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In the Media

BIPOC or POC? Equity or Equality? The Debate Over Language on the Left.

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?’”

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Activists Keep Police Reform Push Despite Minneapolis Loss

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.

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Facebook Says It’s Stopping Hate and Violence Against Black Americans. Its Own Research Shows Otherwise.

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.

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Metaverse? These Internet Pioneers Say We’re Still Learning from Web 1.0.

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.

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Politico’s Morning Money: Police Foundations, A Corporate-Sponsored Threat to Black Lives

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

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Corporate-Backed Police Foundations Pose ‘Threat to Democracy and Black Lives’

Many of the same corporations trumpeting support for Black lives are duplicitously bankrolling police violence through little-known but powerful police foundations, a new Color Of Change and LittleSis report revealed. The report highlights financial ties between police foundations and 55 Fortune 500 firms. It notes, “There is a police foundation in nearly every major American city, behind almost every police department, backed by wealthy donors and giant multinational corporations. In 2020, many police foundations’ top corporate sponsors made public statements in support of Black Lives Matter while providing a corporate slush fund for police.” COC President Rashad Robinson is quoted, “Only cutting ties with police foundations will show that corporate leaders are serious about protecting Black lives and bringing our police departments into the 21st century… We cannot let corporations talk about ‘Black lives’ on their Twitter feeds while also funding police violence on our streets.”

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Thought Leadership

CNN Video: New Report Suggests Solutions to ‘Information Disorder’

Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson recently joined the Aspen Institute’s Commission of Information Disorder along with national and global media celebrities from Katie Couric to Prince Harry. Based on a new report, they have just come out with practical solutions to try to tamp down misinformation on the Internet. Robinson is interviewed. “Information and disinformation have always existed. What we’re dealing with now is because of technology, and the prevalence of technology, it is moving at a pace we’ve never seen before. We’re calling on leadership across government and private sectors to engage in dealing with this problem.” He clarifies, “If the platforms say that they actually want to deal with these problems, then they have all sorts of tools at their disposal.”

You can watch the full video at https://cnn.it/3HjHA7n

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BLAVITY OP-ED: Countless Corporations Looked In During the BLM Uprisings. The Country Music Association Didn’t Even Pretend To Address Its Racism Problem.

This year, Black artists appear in only 3 of the 12 Country Music Awards categories. For decades, decision-makers in Nashville have worked to shut out Black artists — it’s time the CMA be held accountable for its racist culture and exclusionary bylaws and eligibility requirements. The CMA hardly even reacted when Morgan Wallen used the n-word; he was nominated this year. Meanwhile Lil Nas X, who took the world by storm with “Old Town Road,” which topped the charts for a record-breaking 19 weeks was inexplicably kicked off the country charts by Billboard. Then there’s the time Beyoncé and The Chicks did a surprise performance at the CMA Awards. It devolved into fans talking about how Beyoncé isn’t what country music represents ’til the CMA had to scrub their socials due to the abundance of racist comments.

Full article at https://bit.ly/30pjpU7

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BLAVITY OP-ED: To Protect Black Women, Media Needs To Play Its Part

R. Kelly’s trial illuminates a disturbing fact: reporters, TV producers, and media outlets are comfortable vilifying Black women and discrediting the stories of survivors rather than holding celebrities accountable. The Color Of Change team writes, “It has become increasingly apparent that streaming, media and recording companies have made their stance on survivors of sexual violence — and they’re siding with the abusers.” Spotify, Apple Music, the Shade Room, and dozens of entertainment shows continue to profit off of abusers like T.I., R. Kelly, and Tory Lanez. We’re past due for a transition in the way media report on sexual violence. “Thousands of other women watching this negligence carried out by the media are discouraged from sharing their stories. When we create a culture of supporting predators and abusers, Black women survivors are pushed to the margins while their aggressors continue to thrive and make money.”

Full article at https://bit.ly/3m9cSFo

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THE ROOT OP-ED: Senate Democrats, Why Are You Silent on Voting Rights?

Scott Roberts writes about the work that Color Of Change and other racial justice groups are doing to fight back against the barrage of attacks on our right to vote. “This coordinated attack is white supremacy at work. They are doing everything they can to silence us,” he explains. “We’re at a quintessential moment in our democracy. So much of our future depends on our ability to have access to the polls and the levers of power it holds. Yet Congress went on recess with no voting rights legislation passed. Black voters must hold our representatives accountable to ensure this legislative session does not end without the House of Rep. and Senate passing the Freedom to Vote Act.”

Full article at https://bit.ly/30ipSQs

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SALON COLUMN: Hurricane Ida’s Destruction Was the Result of Years of Systemic Racism

Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson writes about how the destruction wrought by Hurricane Ida is a direct result of systemic racism by decisionmakers who have repeatedly failed to pay attention to climate change or to protect Black neighborhoods the same way they do white ones. Not enough, he says, has changed in the 16 years since Katrina. “Thousands of Louisianans are entering their sixth straight week without power following Hurricane Ida. Meanwhile, displaced residents in search of adequate shelter for their families are piling into any neighbors’ homes that are still intact, some with up to 10 people in a single-wide trailer. Ida has left millions without homes or access to clean water during a pandemic… We must continue to build the power required to keep both politicians and corporations in check.”

Full article at https://bit.ly/2YtZtPk

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ESSENCE OP-ED: Black Women & Girls Deserve to be Protected from Violence

Color Of Change’s Senior Director of the Media, Culture, and Economic Justice pens a powerful op-ed about how, so often when Black come forward with tales of trauma, they are criticized rather than supported. Diving into the recent case of pop star R. Kelly, she explains how — guilty verdict or not — what justice for survivors of sexual violence really requires is a cultural shift, especially from entertainment media. “Top decision-makers in media have fueled the current culture of violence against Black women and the negligence that follows once they come forward with their stories of sexual violence and abuse… In many instances media has provided platforms to ignore and mock Black women survivors, creating content that condones abuse and profits off of their pain.”

Full article at https://bit.ly/3meyX4h

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