Sen. Lamar Responds to Attorney General's Attack on Corporate Affirmative Action

Advocate Andy

Legislative leader says letter from Attorney General could harm Black workers and Black business owners

Senate Democratic Caucus Chair London Lamar of Memphis is speaking out about Tennessee Attorney General Johnathan Skrmetti's letter to Fortune 100 companies challenging affirmative action policies.

Skrmetti joined 12 other Attorneys General in threatening legal action if these top companies continued to use affirmative action policies while conducting business in their respective states.

The Attorneys General cited a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on race-based admissions policies at colleges as the grounds for the letter to the nation's top companies. The letter issues a warning that ending affirmative action is imperative:

"If you choose not to do so, know that you will be held accountable—sooner rather than later . . ."

In response to Skrmetti's participation in the letter, Sen. Lamar issued her own warning, saying the Attorney General's action could have a chilling effect on corporate programs that benefit Black workers and business owners in Tennessee.

“There is an appalling lack of representation in corporate America. For instance, there are only eight Black CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies — and that’s a record-high number,” said Lamar, who is also the chairwoman of the Senate Democratic Caucus.

“If Tennessee’s Republican attorney general succeeds in bullying companies into ending their programs to hire and work with Black Americans, the consequences will be devastating,” she said.

The letter signed by Skrmetti was also signed by Attorneys General from Kentucky, Arkansas, Alabama, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, South Carolina, West Virginia, Mississippi, Montana, and Missouri.

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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