LaTosha Brown and Cliff Albright, co-founders of Black Voters Matter, issued this statement in response to an open letter from hundreds of businesses, executives, and influencers opposing racist voter suppression legislation:
“We know all too well that the movement to fight voter suppression and expand voting rights is not limited to one state. If you’ve been watching us, you know that we’re working to help tackle this crisis of restrictive bills across our country. And the business community is listening.
“Today, hundreds of corporations and executives through a direct statement that ran in the New York Times made the righteous decision to stand up to racism, disenfranchisement, and voter suppression. This letter of solidarity from industry leaders like Amazon, Starbucks, Google, and General Motors and other companies against the spread of these Jim Crow-era policies in nearly all 50 states across the country is a clear show of force against legislators who continue to deny equal access to the ballot for all Americans.
“But there were notable omissions from the letter, including companies like AT&T, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, Walmart and others. Walmart, with some 300,000 Black employees, issued a statement in response to the letter, writing “we are not in the business of partisan politics,” yet they — and all of these other companies — continue to issue misleading statements that create a false equivalency between securing elections and attacking voting rights. These corporations are pandering to a big lie that is being used to justify voter suppression. That’s partisan.
“Election officials across this country — including Republican election officials — have attested that this past election was one of the most secure elections in our nation’s history. Security isn’t the issue. The issue is the aggressive, blatant, and racist campaign to restrict access to the ballot and marginalize the voices of Black voters.
“We are extremely disappointed in those companies’ refusal to join this cause for justice and equality. Their lack of action ignores their company messaging of diversity and inclusion. If you are not standing up for Black voters, you are choosing to stand for injustice and that is unacceptable.
“We’ve said it before and we will continue to say it: democracy is good for business. If corporations continue to back anti-democratic efforts, it will not be business as usual. Democracy is good for our economy. Voter suppression is not.”