Coca-Cola’s CEO’s statements about Georgia’s new restrictions on voting have caused quite an uproar in the area. Coke, which is headquartered in Atlanta, was compelled to speak out against Georgia’s efforts to restrict voting rights and issued a statement clarifying the company’s stance on the topic. However, not everyone is happy about it – and now one county in North Carolina is taking a stand against the soft drink giant in a bid that could put some pressure on Coke.
In a split decision, officials in Surry County, North Carolina, voted to ban Coca-Cola products in their county. They will now force the beverage company to remove all of their vending machines from all government property in the county because the Surry County administrators were not happy with the company CEO’s statement against the changes to Georgia’s voting law.
The county voted to ban Coke beverages on government property when the Board of Commissioners met on May 17, 2021. The board voted 3 to 2 to remove the Coke vending machines because James Quincey, Coke CEO and chairman, called Georgia’s change to its voting laws “unacceptable” and “a step backward.”
Surry County Commissioner Ed Harris shared the letter he addressed to Quincy with TODAY Digital. In the letter, Surry County officials wrote that Coca-Cola made “corporate political commentary favoring the Democratic party,” which inspired the North Carolina county to strip the Coke vending machines from their government property.
“Our Board felt that was the best way to take a stand and express our disappointment in Coca-Cola’s actions, which are not representative of most views of our citizens,” he wrote. “Our Board hopes that other organizations across the country are taking similar stances against Coca-Cola and sincerely wishes that future marketing efforts and comments emanating from your company are more considerate of all your customers’ viewpoints.”
Republicans in Georgia are working to suppress the Black vote after Blacks came out in record numbers to cast votes in favor of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden back in November 2020. Biden secured a victory for the Democrats in Georgia by a margin of fewer than 12,000 votes.
Coke CEO Quincey believes that voting should be a right available to all Americans regardless of the color of their skin. He spoke on behalf of Coca-Cola in a statement made in response to the Republican-led voter suppression campaign.
“Voting is a foundational right in America, and we have long championed efforts to make it easier to vote,” Quincey wrote in a statement published on Coca-Cola’s website on April 1. “We want to be crystal clear and state unambiguously that we are disappointed in the outcome of the Georgia voting legislation. Throughout Georgia’s legislative session, we provided feedback to members of both legislative chambers and political parties, opposing measures in the bills that would diminish or deter access to voting.”
Harris’ lengthy letter to Quincey said that Coke supports “the out-of-control cancel culture and bigoted leftist mob.”
He added, “Michael Jordan once said ‘Republicans buy sneakers too’ when asked why he didn’t make public comments about politics. Citizens of Surry County and across America are growing increasingly tired of large multinational corporations and their CEOs pushing an increasingly intolerant, bigoted, left-wing, divisive political agenda on its customers.”
What do you think about this North Carolina county’s ban on Coke beverages?
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