To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Observercast

Hit ‘Em Where It Hurts

on

Major League Baseball looked at Georgia’s racist Republican effort to suppress voting rights, and decided, “Nah, we don’t want to support bigots who don’t support American values.” So, MLB pulled this year’s All-Star Game out of Atlanta.

Huffington Post reports, “Three groups already have filed a lawsuit over the measure, which includes new restrictions on voting by mail and greater legislative control over how elections are run. Critics say it violates the First and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, as well as parts of the federal Voting Rights Act that say states cannot restrict Black voter participation.”

Cobb County, home of the Braves, estimates that MLB’s decision will cost local businesses “more than $100 million,” according WSB-TV.

Well, Republicans only understand bigotry and greed. If they are going to push hatred, hit them in their bank accounts.

In the 1970’s The Progressive published an account of how Nestle had taken an ad campaign to Third World countries encouraging mothers to become more modern by buying their baby formula instead of relying on breast milk. So, baby’s sickened, even died, in lands where safe water was not a given as Nestle’s profits grew. Voting with my feet, I have not knowingly bought a Nestle product since.

Along with trying to limit election participation, the GOPQ-controlled Georgia government has made it a crime to give people standing in what they hope are long voting lines food or water. Providing voter such humane relief in Georgia could result in a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Georgia-based Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines, among others, have announced opposition to Georgia’s new law.

Corporate opposition to voter suppression is “economic blackmail,” according Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – whose sweetheart development bribe with Russia for his home state of Kentucky collapsed after Republicans lost the White House and Senate.

I guess it’s just acceptable business-as-usual for the corporations who “gave $50 million to voter suppression backers,” according to Huffington Post, citing an Associated Press report.

AP’s Bryan Slodysko explains, “Telecom giant AT&T was the most prolific, donating over $800,000 since 2015 to authors of proposed restrictions, cosponsors of such measures, or those who voted in favor of the bills, the [Public Citizen] report found. Other top donors during the same period include Comcast, Philip Morris, United Health, Wal-Mart, Verizon, General Motors and Pfizer.

“The money may not have been given with voting laws in mind, but it nonetheless helped cement Republican control in statehouses where many of the prohibitive measures are now moving forward.”

So, according to Sen. McConnell [“Stay out of politics”], corporations are just fine when backing subversive vote-suppressors, but not in opposing them.

Probably in the ‘80s, a radio commentator pointed out that many toothpastes – advertised to protect our teeth – contained sugar, which promoted growth of the bacteria that lead to tooth decay. I checked the only toothpaste I had ever used – and threw it out. Turns out, most toothpastes were doing the same.

Just as I can choose whom to support with my money, so, too, can MLB.

Unsurprisingly, the Atlanta Braves took issue with the decision to move the All-Star Game out of their ballpark. Hello, Denver.

Where Major League Commissioner Rob Manfred said the decision was “the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport,” the Braves responded with “This was neither our decision, nor our recommendation and we are saddened that fans will not be able to see this event in our city.”

Some might say, well, the Braves have to live with the Georgia racists. But cynicism is permitted when the organization tacks on the claim, “The Braves organization will continue to stress the importance of equal voting opportunities and we had hoped our city could use this event as a platform to enhance the discussion.”

This is the organization which has “enhanced the discussion” of racism by retaining a name that many find offensive and which continues to sell tomahawk-emblazoned caps, jerseys and other items [single or crossed tomahawks] while officially distancing itself from the “Tomahawk Chop,” a Hollywood version of a Native American chant.

But, gosh, if the fans see [un]fit to engage in it spontaneously while wearing tomahawk-themed apparel, how can they stop them?

Greed and bigotry, bigotry and greed: it’s hard to determine which comes first in the Republican bible. Moscow Mitch and Putin’s Agent Orange are calling for boycotts of companies that believe all of us have a right to vote. Well, we all also have the right to spend our money where we choose – until GOPQ privateers usurp governmental services.

My long-time favorite Mexican food fast food establishment dressed up a dog as Emiliano Zapata, a champion of Mexico’s unvoiced majority. I haven’t been back in about 24 years.

Gary Edmondson
Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democrats. He lives in Duncan, following a sporadic career as a small-town journalist, mostly in Texas, and as an editor of educational audio-visual materials. Some days he's a philosopher/poet, others a poet/philosopher.