- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 3, 2021

A North Carolina county commission has kicked Coca-Cola vending machines from government office buildings, accusing the soda giant of engaging in left-wing politics.

WXII channel 12, the NBC affiliate in Winston-Salem, said the Surry County commission voted 3-2 to ban the machines, citing Atlanta-based Coca-Cola’s denouncing Georgia’s voting law.

“The left wing in America, they defund, they boycott, they cancel, they tear down statues — all sorts of egregious actions. The expectation from them is that the opposing political side will cower in the corner and we’re supposed to accept that and it’s supposed to be OK. And it’s not OK,” County Commissioner Eddie Harris told NBC-12.

Mr. Harris also wrote a letter, using county letterhead, to Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey Quincey, condemning the company’s criticism of Georgia’s new election-security law.

“Millions of Americans believe that the last presidential election was not held in a fair manner and that more voter fraud will occur in the future if elections are not closely monitored and regulated,” he wrote in the letter.

Mr. Quincey had said in a statement this spring in response to Georgia’s law that “we all have a duty to protect everyone’s right to vote and we will continue to stand up for what is right in Georgia and across the U.S.”

But Mr. Harris said others need to speak up too, against cancel culture.

“It is time that someone starts speaking out. People are afraid to speak out and exercise their First Amendment rights. They are afraid to lose their job, their home. They are afraid to be called a racist. It is not healthy,” he said.

According to WXII, the machines haven’t been removed yet and the local Coke bottler is trying to work things out.

A spokesman for Coca-Cola Consolidated told the NBC affiliate that the independently owned company has reached out to county commissioners to set up a meeting to discuss the vote.

Surry County has about 75,000 people and is located in the western part of North Carolina, on the state’s northern border with Virginia.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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