The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP, has started planning an economic boycott of North Carolina in protest of the state's efforts to suppress civil and voting rights, the civil rights group announced on Friday.
The NAACP announced a resolution calling for the planning of a boycott of the state and called on 200 other groups to join the effort. The resolution called for a boycott until the state undoes what the NAACP called "racially gerrymandered districts," creates "fair election districts" and repeals a series of laws covering transgender bathroom access, oversight of county and state elections, and restrictions on the governor's powers.
"Seldom has such a poisonously partisan few violated the rights of a nonpartisan many: workers' rights, LGBTQ rights, civil rights and voting rights," NAACP president and CEO Cornell William Brooks said in a statement. "Therefore, the NAACP must use the power of the purse to demonstrate the power of our democracy."
At a Friday news conference, Brooks did not say when the economic boycott would officially begin, Reuters reported.
Several corporations and organizations have moved events from North Carolina or canceled investments in the state following the passage of House Bill 2, a law mandating people to use the bathrooms that correspond with their biological sex when in state facilities. The NBA moved its All-Star game from Charlotte to New Orleans in response to the bill, and the NCAA moved seven championship events from the state as well. Efforts have been made by North Carolina lawmakers to repeal the bill, which has cost the state an estimated $600 million, but the legislation remained the law of the land.
Unlike those organizations, the NAACP was adding racial justice issues to their boycott of the state. Earlier this month, four residents filed suit against Jones County, North Carolina, for discriminating against black voters. The county's five-member Board of Commissioners hasn't had a black member since 1994, despite the fact the county is 30 percent black.
The NAACP also wanted the repeal of legislation passed in a December special session that restricted the powers of incoming Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat who promised to repeal H.B. 2 during last year's gubernatorial campaign, and rearranged the state's court system. An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 people protested state lawmakers in Raleigh earlier this month as part of demonstrations planned by Reverend Dr. William J. Barber, the president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP.
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