This week, 72 black executives were joined by the likes of Google, Apple, JPMorgan, Citigroup, BlackRock, Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola and others in opposing Georgia's new voting law - which they say will disproportionately impact black communities.
Many of these virtue-signaling corporations were silent when the law was being considered or before Governor Brian Kemp (R) signed it into law on March 25, only to succumb to a Democrat-led pressure campaign against state GOP leaders.
"Throughout the legislative process, we spoke directly with Delta representatives numerous times ... At no point did Delta share any opposition to expanding early voting, strengthening voter ID measures, increasing the use of secure drop boxes statewide, and making it easier for local election officials to administer elections," said Kemp.
"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, and I think their focus will probably need to be in other places and not here," Kemp added.
Republicans have argued that the reforms are necessary to rebuild confidence in the state's election integrity - and include requiring photo or state-approved ID to vote by absentee ballot, secure drop-boxes placed inside early voting locations with constant surveillance, and expands early voting across the state, according to the Epoch Times.
Opponents, including the virtue-signaling corporate execs, say the measures are a form of voter suppression on minority communities (unlike vaccine passports, apparently).
"[I]t’s evident that the bill includes provisions that will make it harder for many underrepresented voters, particularly Black voters, to exercise their constitutional right to elect their representatives. That is wrong," said Delta Airlines in a statement. However, according to Kemp, this is the first time Delta - the state's largest private employer with over 30,000 employees worldwide - has expressed concern over the bill.
In response to Delta CEO Ed Bastian claim that the voting laws are "based on a lie" that election fraud occurred in the 2020 election, the Georgia state House voted Wednesday to strip Delta of a significant tax break worth tens of millions of dollars per year. The state Senate did not take up the measure before it adjourned.
Calling Delta out for being giant hypocrites was Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who asked the company in a Wednesday tweet when we can expect the company to condemn the "ongoing genocide in #Xinjiang" China, and say it's "unacceptable and does not match Delta's values"???
Dear @Delta:— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) April 1, 2021
You are business partners with the Communist Party of #China
When can we expect your letter saying that their ongoing genocide in #Xinjiang is "unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values"??? #WokeCorporateHypocrites
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MI) tweeted "Delta Airlines CEO caves to the left with a false narrative about the new Georgia voting law, which actually expands voting opportunities," adding "He should be ashamed of himself," to which Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) replied "This is exactly right. "The @Delta CEO folded under pressure and smeared the state of Georgia with lies about Georgia's election bill."
This is exactly right.— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) March 31, 2021
The @Delta CEO folded under pressure and smeared the state of Georgia with lies about Georgia's election bill.
But @Delta never said a word about Nancy Pelosi's attempted theft of @millermeeks's seat. https://t.co/8S1hwVYr7b
And as the Washington Examiner's Byron York notes:
The backstory makes Delta, and Bastian, look even worse. Just last week, Delta released a statement praising improvements in the bill -- on absentee voting, weekend voting, poll worker flexibility, and more. Even though Delta conceded that "concerns remain over other provisions in the legislation," the assessment was basically positive.
The statement prompted some ugly blowback from the left. Former MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann tweeted
, "Do not fly Delta. Do not spend money with Delta. Boycott Delta. Ruin Delta." The hashtag #BoycottDelta began to fly around on Twitter.
Talk of punishing Georgia grew. On Wednesday night, President Biden said he would "strongly support" moving the baseball All-Star game set for July 13 in Atlanta. "This is Jim Crow on steroids, what they're doing in Georgia," Biden said. The president has consistently mis-stated what is in the Georgia law. As Karl Rove outlines here, Biden has leveled three specific accusations against the law, and all three are false.
But it's enough to make a CEO tremble in fear. And so Bastian issued his new statement to the "Delta family." Then Georgia Governor Brian Kemp cut Bastian's legs out from under him. Delta did engage in the legislative process, Kemp said, and "At no point did Delta share any opposition to expanding early voting, strengthening voter ID measures, increasing the use of secure drop boxes statewide, and making it easier for local election officials to administer elections -- which is exactly what this bill does." Just to stick it in a little, Kemp added, "The last time I flew Delta, I had to present my photo ID."
So now Delta is being battered from all sides. What's the lesson? The lesson is not that the company should be four-square in support of the new bill. It is not that it should be four-square against the bill. It is that corporations like Delta should try to stay out of hot political controversies. Delta is a passenger airline. It flies people around the country and the world. It flies Trump supporters. It flies Biden supporters. If flies everybody. Why not just stick to flying and stay out of politics as much as possible?
And now, Delta's woke corporate hypocrisy may end up costing the company tens of millions of dollars on an annual basis in the state of Georgia.