Coca-Cola’s long, fraught involvement in racial politics

Like its corporate Georgia brethren Delta Airlines and Home Depot, the Coca-Cola corporation has been drawn into the fray, pressured to take a stand on restrictive voting legislation recently enacted in its home state. Charles Bethea at The New Yorker points out that this is not Coke’s first foray into politics—far from it. This new legislation, which is widely perceived as an attempt to keep Black voters away from the polls, has been publicly condemned by the global food and beverage conglomerate. But a review of company history shows multiple instances of it coming down on the other side of racially discriminatory politics, including Jim Crow laws. Is Coke’s current stance yet another instance of empty corporate doublespeak, or is it simply a reflection of evolving social norms? Let’s check back in a few decades.

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