“There were businesses that were silent in the election for whatever reason. But there should be no silence from the business community when anyone in power is trying to strip away the right to vote from the people,” Stacey Abrams said Tuesday (March 9) during a call between her organization Fair Fight Action and More Than A Vote, a voting rights organization founded by NBA star LeBron James.
According to a report by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the voting rights activist is calling on corporations to speak out against the new voting restrictions being implemented in Georgia and other states around the country. She also said athletes and celebrities should be demanding more from businesses.
On the call, Abrams said “There should be a hue and cry,” from businesses on the matter of new Republican-sponsored legislation that will effectively limit access to voting. Since November’s election, more than 250 bills have been proposed across several state legislative bodies, most taking an aim at early voting, absentee voting, ballot drop boxes, and other voting access that drove record turnout.
In Georgia, where Abrams ran for governor in 2018, activists and organizations are demanding more from the corporate bigwigs in the state. The state’s chapter of the NAACP demanded that some of the biggest brands headquartered in Georgia speak out against “a second coming of Jim Crow.” Some groups, according to the report, have taken out full-page newspaper ads to directly address “Corporate Georgia.”
“We won’t patronize these companies and corporations who don’t show up for us,” said LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, another voting rights group that has galvanized thousands of voters across the state. “When are the businesses going to have enough courage to say we’re not going down this road anymore?” Brown added.
Abrams drew a line from the unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud touted by former President Donald Trump to the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol as a catalyst and justification for the new legislation.
“These are all bills about that same lie and that same belief system that drove them to the Capitol,” Abrams said. “That the wrong people are voting and that the only way to get our way is to shut them down and to shut them up,” she continued.
“There should be not a single business owner in America who is allowed to be silent about the theft of the right to vote from any American, because that means you are standing with an ethos that was a near coup attempt in the United States. I know that sounds a bit overblown, but I can’t see it any other way,” she said.
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