Brown, the co-founder of Black Voters Matter, explained on MSNBC a full-page ad in 20 papers throughout Georgia, headlined “Corporate Georgia, will you stand with Georgia voters?” The ad specifically targets Coke, Delta, Home Depot, UPS and others.
Those corporations have “an enormous amount of power and influence with legislatures,” she pointed out. So why not work to get them on the side of democracy? “This should not be a partisan issue,” she said.
But it could and should be a business issue and Brown is smart to make it one. She also pointed out that Black people are customers, stockholders, managers, workers and neighbors. Overall, they contribute $106 billion to the economy, she said.
“Corporations have a history of putting pressure, and it does work,” Brown continued. She cited Coca-Cola’s 1965 threat to leave Atlanta that persuaded the white business community to attend a dinner honoring Martin Luther King after he won the Nobel Peace Prize.
There’s no doubt the bills under consideration in Georgia target Black voters. Host Tiffany Cross said one limits counties to one day of voting on Sunday, the day Black people work to get “souls to the polls.” Another makes it illegal to give food or water to people in line waiting to vote, when polls in Black neighborhoods often have long lines.
But the Black community has big buying power on its side. “We are customers, we’re your consumers,” Brown added. “Will you stand on the side of democracy? Because ultimately democracy is good for business.”