Georgia’s new restricting voting bill has sparked outrage across the nation, with many threatening to boycott companies who are in bed with the state — but Stacey Abrams insists it’s too early for a boycott.
“Boycotts work. The focused power of No, trained on corporate actors used to being told Yes, can yield transformative results. 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,” Abrams wrote in an op-ed for USA Today.
SB 202 makes it harder to vote by absentee ballot by imposing stricter ID requirements, making it more difficult for voters to receive them and return them and targets absentee ballot, and the usage of ballot drop boxes more difficult. The bill also removes the voting power of the Secretary of State on the State Elections Board and allows the State Election Board to take over county election boards.
“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.”
Abrams breaks down other ways people can be proactive. While the intentions of a boycott may be in good faith, the repercussions could hit Georgian hard.
“In speeches I give to young activists and seasoned advocates, I urge them to speak up, show up and stand up,” she concludes. “We can expect no less from the economic pillars of our communities. So I ask like-minded Americans to hold corporations to their professed values — by measuring their actions and demanding they stand with us.”