Atlanta business professor predicts boycotts will have little effect in Georgia

Activists and politicians on both sides of the political spectrum have called on consumers to boycott some Georgia businesses for their handling of the state's new election law.

"Boycott all of the woke companies that don’t want Voter I.D. and Free and Fair Elections," said former President Donald Trump in a statement.

Trump's remarks came after Delta and Coca-Cola spoke out against the law and after Major League Baseball pulled the All-Star Game from Truist Park in Cobb County.

"Boycotts against companies, they rarely have a direct effect," said Professor Raymond Hill with Emory University's Goizueta Business School.

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Hill pointed to the Montgomery Bus Boycott in the mid-1950s.

"It came to an end because there was a victory in the federal courts, not because Birmingham said, 'Okay, we're going to give in to the demands of the boycotters.'  It had a wider effect obviously, because it called attention to segregation in the South on a national basis," Hill explained.

In order to be successful, Hill said, a boycott must have a clear, defined message.  The economic sanctions against South Africa, which helped end Apartheid, were effective because of worldwide support.

While the boycotts in Georgia likely will not cause the legislature to call a special session to repeal the law, Hill said they will have a more widespread effect.  

"It's more a message to other states, you know, when you're changing your voter laws, be careful about voter access and so I don't think it's going to change anything in Georgia, but it may make some other state just be a little more cautious," said Hill.  

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