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.
In 2019, we scored a number of victories to end money bail. Bail is used to imprison innocent people who don’t have the funds to pay their way out while awaiting trial. In NY and CO, we worked with grassroots groups to support the passage of historic legislation that will slash the jail and prison population. Our campaign to embolden progressive prosecutors to end money bail continues too. In Prince George, MD, the State’s Attorney announced her office will no longer request cash bail. In Bexar County, TX the DA recommends people who cannot afford bail be released unless they’re specifically a “flight risk.” Pre-trial detention has ruined the lives of hundreds of thousands of Black and Brown people from Sandra Bland to Kalief Browder and mires many more in impossible debt.
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Wedding Sites Back Away from Plantation Weddings
After Color Of Change reached out to wedding planning sites Pinterest and The Knot, both companies agreed to stop promoting old slave plantations for weddings and stop using language that romanticizes their history. Now the Knot is working with Color Of Change to create new guidelines for vendors. Zola said they’d stop listing plantations and will work with us to ensure their policies “make everyone feel welcome.” Our campaign took off in the media, and was covered in outlets from the FOX and ABC News to the New York Times. With this victory, we sent a clear message to the wedding industry: there’s nothing romantic about slavery. This win moves us one step closer to a world where it is no longer acceptable to make millions by exploiting Black people’s suffering.
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Voting & Democracy
Facebook Removes Deceptive Trump Ad
Color Of Change once again held Facebook’s feet to the fire when it decided to run a misleading Trump re-election ad that implied it would take people to participate in the 2020 Census, but routed them to the “Make America Great Again” donation page instead. After we spoke out with tech accountability groups, Facebook reversed course and pulled the ad. Rashad is quoted in the Washington Post: “Going forward, harmful and misleading ads must be flagged in a pre-posting review process, not after they’ve hit hundreds, if not thousands, of news feeds.” Facebook currently has the most permissive and most damaging approach to political speech – allowing candidates to post misleading information and target specific audiences with it.
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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.
CBS News explore what Chauvin’s historic conviction could mean for the future of policing and America’s commitment to reform. Many activists say the verdict would not have been possible without historic massive protests, which seriously shifted public opinion about police violence and abuse against Black people. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson is quoted, “It’s not the verdict that creates change — it was change that created this verdict. I think the legacy of this trial is the proof that movements can work, community organizing and nonviolent action can work. So we have to learn from that and commit to taking this to the next level.”
This NY Daily News article explains why it’ll take more than one conviction or a few reforms to transform policing and keep Black people safe. Changing police culture and creating real accountability is going to take the help of district attorneys according to Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change. “There are 2,400 district attorneys all around the country; 80% of them run unopposed. Ninety percent of district attorneys right now are white. If we’re going to do any work to actually bring about true safety and justice, we have to change the policies, we have to change the practices, and we have to change the personnel. And that means that we have to build political power in order to achieve it.”
While Derek Chauvin was standing trial, new images of fatal police encounters, unjustly killing Black people in Chicago, Minnesota, and Ohio competed with the now-familiar video of George Floyd pleading for his life. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson is quoted about what, if anything, can build trust in policing and how Color Of Change’s 7M members will continue to fight for true change. “When you amplify our message of justice and equity, decision makers take notice; when you stop funding police and their enablers, heads turn; and when you use your power to demand systemic change, Black people will be safe in our country.”
Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson appeared on MSNBC to discuss police reform. While Minnesota prosecutors broke “blue wall” of silence by having police testify against Derek Chauvin at his trial, these police witnesses are still resisting real accountability, he explains. In essence what the “bad apple” defense is doing is defending the policing establishment by acting like Chauvin is an outlier, whereas he is representative of what’s wrong with police departments across the country. “This is a systemic issue so it demands a systemic solution… Derek Chauvin just did what he did that day with his hands in his pockets, his sunglasses on, and we’re expected to believe this wasn’t part of an unwritten culture of a police department where Derek Chauvin had repeated violations, repeated complaints and nothing was done. This is what we see time and time again.”
An unprecedented lineup of law enforcement officers, including the Minneapolis police chief, took the stand at the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, denouncing his behavior. As rare as it is for police-involved deaths to lead to a criminal trial, let alone a conviction, high up cops coming forward to testify against one of their own is even rarer. The piercing of the “blue wall of silence” is noteworthy. But it’s too soon to say whether this will chip away at the deference given to police in cases. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson is wary. He believes Minneapolis police are using a “bad apple strategy” to separate the department from Chauvin rather than addressing the systemic issues fueling police brutality. “Derek Chauvin saw cameras in his face and did not flinch because this is policing in America.”
Last summer, calls for racial justice penetrated every aspect of America on a scale not seen since the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Derek Chauvin’s conviction on two counts of murder earlier this month brought solace to activists. But for many Black Americans, real change feels elusive, as killings of Black men by police have continued. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson puts the verdict in perspective. “We will forever look back at this moment in American history. George Floyd’s death created a new energy around making changes, though it’s not clear how lasting they will be. His death pushed racial justice to the forefront…. But we must remember this is about making Chauvin accountable and making systemic changes.”