Black church leaders call for boycott of Home Depot
A coalition of black religious leaders in Georgia is calling for a nationwide boycott of The Home Depot, arguing that the home improvement retail giant has not strongly opposed the state’s new election law.
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- A coalition of black religious leaders in Georgia calls for a nationwide boycott of Home Depot, saying the home improvement retail giant has not firmly and publicly opposed the state’s new election law .
- Church leaders said their call for a boycott comes after weeks of trying to hold conversations with companies to speak out against the law.
- Home Depot said it all believes “all elections should be accessible, fair and safe” and supports “wide voter turnout”
- Gov. Brian Kemp blasted the boycott on Tuesday, saying it “puts partisan politics ahead of people’s paychecks”
In a statement, Bishop Reginald Jackson, who heads the Sixth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, said in a statement Tuesday that the Georgia-based company was “silent and indifferent.”
“They think their silence is appropriate. But not on the question of voting rights, ”Jackson said. “Blacks and people of color, like others, are also their customers and benefit from our dollars and the purchase of its products.”
Church leaders said their call for a boycott comes after weeks of trying to hold conversations with companies to speak out against the law. The coalition represents more than 1,000 churches across the state.
The Rev. Timothy McDonald III, senior pastor of the First Iconium Baptist Church and founder of the African American Ministers’ Board of Directors, has warned that the group’s lobbying campaign against Home Depot could escalate.
“We are not on your property. Today, ”he said at a Tuesday press conference in Decatur, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We are not blocking your aisles. Today. We do not protest inside your store. Today.”
Organizers said they may also call for a boycott of other companies.
Home Depot spokeswoman Margaret Smith said the company had helped employees register to vote, helped employees work in polling stations and provided plexiglass dividers for polling stations.
“We have decided that the most appropriate approach for us to take is to continue to underline our statement that all elections should be accessible, fair and safe and support wide voter turnout, and to continue to work to secure our associates. in Georgia and around the world. the country has the information and the resources to vote, ”Smith said in a statement.
Home Depot is Georgia’s largest business in terms of revenue, profits, and people.
Critics say the Election Law, passed last month, is a blatant attempt to clamp down on left-wing voters, especially blacks, after Democrats in Georgia won the presidential election and two U.S. Senate elections, and a reaction to former President Donald Trump’s false allegations about electoral fraud.
The law adds a photo ID requirement for postal voting by post, reduces the time people have to request a postal ballot, and limits where and when drop boxes can be placed. accessible. It also prohibits people from handing out food or water to queuing voters and allows the Republican-controlled State Election Commission to remove and replace county election officials while reducing the power of the Secretary of State as Chief Electoral Officer of Georgia.
Georgia Republicans who passed the election legislation say it will strengthen election security. But critics criticized it as a blatant attempt to clamp down on left-wing voters, especially blacks, after Democrats won in Georgia in the presidential election and two US Senate races, and a reaction to the misrepresentation. by former President Donald Trump on electoral fraud.
Supporters say the bill was demanded by Republican voters alarmed by former President Donald Trump’s fraud allegations and makes postal voting safer, provides a permanent legal basis for drop boxes and extends the mandatory early voting days to weekends.
Governor Brian Kemp blasted the boycott and “cancel culture” on Tuesday.
“First, the left came for baseball, and now they’re coming for jobs in Georgia,” Kemp said, referring to Major League Baseball’s decision to move this year’s All-Star Game out of Atlanta. due to the new law. “This boycott of Home Depot – one of Georgia’s largest employers – puts partisan politics ahead of people’s paychecks.”
“This madness must stop,” he added.
Boycotts in the past have been aimed at putting pressure on business leaders to push elected officials to change, but it’s not clear Republicans will react this time around. Georgian lawmakers voted unsuccessfully to withdraw a jet fuel tax break from Delta Air Lines after the company attacked the law. Some GOP lawmakers have demanded that Coca-Cola, which provides free drinks in the state capital, remove refrigerators from their offices. Kemp and others have repeatedly attacked Major League Baseball for pulling its All-Star Game out of the Atlanta Braves stadium, accusing Democrats of economic losses. Some members of Congress are proposing to revoke the league’s antitrust exemption.
Jackson acknowledged the retaliation, but said if the companies band together, “there’s no way the Republicans will sue them.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.