A coalition of Black faith leaders across Georgia are calling for a boycott of Home Depot in response to the corporation’s lack of urgency to pressure Republicans in the state to reverse its anti-Democratic voter suppression laws.
Leading the charge is Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, who oversees all 534 African Methodist Episcopal churches in Georgia.
“We don’t believe this is simply a political matter,” Bishop Jackson told the New York Times. “This is a matter that deals with securing the future of this democracy, and the greatest right in this democracy is the right to vote.”
More than 1000 churches of various denominations in the state are supporting the boycott, which organizers say is a “warning shot” at Home Depot. The hardware company is based in Georgia and is one of the state’s largest employers.
The issue faith leaders have with the company is that its response to the recently passed anti-voter laws in the state wasn’t as forceful as the reactions of Coca Cola, Delta and other corporations headquartered in the state. Those companies also responded with lukewarm statements until activists shamed them into stronger stands, as The Root previously reported.
In March, Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law a very repressive bill that makes the process of voting exponentially harder and makes it easier to throw out what otherwise are legitimate ballots.
Home Depot executives have not said much about the anti-voter bills, but Arthur Blank, one of the company’s founders, said in a call with other business executives this month that he supported voting rights. Ken Langone, another founder, is a well-known supporter of Donald J. Trump. Trump’s false claims of voter fraud inspired many of the nation’s anti-voter laws passed in GOP-lead states.
Rev. Timothy McDonald III, senior pastor of First Iconium Baptist Church and founder of the African American Ministers Leadership Council, is helping to organize the boycott and said that Home Depot isn’t the only corporate target.
“It definitely will not end with Home Depot,” he said to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We may call other names. We are giving them a chance to get their act together.”