As politics have new permeated every aspect of American life, there are now powerful portions of the national economic picture weighing in on all manner of governmental machinations. This week was no exception.
At the heart of the matter today was a controversial new law in the State of Georgia that will have a rather large impact on the way that citizens of the Peach State cast their ballots. Several local corporations have already spoken out on the subject, with the latest from the CEO of Delta Airlines being one of the most ferocious takes yet.
New voting ID requirements, dropbox restrictions, and early voting access signed into law by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp last Thursday continue to draw controversy. The same day, President Joe Biden called the measures “un-American” and “sick,” making “Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle.”
Civil rights groups have filed lawsuits against the state of Georgia, saying it was an example of “blatant racism, represents politics at its very worst and is clearly illegal.” On Wednesday, 72 black executives signed an open letter calling for American corporations to join the resistance. On Wednesday, Delta CEO Ed Bastian did just that.
Bastian didn’t pull any punches in his assertion, either.
In a memo circulated to its employee and posted to the Delta “news hub,” Bastian criticized the new law. While he took credit on behalf of Delta and other businesses for helping to “eliminating the most suppressive tactics that some had proposed,” he maintained that “the final bill is unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values.”
“The right to vote is sacred,” Bastian wrote. “It is fundamental to our democracy and those rights not only need to be protected, but easily facilitated in a safe and secure manner.”
After having time to now fully understand all that is in the bill, coupled with discussions with leaders and employees in the Black community, it’s evident that the bill includes provisions that will make it harder for many underrepresented voters, particularly Black voters, to exercise their constitutional right to elect their representatives. That is wrong.
Arthur Blank, co-founder of Home Depot and owner of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and MLS’ Atlanta United, also expressed his disdain for the law, stating that his foundation had reached out directly to the Governor’s office to make their feelings known.
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