Brian Kemp can attempt to justify his actions all he wants, but AME Bishop Reginald T. Jackson is not buying it. “Blacks are a resilient people. One of the worst things you can do is get Black folk mad. If you get ‘em mad, they’re gonna turn out to vote no matter what.” Kemp has fair warning. Not only will the people of Georgia turn out in force in the next election, but we will work to ensure that Kemp is a one-term governor. Politico Nightly covered Bishop Jackson’s speech and believes that this voter suppression bill is going to backfire on Republicans. They may be right.
Bishop Jackson and other Black leaders have announced boycotts against Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, and Home Depot, all Atlanta based companies. As soon as the boycott was announced, both Coca-Cola and Delta put out statements condemning the new bill. Bishop Jackson told Politico: “Too late,” as the bill has already been signed into law. He believes that had they come out in opposition to the bill before it was signed, that opposition might have helped to prevent its passage into law. These leaders are next targeting UPS, Aflac, and Georgia Power. Hopping into the fray, according to this piece, President Joe Biden encouraged major league baseball to move their all-star game elsewhere, which has infuriated Kemp. He should have thought of that before he signed the suppression bill into law.
Three lawsuits have been filed against Kemp and other Republicans, seeking to overturn the law, the first by Stacey Abrams’ New Georgia Project. The RNC, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the Georgia Republican Party have moved to intervene in that suit to argue that the law should not be overturned. Interestingly, their argument for not overturning the suppressive law is that “it would reduce the competitive advantage” of their candidates. They are basically admitting that there is no legal basis upon which to limit voting. They claim that overturning the law would “undercut democratically enacted laws that protect voters and candidates.” First, this was not a “democratically enacted law.” It is a partisan Republican suppression law in which no Democrats joined. Second, the so-called need for protection is based on a lie. The Republican groups who seek to intervene tell the real reasoning behind this law in their motion: They cannot win in a fair fight. So be it. If they cannot conceive of policies that motivate enough people to vote for them, then they have a personal problem. They cannot change the rules of the game so that they win despite people desiring real representation.
As Politico predicted, the backlash has begun. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced late Friday that the MLB will be moving the all-star game and draft from Atlanta. Manfred’s release made clear that the MLB supports voting rights for all, and they will not support a government that suppresses that right. While the city overall will suffer an economic loss from this decision, most of us are okay with that if it shows Governor Kemp that voter suppression has consequences.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years