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Politics » Black executives demand Georgia companies respond to new voting restrictions

Black executives demand Georgia companies respond to new voting restrictions

Black Voters (Photo Credit: Rolling Out)

Dozens of Black business executives are lambasting the new restrictive voting legislation in Georgia and are admonishing Georgia’s major corporations for their deafening silence.

Former American Express CEO Ken Chenault is one of the spokespersons for the 72 Black executives who are expressing their righteous indignation in a statement obtained by The Hill.

“Corporations have to stand up. There is no middle ground,” Chenault said. “This is about all Americans having the right to vote, but we need to recognize the special history of the denial of the right to vote for Black Americans, and we will not be silent,” he added.

Citigroup CFO Mark Mason is also speaking out, saying that “as an American, I am appalled by the recent voter suppression laws in the state of Georgia. I see it as a disgrace that our country’s efforts to keep Black Americans from engaging fully in our Constitutional right to vote continue to this day,” Mason wrote in a post.

Two Fortune 500 companies have since spoken out against the new Georgia legislation. Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian called the new restrictive laws “unacceptable.” The CEO of another Georgia company, Coca-Cola’s James Quincey, told CNBC the new law is “wrong.”

Gov. Kemp pushed back against the backlash from companies and civil rights groups on MSNBC’s “Closing Bell.”

“We have 159 counties in Georgia. One hundred and thirty-four of those counties under this legislation will be offering more hours of early voting, not less, so I would encourage these CEOs to look at these other states they’re doing business in, and compare what the real facts are to Georgia. … I think their focus will probably need to be in other places and not here,” Kemp said.