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.
A few days before a pro-Trump mob broke into the Capitol, Stripe processed $100,000 in donations to the Proud Boys, the white nationalist group Trump gave a shout-out to on live TV during the debates. Stripe put profit over public safety – funneling money to the group that funded interstate travel, tactical gear, and legal expenses. But after tens of thousands of Color Of Change members took action, Stripe decided to permanently suspend donations to the Proud Boys and indefinitely ban all accounts affiliated with the hate group. Our No Blood Money campaign to stop financial companies from profiting off of hate continues as we make sure Stripe keeps its promise to working with violent hate groups and GiveSendGo, the fundraising site used by white nationalists like Kyle Rittenhouse and Officer Derek Chauvin.
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Social Media Sites Ban Trump
Last week, Twitter, the social media site instrumental to President Trump’s rise, permanently banned his account. This is huge. For the last 4 years, Trump has turned to Twitter to spread misinformation and lies, incite violence, announce ad hoc policies, and antagonize those who disagree with him. For years, Color Of Change has been working to hold Twitter and Facebook accountable for white nationalist organizing on their platforms. And for weeks, groups like the Proud Boys were plotting their attack on the Capitol on social media. Finally, tech execs are listening. After Trump’s armed followers broke into the Capitol and Congress had to be evacuated, we reached out leaders at both companies, telling them to shut Trump down. Facebook has suspended Trump until the end of his term. This is where real accountability begins. For too long, we'd been warning this was bound to happen. We cannot afford to let Americans live in two realities, undermining the sovereignty of our elections, peddling hate for profit, and enabling armed revolt against peaceful leaders.
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Voting & Democracy
Victory for Poll Workers in GA
All eyes are on Georgia’s runoff elections where the fate of the Senate hangs in the balance. After poll workers–many of whom are Black women–were harassed, Color Of Change launched a campaign with UltraViolet. Together we demanded Facebook shut down the right-wing groups targeting poll workers, reminding execs that online harassment leads to real-world violence. Some poll workers received death threats; one even found a noose outside his home with his name on it. Recently Facebook announced poll workers will now be included in their Protect Program, given extra safety and privacy protections. Poll workers defend our democracy; they should never have to live in fear. The fight is not over as the move came only after immense pressure from Color Of Change and partners. We continue to press Facebook to stop putting Black lives and votes at risk.
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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.
In the Ahmaud Arbery case, justice arrived despite a rigged jury selection process: 11 of the 12 jurors were white, and that was no accident. During jury selection, the defense dismissed 11 of 12 potential Black jurors. When the prosecution challenged these dismissals, the judge acknowledged that they were likely rooted in racism but refused to do anything about it. Over and over, we see the same thing, and the problem is not with the judges or lawyers — but the law. Scott Roberts, Color Of Change’s Sr Director of Criminal Justice Campaigns points to the case of Judge Olu Stevens in 2016, who threw out an all-white jury on racial grounds. “He recognized that discrimination was happening, … and he was suspended for 90 days.” In addition, “If you’re barred from registering to vote, then you’re barred from juries by default. Given that our criminal justice system is so racially biased, … this is a vicious cycle.”
The New York Times dives into America’s evolution with language and the new terms coming into play in the movement for racial justice and gender inclusion. For those pushing for changes in society, words matter — and not just in the ways you’d think. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson explains how the way we articulate ideas helps us understand who’s to blame for the current imbalances of power and where the real solutions lie. “Saying something like, ‘Black people are less likely to get a loan from the bank,’ instead of saying, ‘Banks are less likely to give loans to Black people,’ might feel like it’s just me wording it differently,” he explains. “But ‘Black people are less likely to get a loan from the bank’ makes people ask themselves, ‘What’s wrong with Black people? Let’s get them financial literacy programs.’ The other way is saying, ‘What’s wrong with the banks?’”
A Minneapolis ballot initiative, which would have removed a requirement for a minimum number of MPD officers, was defeated when 56% voted against installing a new Department of Public Safety with a more holistic vision that relies less on cops with guns. Still many advocates in the “defund” movement see just how much progress has been made. Momentum for similar efforts continue to build in Washington D.C., Austin, and Los Angeles. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson says social movements can take years to create sweeping change, and this one has pushed a major shift in the conversation in a short time.“I couldn’t imagine a ballot measure like this even being on the ballot three years ago,” he said. “Movements lose until they win.” A Star Tribune analysis found the strongest support among younger voters, around the University of Minnesota, and near where George Floyd was killed. Opposition was strong in wealthy areas, and the city’s largely Black north side, where people expressed fears about violent crime.
Black users say they got blocked on Facebook all the time, sometimes even for just discussing racism, whereas open violent threats against them go unpunished. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson says the failure to kick Trump off Facebook before the insurrection is indicative of how Facebook sweeps violent, racist threats under the table all the time. Leading up to January 6, Robinson called Mark Zuckerberg to challenge the company’s decision. “Zuckerberg dismissed concerns that Trump’s post would whip up vigilantism against Black community and insisted the post was staying up to warn the public of the threat of military force,” according to Robinson. History, of course, has shown otherwise.
The world reacts to Facebook’s name change to Meta, as people across the world debate the triumphs and failures in creating safeguards for emerging social media technologies, and confronting the limits of corporate greed and the blindspots of corporate culture. The company’s detractors say a name change that nods toward the “metaverse” isn’t enough. Critics include Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson, who told lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, that the new name is“exactly what you should name a company that needs to be broken up.” Many other lawmakers and advocates are quoted as well.
Politico talks about the latest report from Color of Change and watchdog group LittleSis exposing the corporations that contribute to police foundations. The report shows Bank of America, AT&T, Target, Verizon, Walmart, Starbucks, Uber, Delta Airlines, and major sports teams all give to police foundations — funneling money for special equipment and programs that target Black and Brown communities. Now Color Of Change are members are stepping up to urge companies to divest from police foundations across the country. The full report can be found at https://policefoundations.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Police-Report-2021_10_05_FINALV3.pdf