During the 3-week trial of George Chauvin, we saw several more police murders including Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man killed by former Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter right around the corner from where George Floyd was murdered. The Color Of Change team explains how we shouldn’t have to wait for the next tragedy for elected officials to deliver changes in policing — and what you can do about it. 1) Add your name to our petition to demand a DOG investigation into the Minneapolis’s and other police departments policing practices. 2) Join us in demanding justice for Daunte Wright. 3) Ask Congress to end qualified immunity for cops.
In the Media
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.”
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.”
COC President Rashad Robinson writes about Hollywood’s failure to make good on its promises on inclusion. “This week we are reminded that Hollywood, despite its calls for change, continues to reinforce systems that overlook Black people’s creative luminosity in favor of the status quo. After the Golden Globe nominations and egregious snubs of Black creators and actors, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group responsible for choosing honorees, confirmed that it has zero Black members…. Despite the momentum and a year of particularly brilliant work by Black creatives, little has shifted. Removing barriers for Black people to produce and share content must be accompanied by Black people being rewarded for success — in terms of pay equity and credit, and yes, awards.”
Rashad Robinson writes about Hollywood’s failure to deliver on diversity. “This week we are reminded that Hollywood, despite its calls for change, continues to reinforce systems that overlook Black people’s creative luminosity in favor of the status quo. After the Golden Globe nominations and egregious snubs of Black creators and actors, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group responsible for choosing honorees, confirmed that it has zero Black members…. Removing barriers for Black people to produce and share content must be accompanied by Black people being rewarded for success — in terms of pay equity and credit, and yes, awards.” Article at http://bit.ly/3cJTkBr
THE LOUDEST VOICE: Corporate America Needs to Get on the Right Side of History. Civil Rights Nonprofit Color Of Change Gets It There—Ready or Not.
Fast Company profiles Color Of Change’s 15 years of groundbreaking to build a new racial justice movement and hold corporate America responsible for their role in holding back change. Our work to harness the uprisings after George Floyd’s death and turn that into real victories, from the cancelation of Cops to a corporate reckoning on race and equity is described here. Full article at https://apple.news/AeP2IHWzvQaOff0ch-vWZFA
A look inside Color Of Change Hollywood’s work going behind the scenes to work with TV writers and producers. One writers’ room at a time, the group is shifting how policing is portrayed on TV and pushing Hollywood to tell the truth about what Black people experience at the hands of law enforcement and our criminal justice system. “We’ve found that Black women, for instance, are rarely victims of violent crimes on cop shows, when we know that Black women are actually at a higher risk for violent crimes,” says Culture & Entertainment Advocacy Director Kristen Marston. Full article is at http://bit.ly/2WWfGbm
BBC Newsday interviews Scott Roberts, Color Of Change’s Director of Criminal Justice Campaigns, on unpaid, forced labor in US prisons. Nearly every US state makes millions of dollars off of prison labor, but a move is finally underway to outlaw the practice. Scott says of the slavery loophole, “Almost immediately after emancipation, this exception was used to basically continue the economy that had been built around slavery… In time, this has grown to be a massive industry.” Hear the full interview at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p090pddv
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Color Of Change’s Rashad Robinson Says Breonna Taylor Decision Is a “Wake-Up Call” to Hollywood
In this Q&A, Rashad Robinson says the grand jury’s decision and lack of justice for Breonna Taylor shows urgent work on narrative change is. He discusses COC’s efforts to take on film and TV for crime dramas that lionize police and fail to show the true experiences of people of color. “I hope that this is a wakeup call to think about the stories — that get shipped out to the country and world — that create less empathy, less respect, that serve as PR arms for law enforcement. You don’t get to these types of legal and policy results without culture helping to fuel it.” Entire article at https://bit.ly/33OjIq5.
In this op-ed, Rashad Robinson explains how In the US, the rules are still rigged against Black success. A big part of the fight to change that is finding the right story—the winning story. Because whether it’s the rules of work in an Amazon warehouse, the rules for police in our neighborhoods, or the rules that determine which hospitals get funding, or which businesses get COVID relief loans, corporations are still allowed to profit off Black people — and it’s still costing us our lives. Op-ed at https://bit.ly/3lQNLE5