Within hours of Musk taking over Twitter, use of the n-word rose 500%. Hate speech skyrocketed. Musk himself tweeted a baseless conspiracy theory about the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband. He's supported restoring Trump's account. We cannot trust him to protect users from hate, harassment and misinformation. GM and L'Oréal have suspended their advertising. Let's push Disney and Coca-Cola to follow suit!
We can create an Internet where Black people thrive. Check out the Black Tech Agenda — a roadmap for racial equity in tech regulation. Big Tech has chased profits no matter the cos: cyber-bullying, misinformation, real world violence to Brown and Black people. But these 6 principles lay the groundwork for accountability.
Thanks to T-Mobile, conservatives now have the power to ban Black and LGBTQ history from classrooms in Texas. T-Mobile rents its cellular towers and infrastructure to Patriot Mobile, a far-right wireless provider that funded racist school board candidates in Texas. Write to T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert and tell him it's time they #DropPatriotMobile
The cost of groceries has risen 12% in a year. Why? Corporate greed. Tyson Foods, one of the largest food production companies, has artificially increased prices, out-tracking inflation and manufacturing costs to nearly double its profits. This especially hurts Black families. Ask them to roll back prices to pre-pandemic levels.
In Oklahoma, pregnant women are facing felony charges for using prescribed medical marijuana during pregnancy. Even though their babies are born healthy, they're facing possible life sentences. Black, Brown, and poor women bear the brunt of this criminalization.
Florida Housing Complex Forced to Stop Illegally Evicting Black Families
Last January we launched a rapid response campaign following a wave of evictions at Holly Court Apartments in Tampa. Victoria Lee, a tenant there, used our OrganizeFor platform to mobilize thousands of members and amplify tenant demands to fix the plumbing, honor leases, and support tenants who’d been illegally pushed out. Many families were given eviction notices on New Year’s Eve for no reason at all and given just 30 days to find a new home. One mother reported having to go to the corner store to use the bathroom as raw sewage backed up in her tub. Management all but ignored calls for help and she had to call out of work for days because she couldn’t shower. After the online petition and a sleep-in protest, Palm Communities agreed to honor residents’ leases, provide temporary housing for displaced residents, and resolve maintenance issues. Housing is a human right, but far too often greed and profit trump the needs of Black and low-income residents who live in buildings owned by private equity firms. Your calls and text messages kept residents in their homes!
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AT&T Pulls Funding from White Nationalist Network
With your help, we pressured AT&T to stop funding the far-right network One America News. OAN was a major vehicle for Trump, and has continued to provide a “friendly” platform for his allies. We've seen correspondents use racial slurs, call for the execution of election officials, suggest shooting unhoused people – all without consequence. OAN consistently promotes hate-filled content, and disseminates dangerous misinformation about the 2020 elections and safety of the COVID-19 vaccine, with the goal of provoking their audience. Research revealed a major reason for the network's success was support from AT&T. AT&T should know better. So thousands of Color Of Change members wrote to AT&T CEO John Stankey, and we were heard. One America Network has been removed from DirectTV. This is another step towards making sure the media isn’t allowed to amplify racist lies that lead to real-world violence against Black people.
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Biden Grants Clemency to 70 People on Home Confinement
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve fought to get incarcerated people who pose no risk to their communities but could fall deathly ill with COVID sent home. On April 26, 2022, nearly 150,000 Color Of Change members helped convince President Biden to free 70 people on home confinement. That means they can live independently, pursue their dreams, spend time with friends and family without electronic monitors or other dehumanizing conditions of confinement. It is historic for a president to grant so many clemencies in their first term. But thousands more people deserve to be free – and risk being sent back due to minor technicalities or bureaucratic errors. People on home confinement have had to turn down jobs or miss funerals because they’re outside of the range they’re allowed to travel. Biden promised he'd end mass incarceration and cut the prison population in half. Help us hold him to that.
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Color Of Change helps people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by 7 million members, we move decision makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people, and all people. Until justice is real.
Former President Barack Obama gave a historic speech on the challenges to democracy by misinformation on the Internet at Stanford University. He said regulators and the public need more transparency around how the ranking systems and algorithms at large tech companies worked, and that financial incentives are still too strongly weighted towards profit above everything else. “On an issue of enormous importance there has been little public debate and practically no government oversight,” Obama said. Panelist Rashad Robinson, president of Color Of Change, agreed especially when it comes to the grip that companies like Facebook and Twitter over the public discourse. He is quoted, “It’s not that rich people have influence over the public square. It’s that they own the public square.”
Millions cheered as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first Black woman and first public defender to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Her confirmation was hailed by Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change. “Her perspective as a public defender has long been missing from the court as has her real-world experience addressing racial injustices in sentencing. We must redouble our commitment to redefining the role of judges and prosecutors—to ensure they serve the people rather than corrupt interests and they end racial injustice rather than exacerbating it.” He added, “We must also remember that Black activism—and Black voters—brought us to this long-awaited moment. They made President Biden promise to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court, and they made him keep that promise.”
Alopecia is getting growing recognition following the now infamous Academy Awards where Will Smith went onstage and slapped Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife’s baldness. One type, called “hot comb alopecia,” mostly affects Black women and is a result over-manipulating one’s hair, often to look the part at work and get promoted in corporate America. Color Of Change’s Vice President Arisha Hatch is quoted on how hair discrimination and standards that judge women who wear their hair naturally have got to go. “Every day, Black folks suffering from alopecia and baldness are being robbed of employment opportunities, education, and dignity because employers and institutions can cloak their racism in dress code policies and vague concepts like ‘professionalism’ that were designed to shut us out.” That’s why Color Of Change is working to pass the CROWN Act.
The Supreme Court recently accepted two cases to review and potentially restrict affirmative action at colleges and universities. Precisely as young people of color will become most of the nation’s high school graduates, the court’s conservative majority may hobble efforts to increase their representation in elite higher education institutions. With the appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Court, the demographic divisions between the two blocs on the court will more closely resemble the divide between the groups of Americans likely to gain, and lose, from the court’s rulings. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson remarks, “We will have this very clear visual of a group of white people trying to rip away rights from Black and Brown people while sitting across from Black and Brown people with more qualifications than them. It will be the kind of images we have seen in our civil rights movies and books,” he says, adding it’s the same history they’re trying to ban through laws restricting how school teachers can discuss racial discrimination.
Racial justice leaders lauded this week’s passage of long overdue legislation making lynching a federal hate crime. But more needs to be done on issues that continue to plague Black and Brown neighborhoods from police brutality to attacks on voting rights. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson is quoted, “It’s important to ensure that we put this legislation in place and that it’s enforced. At the same time, it’s important that we continue to work to deal with all the ways that anti-Black racism shows up, from police violence to the ways in which our votes and ability to express ourselves in a democracy are being stolen…. Lynching wasn’t just a tool of violence. It was a tool of terror to suppress our will and our ability to engage.” Southern Democrats repeatedly used the filibuster, for example, to thwart anti-lynching legislation and many opportunities for progress.
The Senate made history today when it confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court. After 233 years, she is the first Black woman to ever serve on the nation’s highest court. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson is quoted, “We have to remember that Black activism and Black voters did brought us this long-awaited moment. We demanded representation and not just in gender and race but in perspective, values and experience.” He says Jackson raises the bar for what voters should expect from the court, and her confirmation process is an indication of how he thinks Republicans will speak about Black and Brown people in the midterm elections.