Black business leaders called on companies to take a stand on suffrage

Amid controversy over the new U.S. voting law, thousands of senior black officials in thousands of corporate America have called on their white peers to speak out against attempts to ban voters from voting. Georgia.

A Letter Ken Chenlot and Ken Frazier, former chief executives of American Express, Outgoing CEO Marker, 72 business signatories, called on companies to back their rhetorical support for equal ballot access with their public platforms and lobbying power.

The unprecedented campaign puts the right to vote as the next battleground on which business is expected to take a stand. It also marks the beginning of a potential conflict with the Republican Party, which is pushing for dozens of new franchises that critics will irrationally discourage black voters.

“Too much to support our democracy, corporate America must support our country’s fundamental democratic principles and martialize its collective impact to ensure fairness and justice for all,” the letter’s author argued.

Almost a year after the assassination of George Floyd, the U.S. executive has pledged to do more to address racial injustice, and their commitment is now being questioned. Leaders and activists including preachers on the issue of black voters Accused Georgia-based companies, including Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines and UPS, are doing little to oppose a new voting ban in that state.

“Georgia is at the forefront of a nationwide movement to restrict access to voting,” Frazier told the business news channel CNBC on Wednesday.

He said the court had dismissed a number of Republican allegations that the 2020 election was rigged. “What we are saying is that the state, in the absence of proven and compelling evidence of voter fraud, should oppose any move to limit eligible voters,” he said.

Chanelt told CNBC: “What we have heard from the corporations is their general statement in favor of suffrage and against voter repression. But now we are asking [them to] Make these words effective. “

The signatories to the letter were among the executives Melody Hobson, New Starbucks chair; His associate is Ariel Investments Executive John Rogers; And Robert F. Smith, Founder of Vista Equity Partners.

Delta, an Atlanta-based organization of campaigners in recent weeks, said in a strong statement Wednesday that Georgia’s new law is “unacceptable” and has made it harder for black voters, in particular, to vote.

“The whole argument of this bill was based on a false premise: there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 election. This is simply not true. “Unfortunately, this excuse is being used in states across the country that are trying to pass similar laws to restrict the right to vote,” said Del Bastian chief executive Ed Bastian.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp backtracked in response, indicating that the agencies are at risk when it comes to talking about an issue that sees multiple officials as inherently political.

“Delta CEO Ed Bastian’s statement today stands in stark contrast to our conversations with the agency, ignoring the content of the new law and unfortunately continuing to spread the same false attacks repeated by biased leaders,” Kemp said.

Several other organizations issued statements in support of the authors of Wednesday’s letter. Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, said it was essential for the business community to “stand together” to oppose the “harmful” law in Georgia and elsewhere.

But advisers say many executives were wary of being dragged into political battles.

“What I hear from my clients is that it’s a bridge too far away,” said Richard Edelman, chief executive of Elite Public Relations Consulting. “CEOs are very active at the moment. They don’t want to come into politics. They think it’s a red flag issue for Republicans and they feel it’s out of their dispatch.

Jeffrey Sonenfield, a professor at Yale School of Management, says companies are being controlled for fear of retaliation, including boycotts from the right. He argued, however, that they needed to take a bold stand: “They are being severely misunderstood by cautious legal and public relations consultants.”

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