Black Church Groups to Georgia Businesses: Oppose HB 531 or Face Boycott

Black Church Groups to Georgia Businesses: Oppose HB 531 or Face Boycott a gwinnett county ballot box is in the foreground of a line of voters waiting Voters stand in line to cast their ballots during the first day of early voting in the US Senate runoffs at Lenora Park, Dec. 14, 2020, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Tami Chappell/AFP via Getty Images)

By Jim Thomas | Wednesday, 07 April 2021 09:17 PM

A group of Georgia religious leaders say they will begin boycotting the Georgia-based businesses who have not publicly opposed the state’s new Republican-backed voting reforms, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

However, the boycott originally scheduled to begin on Wednesday, was delayed until after group leaders have had a chance to meet with executives of Aflac, AT&T, Home Depot, Southern Company, and UPS, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.

MLB has already caved to this movement by changing the location of its All-Star game from Atlanta to Denver, costing the city millions.

Black church groups including the African Methodist Episcopal “AME” Church also plan to boycott the Masters Golf Tournament which takes place in Augusta National from April 8 to 11, reports The Hill.

AME Bishop Reginald Jackson and fellow civil rights activist groups like the National Black Justice Coalition, are leading the boycott of Coca-Cola, Delta, Home Depot, and other Atlanta-based corporations for failing to ‘properly oppose’ House Bill 531.

Jackson recently stated that he hopes these companies agree with his opinion that House Bill 531 is “an attempt to turn back time to Jim Crow,” reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) executive director David J. Johns agrees with Jackson. "Georgia's new law restricting voting access is designed to turn back the clock on civil rights and return Black and poor and already disenfranchised voters in Georgia to second class citizens." He added, “this is an unacceptable attack on our democracy and companies that operate in Georgia must speak out against this restrictive law," reported Golfweek.

While Black church groups compare House Bill 531 to Jim Crow, Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp says supporters of the bill will “not be silenced," according to The Hill. Republicans believe that the law was needed to not only update the voting system in the state, but to also restore public confidence in Georgia’s elections. Democrats say it restricts voting access for voters of color, reported AP News.

House Bill 531 is a Republican led change to Georgia’s voting laws. The state’s recent 98-page election reform bill was signed into law Thursday by Gov. Brian Kemp. The election reforms became a must-do for the state because of the bashing former President Donald Trump levied on the state and its election system during the last presidential election, reported AP News.

“I want to be clear: I will not be backing down from this fight. We will not be intimidated, and we will also not be silenced,” Kemp said, according to the Hill.