ATLANTA — As Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country continue their efforts to roll back the clock on voting rights, and following the signing of anti-voting rights legislation SB 202 in Georgia, Fair Fight founder Stacey Abrams authored a USA Today op-ed calling for the business community to take a strong stand to protect American democracy by speaking out forcefully against voter suppression bills promulgating across the country, urging Congress to pass the For The People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and help voters obtain the necessary ID they need to participate in our elections.
From the op-ed:
- “As a Black person, a Southerner, an American, I respect and defend the right to boycott — and the advancement of civil rights has relied heavily on economic boycotts. Indeed, the very threat of such a call to action by Georgia’s faith leaders spurred the hasty adoption and cloistered signing of our state’s new restrictive voting law. In Arizona, Michigan, Texas, Florida and across our fractured, diversifying nation, similar voter suppression bills proliferate. While their employees and customers face new obstacles to the ballot box, the business community’s response has been untenable.”
- “…One lesson of boycotts is that the pain of deprivation must be shared to be sustainable. Otherwise, those least resilient bear the brunt of these actions; and in the aftermath, they struggle to access the victory. And boycotts are complicated affairs that require a long-term commitment to action. 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.”
- “By and large, the events and films that are coming to Georgia will speak out against the laws. And they will hire the targets of SB 202: young people, people of color and minimum wage workers who want to elect leaders to fight for their economic security. I again repeat my admonition from 2019 that leaving us behind won’t save us. So I ask you to bring your business to Georgia and, if you’re already here, stay and fight. Stay and vote.”
- “I recommend the following course of redemptive actions for those corporations that want to show they know what’s at stake: First, publicly acknowledge the truth of what’s happening. […] Second, corporations eager to prove their good faith can do so by putting their resources to good use. Rather than financing state legislators pushing these anti-democratic bills, refuse to fund their efforts. […] Third, companies must stand up for voters by endorsing the federal voting rights standards included in the For the People Act (H.R. 1 and S. 1) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4).”
Read the full op-ed here.