By JOHN KANELIS / firstname.lastname@example.org
I am hearing the word “boycott” being tossed around in response to a terrible voter suppression law signed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
While I think the law that Kemp signed is atrocious. It is discriminatory. It is a piece of political poop disguised as an “election integrity” protection strategy. It is aimed at suppressing the vote among traditionally Democratic-leaning voters.
OK, with that marker laid down, I want to suggest that boycotts being discussed inflict far too many collateral casualties. I have heard that Major League Baseball’s players association might seek to move MLB’s all-star game from Atlanta to protest the law. Other companies are feeling the heat from customers, who are so angry that they won’t do business with those Georgia-based firms.
I dislike boycotts as a political tactic. They end up hurting too many people who are being kicked around like the old proverbial political football. Concession vendors are hurt. Business that provide all manner of support suffer, too. What do they all have in common? They employ human beings who derive their livelihoods from these events.
There can be plenty of political pressure applied to Gov. Kemp, or to the GOP majority in the Georgia legislature that approved this monstrosity of a law. Why punish businesses whose owners might oppose the law? Or the people they employ who also might be of like minds with those who want to boycott them?