April 22, 2021 — Conference of Jewish Affairs spokesman Rabbi Aryeh Spero and Pastor Aubrey Shines of Conservative Clergy of Color made the following statement today:
“We of the Conference of Jewish Affairs and the Conservative Clergy of Color feel compelled to oppose the remarks of a group of black leaders who have called for boycotts against Home Depot and other yet unnamed vital businesses unless these companies condemn the newly passed state of Georgia voting rights bill, known as The Election Integrity Act. This group, led by Rev. Reginald Jackson and representing many African Methodist Episcopalian Churches, misportrays this well-considered piece of legislation brought to fruition by sincere people hoping that everyone gets their legitimate opportunity to vote.
“Calling themselves a group of faith leaders and issuing a ‘warning shot ’against business unwilling to denounce what is a good-willed piece of voting legislation, the group claims the goal of the Integrity Act is to deny minorities the right to vote. This is not true. It is unbecoming and unworthy of leaders of faith to engage in such falsehoods and inaccurate hyperbole and accuse sincere people of wanting to enact Jim Crow-type laws when just the opposite is true. Because we do not subscribe to the notion of America as systemically racist and because we know that in today’s America virtually everyone desires that all Americans have their right to vote secured, we reject the presupposition underlying this group’s indictment. Home Depot, as with many fair-minded company directors, has rightfully called for voting guidelines to be ‘accessible, fair, and secure.”
“ ‘Fair’ means allowing all legitimate voters a right and possibility to vote. It does not mean guaranteeing the desired outcome and victory this particular group desires. ‘Accessible’ does not mean on-going and never-ending election seasons until the leftwing candidate can accumulate enough votes to declare victory. ‘Secure’ does not mean voting tabulations under the eyes of Democrat machines and poll watchers only. In fact, choreographing election laws to tilt and rig election outcomes is not moral. Support for civil rights does not mean structuring voting in a biased way that ends up denying others their civil right of having their vote count.
“The group says they are making these threats because ‘democracy means the right to vote.’ Indeed it does. But laws that allow illegals to vote; that do not require the basic, common sense identification procedures embedded in all of American civic life; that do not allow for checking and matching names and residences for accuracy, as well as unethical ballot harvesting are not democracy in action, rather one party rule in action. It is not democracy when someone’s illegal vote is pre-planned and allowed to cancel out and nullify the vote of citizens trying to exercise their Constitutional right. Nor is it moral to exploit the noble concept of civil rights to fix an election’s outcome and pre-determine victory for liberal/left candidates. It is unfair, immoral, and dishonest.
Rabbi Spero noted that Jamal H. Bryant, one of the people pushing for the boycott, has called Louis Farrakhan, one of the world’s most outspoken anti-Semites, “one of the greatest leaders of our people.”
“This practice of bullying well-meaning people and intimidating companies into submission and forcing them to relinquish their basic rights if they wish to keep their reputation, livelihood and even safety is reprehensible. Knowingly or unknowingly, these faith leaders are engaged not in an act of faith but politics, power politics from a Party willing to besmirch all state legislators and upstanding businesses in order to guarantee permanent victory for their Party. Voting is only fair and equitable if there is, as the law states, Integrity.”
Rabbi Aryeh Spero, Pastor Aubrey Shines,
Conference of Jewish Affairs Conservative Clergy of Color
[Photo of Jamal Bryant and Louis Farrakhan Credit: Montez Miller, Office of Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones]