Georgia Faith Leaders Call for Home Depot Boycott of Voting Act
A group of black religious leaders representing more than 1,000 churches in Georgia will call for a boycott of Home Depot over the hardware store’s silence on the state’s new electoral law. “We don’t think this is simply a political matter,” Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, who leads the effort, told the New York Times. “This is a matter of securing the future of this democracy, and the greatest right in this democracy is the right to vote.” Jackson, who oversees all 534 African Methodist episcopal churches in Georgia, said Home Depot had “shown indifference, a lack of response to calls not only from clergy but from other groups to oppose this legislation.” While Democrats criticized the new law, claiming it would make it more difficult for individuals, especially black voters, to exercise their constitutional right to vote, some opponents, including Stacey Abrams, have asked people not to boycott the state. “Black, Latin American, AAPI, and Native American voters who are the most oppressed [the new law] are most likely to be affected by potential boycotts of Georgia. To our friends, please don’t boycott us. To my Georgian compatriots, stay and fight, stay and vote, ”Abrams said earlier this month. Aunna Dennis, the executive director of the Georgia Chapter of Common Cause, spoke out against the call to boycott Home Depot. “I cannot fully support a boycott in Georgia,” said Dennis. “The boycott hurts the person of the working class. But companies need to be held accountable for where they put their dollars. “However, the Faith Leadership Coalition sees the boycott as a” necessary evil “. “It is unfortunate for those who will be affected, but how many millions will be affected if they do not have the right to vote?” said Jamal H. Bryant, senior pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga. “But it has to happen for the good to happen.” The group also noted that boycotts were being used in the civil rights movement and suggested that their call to action was a “warning shot” for other state lawmakers. “This is not just a Georgia question. We are talking about a democracy in America that is under threat, ”said Reverend Timothy McDonald III, pastor of the First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta. “We must use every leverage and force we have, including our dollars, to help people understand that this is a national campaign.” Proponents of the law deny allegations that it is aimed at suppressing votes, noting that the legislation does not place new limits on voting times and makes state elections safer without restricting voter access. You have argued that the law was misrepresented. Home Depot is headquartered in Peach State, which is also one of the largest employers. Other big Georgia companies, including Coca-Cola and Delta, have spoken out against the new law, but Home Depot has not. The company’s only comment on the matter came earlier this month: “The most appropriate approach for us is to continue to underline our belief that all elections should be accessible, fair and safe. Jackson said the faith leaders are calling on Home Depot to litigate and support litigation against Georgian law, publicly oppose similar bills in other states, and offer support for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act in Congress.