens.”
Home Depot and UPS did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
On Friday, Biden called the restrictions, which make it illegal to provide food or water to people waiting in line to vote, the “outrageous” return of racist Jim Crow laws.
Not everyone thinks a boycott is the answer. Bernice King, executive director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, said such action could harm some of the voters it seeks to help.
“Please stop talking about #BoycottGeorgia,” he said. tweeted Thursday. “That would hurt middle-class workers and people who struggle against poverty. And it would increase the damage of both racism and classism.”
In 2019, several film production companies boycotted the state for its ban on abortions in cases where a fetal heartbeat could be detected.