Corporate community and MLB shaken by Georgia’s new election laws
Some members of the community are shaking their heads as they ask “what in the world did Georgia lawmakers think was going to happen once they passed such offensive election laws that Governor Brian Kemp swiftly signed into law.'”
Did they really think it was going to be business as usual? Did they think that the Georgia voters would sit back and accept partisan decisions being made relative to their voting rights? Did they expect this level of backlash?
Following a public outcry that was heard around the world, demands have sprung up around the state against the new election laws which some say have been created to hurt Georgia voters.
The new voting laws, labeled “Jim Crow 2021”, saw protest and demands from every group and every direction that the people of Georgia were not going to accept the changes that were done to lessen voter participation. The public has taken a stand to challenge the passage of the bill and has support from President Joe Biden in challenging it. With a collective voice, they demanded that Georgia not be rewarded for its negative voting laws implemented to harm voters and suppress historically disenfranchised voters in urban and suburban communities.
Lawsuits were filed immediately, while groups demanded that Georgia based companies take a stand. They demanded that Georgia be stripped of events such as the MLB All-Star game and the Masters. Even with Georgia’s attractive film credit, some movie makers and television shows are questioning the new laws such as movie mogul Tyler Perry.
President Biden weighed in and said MLB and others needed to show leadership and courage on this important issue. Both Coke and Delta released statements supporting voters and denouncing the new laws, which angered Governor Kemp and other Republican lawmakers. Some called for immediate punishment of Delta by going after a gas tax credit they had previously received from the state. This move seems dangerous because Delta could chose to relocate its headquarters to another state, which would be a huge economic blow to Georgia and lead to massive job losses.
MLB headed the call and announced that they would move the much anticipated All-Star games from Cobb and the draft from Atlanta. Cobb government tried to sway MLB to keep the games in Cobb, but they were rebuffed. As the Chair of Cobb participated in an “unpopular” ribbon cutting ceremony for a new civil war named park she championed in Mableton, executives of MLB were making up their minds to move the event away from Cobb. Gov. Kemp called the decision “canceled culture”, but MLB understood that protecting the sacred rights of people to vote was much bigger than baseball. Some would later attack President Biden for his stance, suggesting that because Cobb supported him during the 2020 election that he should support Cobb with keeping the All-Star game instead of supporting the citizens of Georgia on a matter that impacts their voting rights.
Respected black political leaders also weighed in this week. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said that she cannot say that she likes the MLB move but that she understands it. Bottoms suggested that this may be the first of many boycotts to come as a consequence of this bill. Fair Fight leader and politician Stacey Abrams released a statement praising the move—even if she was “disappointed” that the game will no longer be played in the Peach State, noting that Republican lawmakers knew the “economic risks” in passing Senate Bill 202 would include. “They prioritized making it harder for people of color to vote over the economic well-being of all Georgians,” she said.
As we begin a new week, many are asking who and what is next? Georgia serves as headquarters to a number of companies such as Chic-Fil-A, AFLAC, Home Depot and others. Where do they stand on this new law?
As we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the anniversary of his death and understand the impact of his life’s work, the protest to protect voting rights here in Georgia and around the nation are not lost on our community.