Local outlet WRAL reported yesterday (June 6) that Apple and Amazon are considering the construction of new corporate headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina. The prospective developments coincide with reports that Republican lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly today (June 7) proposed another racist voter identification policy, like the one the Supreme Court of the United States struck down in 2016.
In response, civil rights organization Color of Change partnered with Raleigh-bred musician William Matthews for Reject Racism, a new campaign demanding both corporations protest the legislation and refuse to set up headquarters there.
There’s a robust conversation happening around tech + diversity these days and we’re guessing neither @Apple or @Amazon wants to be associated with a state, like NC, that’s pushing to enshrine racism in their constitution. #RejectRacism #NCGA @NCLeg https://t.co/qrNsMFbJDi pic.twitter.com/aM5GZeX6JS— ColorOfChange.org (@ColorOfChange) June 7, 2018
According to a June 6 statement from Color of Change, the campaign targets the companies in their current home regions with ads in the The San Jose Mercury News and The Seattle Times. The ads direct supporters to an online petition, in which Matthews cites the diversity rhetoric of both companies:
Apple says, “The best way the world works is everybody in. Nobody out.” And Amazon says, “It’s not only that diversity and inclusion are good for our business. It’s more fundamental than that—it’s simply right.”
But if they’re willing to move their headquarters to a state that makes a habit of discriminating against eligible Black voters, it’s clearly just a talking point.
One way Amazon and Apple can demonstrate a real commitment to espoused values of diversity is by making it clear that they won’t move their headquarters to a state that is rapidly sliding backward on racial oppression and voting rights. In 2018, we need to demand that major companies stay on the right side of the law—and the right side of history.
See the full petition at RejectRacism.org.