What a difference a day makes…
Delta Air Lines has faced significant scrutiny for its support of a new voting law in Georgia which critics say restricts the right of minorities to vote. After defending the law for the last five days, Delta promptly reversed course and now condemns it.
Delta Air Lines Now Condemns The Voting Law It Strongly Supported
In a note to employees this morning shared on Delta’s website, CEO Ed Baistan–who praised the bill as late as yesterday–now minces no words.
Last week, the Georgia legislature passed a sweeping voting reform act that could make it harder for many Georgians, particularly those in our Black and Brown communities, to exercise their right to vote.
Since the bill’s inception, Delta joined other major Atlanta corporations to work closely with elected officials from both parties, to try and remove some of the most egregious measures from the bill. We had some success in eliminating the most suppressive tactics that some had proposed.
However, I need to make it crystal clear that the final bill is unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values.
The right to vote is sacred. It is fundamental to our democracy and those rights not only need to be protected, but easily facilitated in a safe and secure manner.
After having time to now fully understand all that is in the bill, coupled with discussions with leaders and employees in the Black community, it’s evident that the bill includes provisions that will make it harder for many underrepresented voters, particularly Black voters, to exercise their constitutional right to elect their representatives. That is wrong.
The entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie: that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 elections. This is simply not true. Unfortunately, that excuse is being used in states across the nation that are attempting to pass similar legislation to restrict voting rights.
So there is much work ahead, and many more opportunities to have an impact. I want the entire Delta family to know that we stand together in our commitment to protect and facilitate your precious right to vote.
Delta says it is has had “time to now fully understand all that is in the bill” and is horrified by it. Isn’t that the problem with so much of legislation these days: we have to pass it so we know what’s in it? Delta’s defense is disgusting and frankly indefensible.
Let me be clear. Delta had no business meddling with this law in the first place. And what are the results? Bastian looks like a flip-flopping, opportunistic, self-serving fool. Delta alienated left of center voters through its initial support of the bill and has now alienated right of center voters by strongly condemning the bill and rolling over to “cancel culture.”
Even if we are charitable and say Delta genuinely did not know what was in the bill, it speaks very poorly of Delta’s government liaison folks and legal team. I tend to think Delta knew exactly what was in the bill and simply never expected the sort of backlash this bill quickly encountered.
Delta walks away from this bill severely tarnished. The lesson is simple: stay away from controversial political issues only tangentially related to flying unless you want to alienate a lot of people.