Children of MLK, John Lewis Condemn Companies’ ‘Silence’ on Georgia Voting Law
(Bloomberg) -- The children of major civil-rights leaders wrote an open letter to corporate leaders and Georgia lawmakers, criticizing the recent passage of voting legislation they say will disenfranchise the state’s citizens.
Following a year in which many corporations publicly vowed to enhance racial equality in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, the letter calls the Republican-backed legislation a “perversion of truth” and condemns corporations for their “shocking silence” on the issue.
The letter, which was viewed by Bloomberg News, is signed by Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr; Al Vivian, the son of Reverend C.T. Vivian, who died in 2020; and John-Miles Lewis, son of former Congressman John Lewis, who also died last year.
“The failure of corporate leaders across our state to live up to their racial equity commitments made in the last year disregards and disrespects our fathers’ tireless work and jeopardizes the soul of Georgia and the promise of democracy,” reads the letter.
The sweeping election law, signed last week by Governor Brian Kemp, was pushed by Republican legislators under the guise of making state elections more secure, even though last November’s elections were considered safe and secure after multiple recounts.
Coca-Cola Co., Delta Air Lines Inc., and many other companies have donated to some of the bill’s sponsors. Following passage last week, they issued statements saying that they had worked to remove some proposals that would have made it even more difficult for people to vote.
Still, the authors of the letter contend that those corporations didn’t do enough. “Rather than sowing seeds to provide democracy the greatest chance to grow today and prevail tomorrow, legislators are attempting to transport us back to the shameful period of American history when mass voter suppression for communities of color was the law of the land,” the letter states.
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