Georgia Governor Brian Kemp visits and speaks at an African American church about political issues. Atlanta, Georgia/U.S.A – March 13th, 2019 (Shutterstock)
By Tim Levin, MSN
Georgia’s governor is speaking out against a call to boycott one of the state’s largest employers.
A group of Black religious leaders from more than 1,000 churches in the state on Tuesday called for a boycott of Home Depot following what they see as silence from the home-improvement chain about Georgia’s restrictive new voting law.
“We don’t believe this is simply a political matter,” Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, an organizer of the boycott, told The New York Times on Tuesday. “This is a matter that deals with securing the future of this democracy, and the greatest right in this democracy is the right to vote.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who signed the law last month, pushed back against the boycott, arguing it will hurt jobs on social media.
“The left will do whatever it takes to cancel anyone who doesn’t agree with their political agenda. They went after baseball, and now they’re going after American jobs,” Kemp said in a tweet.
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) April 20, 2021
In a Tuesday press conference, Kemp said Home Depot employees were being unfairly “targeted” and that they “did not ask to be in this political fight.” According to the governor, the company employs 30,000 people in the state.
In an emailed statement, a Home Depot spokesperson spoke broadly about the company’s stance on election security and voter participation but didn’t mention the Georgia law.
“We’ve decided that the most appropriate approach for us to take is to continue to underscore our statement that all elections should be accessible, fair and secure and support broad voter participation, and to continue to work to ensure our associates in Georgia and across the country have the information and resources to vote,” they said.
Civil rights advocates and Democratic lawmakers have criticized the law for suppressing voters, particularly Black voters. It enacts more stringent voter-ID rules for absentee ballots, imposes new regulations on drop boxes, and prohibits volunteers from offering water or food to people waiting to vote.
In the wake of the law, activists have pressured Georgia-based companies like Coca-Cola and Delta to take a stand against it. The MLB pulled the 2021 All-Star Game from the state following public pressure.