Days after the MLB moved it’s All-Star game from Atlanta, Stacy Abrams is urging caution. In a Sunday op-ed, the voting-rights champion who helped flip Georgia blue in 2020 criticized Georgia’s restrictive voting laws again. Yet, she shied away from suggesting a formal statewide boycott.
While Ms. Abrams noted the effectiveness of a boycott to change policy and eventually laws, she reminded readers that boycotts take time and sustained energy. Although Georgians face a barrage of voter restrictions since the 2020 election, public pressure rather than a formal boycott has brought around support from several major Atlanta corporations.
Delta airlines, whose CEO initially kept silent while Georgia’s voter rights were systematically attacked, recently issued a statement lambasting the new laws. Ed Bastian, who spoke out against claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election, has already earned the ire of Georgia Republicans, who are now threatening a new tax on jet fuel.
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“The entire rationale for these bills was based on a lie: that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 elections,” wrote Mr. Bastian in a statement condemning Georgia politicians. “This is simply not true. Unfortunately, that excuse is being used in states across the nation that are attempting to pass similar legislation to restrict voting rights.”
In a follow-up interview on Sunday, Mr. Bastian doubled down on his support, despite the threat of airline levies from local Georgia lawmakers in the state Assembly. “This is something that’s more than money. This is about protecting the voices of our people.”
Other local industry supporters, including Coca-Cola, have also taken the opportunity to speak out for Georgians. Coke CEO James Quincey issued the following statement last week: “We all have a duty to protect everyone’s right to vote, and we will continue to stand up for what is right in Georgia and across the U.S.”
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Georgia lawmakers responded in an open letter insisting on the removal of Coca-Cola products from all state governmental buildings, while simultaneously decrying “cancel culture.”
Stacy Abrams reminded supporters that these publicity campaigns have worked to bring attention to Georgia’s new Jim Crow laws. Additionally, she requested help from industries already located in Georgia. She asked them to support and employ people of Color across the state as Georgians brace to fight for the long-haul.
“I ask you to bring your business to Georgia and, if you’re already here, stay and fight. Stay and vote.”
Meanwhile, Ms. Abrams also left the door open for more direct action in the future. “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.”