‘Woke’ Coke Under Fire From Progressives For Backing Georgia Ballot Restrictions
Coca-Cola bottles are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on October 8, 2020. (Photo Illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Atlanta, Georgia-based Coca-Cola, which has been in the news often over the last month for its efforts at diversifying its workforce and embracing more progressive corporate values, is under fire from progressives after left-leaning journalists discovered it donated to Republicans seeking to pass new Georgia voting restrictions.

“Republican lawmakers in March passed a bill in the state Senate that would eliminate no-excuse absentee voting, and in the House that would limit weekend early voting, increase ID requirements for absentee voting and restrict ballot drop boxes: SB 241 and HB 531,” CNBC reported, citing Georgia officials who believe that the state’s permissive absentee voting laws contributed to widespread voter fraud in both the 2020 presidential election and a 2021 Senate runoff election.

Now, Georgia activists want Coca-Cola to demonstrate its commitment to progressive values by pulling funding from any co-sponsor of either bill.

“Civil rights and activist groups are turning up the pressure on large Georgia companies like Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines to oppose sweeping voting restrictions proposed by Republican state legislators,” CNBC noted. “Groups including Black Voters Matter, the New Georgia Project Action Fund, and the Georgia NAACP on Friday launched the next phase of their campaign in local press and on social media asking supporters to directly contact CEOs, presidents, and headquarters of major Georgia-based corporations. They’re urging them to speak out publicly against the proposed voting restrictions and to stop donating money to the Republican legislators sponsoring the bills.”

“The coalition is focusing on six of the biggest companies in Georgia — Aflac, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, Home Depot, Southern Company, and UPS — with full-page ads, demonstrations, and text banks. A March 3 investigation by Popular Information found the six corporations gave a combined $190,800 to co-sponsors of HB 531 and SB 241 since 2018,” the outlet continued.

The pressure campaign also includes billboards within a line of sight from companies’ corporate headquarters.

Failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate-turned-voter rights activist Stacey Abrams is also involved. She noted that she believes simple silence on the issue — or even even-handed donations across the board to legislators of both parties — will not be tolerated.

“There should be no silence from the business community when anyone in power is trying to strip away the right to vote from the people,” Abrams said.

Coca-Cola likely did not expect to be the target of a progressive pressure campaign. Last month, the beverage company found itself on the receiving end of widespread backlash for including “anti-racist” materials in its training curriculum, particularly slides encouraging employees to “be less white.”

On Friday, The Daily Wire reported that Coca-Cola is now instituting hiring quotas in an effort to recruit a more diverse corporate hierarchy.

“Coca-Cola debuted a new policy this year implementing a diversity quota for the outside counsel it retains, saying it will only hire law firms that commit to providing 15 percent of billed time from black attorneys, higher than the percentage of African Americans in the U.S. population,” The Daily Wire noted. “On January 28, the soft drink titan’s legal department wrote a letter to the company’s U.S. outside counsel outlining Coca-Cola’s new requirement that law firms must ‘commit that at least 30% of each of billed associate and partner time will be from diverse attorneys, and of such amounts at least half will be from Black attorneys.'”

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