All Articles Tagged "color of change"
With the November elections coming, it’s time to get the vote out. And now ColorOfChange.org, the online civil rights organization with more than 900,000 members, has announced a new voting campaign called “If They Speak For Me.” The campaign will target communities of color, especially Black women, in an effort to “inspire and encourage Black women and those who care about them to let their voices be heard, touching on hot-button issues such as equal pay, healthcare, voter suppression and police violence,” according to a press statement. To help get the word out the organization has created a powerful video.
Yesterday, ColorOfChange.org began hosting a series of Twitter Townhalls during the commercial breaks of Scandal. The Townhalls aim to engage viewers in educational and thought-provoking conversation about the issues that matter most to Black women in the upcoming midterm election.
“In the last election, Black women and the Black community voted in record numbers. The #iftheyspeakforme Twitter Townhalls are a great opportunity to continue to build momentum behind the political voice of Black women by fostering substantive dialogue across a range of important topics. With so much at stake heading into November, it is critical we lift up our voices and ensure that the issues we care most about are included in the national conversation,” says Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color Of Change.
During each Twitter Townhalls, Color Of Change asks a key question and responses will be moderated by Mitzi Miller, editor-in-chief of Ebony magazine. The Townhalls kicked off with a question about income inequality.
The upcoming topics are healthcare (10/23) and voter suppression (10/30).
Much of the sympathy and the calls for justice in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO have been for the victim in this case, the slain Michael Brown. However, there are those who have spoken out in support the police officer, Darren Wilson, including Robin Clearmountain, a former director of muticultural affairs for the Florissant Police Department, a retired English teacher and a resident of the St. Louis area.
“That uniform trumps everything. That uniform says, ‘I will die for you.’ I adopted all of these police officers a long time ago,” she told The Huffington Post while attending a rally in support of the officer. The article notes that she was the only Black woman at the rally. “I believe in them 100 percent. They are my family.”
Clearmountain said much the same when she spoke with Fox News a few weeks back.
She’s, of course, not the only person to come out behind Wilson. There were two GoFundMe crowdfunding campaigns that raised more than $400,000. According to one of the campaigns, “We stand behind Officer Darren Wilson and his family during this trying time in their lives. All proceeds will be sent directly to Darren Wilson and his family for any financial needs they may have including legal fees.”
Color of Change, the group that seeks to give Black Americans more of a political voice, had pressed GoFundMe to remove the campaign.
“Despite more than 100,000 Color Of Change members calling on GoFundMe to remove the Darren Wilson donation pages and return all profits, the company has taken no clear steps beyond deleting racist comments,” the organization writes in a press release.
In a statement on the issue, GoFundMe emphasized the fact that it has campaigns for both Michael Brown and Darren Wilson.
“Much like Facebook, Twitter, and many other websites, GoFundMe is an open social media platform where opposing ideas and viewpoints exist. If GoFundMe were to remove campaigns because they are unpopular, it would set a dangerous precedent moving forward for all users,” the site says. GoFundMe also makes it clear that it hasn’t raised money for Darren Wilson. And no, the campaign doesn’t violate the site’s terms.
On that latter point, Color of Change seems to take issue. In a campaign statement on its site, the organization writes, “Your own terms of service prohibit ‘items that promote hate, violence, racial intolerance, or the financial exploitation of a crime.’ If Darren Wilson is charged, then it would stand to reason that these fundraisers are in violation of your terms, specifically ‘financial exploitation of a crime.'”
A statement from Rashad Robinson, Color of Change’s executive director goes a step further. “The Darren Wilson GoFundMe pages lower the social and financial costs of killing Black men and boys. They send the message that you will be supported in the aftermath of taking Black life,” Robinson says.
Clearmountain maintains her right to support the police. “I didn’t know being black in America meant that I was in a country club,” she told HuffPo.
Whoopi And Ladies Of “The View” Blame Kenya For RHOA Fight; Civil Rights Group Color Of Change Blames Bravo, Andy Cohen
Another day, another perspective on the fight between Porsha Williams and Kenya Moore during part one of the Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion special. This time, it comes from another group of ladies–the women of The View.
Earlier this week while speaking on all the ugliness, the women (who were joined by special co-host Angie Martinez) seemed to all agree that Kenya Moore was to blame for the fight. As Martinez put it, “Don’t start none, won’t be none.”
Sherri Shepherd had this to say about the uncomfortable scene:
“I don’t excuse Porsha for hitting her, but I say, Kenya, I’m not excusing you either. You had a scepter that you kept putting in people’s faces. Also you took out a bullhorn and a bullhorn is meant to be heard from people hundreds of [inaudible] away from you.”
Whoopi also gave her two cents, with a bit more passion, saying that Kenya isn’t really being the role model she claims to be.
“I’m just going to say this. I read the statement that Kenya put out and I will ask you, Kenya, do you think it was okay for you to provoke people? Because if you’re worried about your image and how people are going to see you, I don’t know if messing with people like this is the right thing to do…”
When speaking on Porsha’s bad decision to put her hands on Kenya, Whoopi jokingly said, “I would have done it too!”
But the blame doesn’t just fall on Kenya or Porsha in the realm of public opinion. The activist group and organization Color of Change put out a statement blasting Bravo and executive producer Andy Cohen for allowing such a scene to happen. According to Shadow and Act, they are calling for a “no excessive confrontations policy,” the same policy that was put in place for the Basketball Wives Miami show after things got too crazy with that reality show back in 2012.
The physical violence displayed during Bravo’s Sunday primetime lineup was deeply alarming. After weeks of promoting the RHOA reunion altercation on Sunday, executive producer Andy Cohen finally condemned the violent behavior of cast members — completely ignoring the staged hostile environment that provoked the altercation and the troubling pattern of violent, stereotypical portrayals of Black people across many of Bravo’s Black reality franchises.
Research shows that dehumanizing portrayals of Black people on television lead to real-world consequences for Black folks — influencing how we are treated by doctors, judges, teachers and lawmakers. No matter how entertaining, this should be the last fight between Black women that Bravo profits from.
As for Cohen, he didn’t respond directly to Color of Change as of yet, but he took to Twitter to say that after considering the opinions of viewers, he wasn’t going to allow props on the show anymore.
A little too late, but that sounds like a good idea, Andy. Watch the convo between the ladies of The View below.
Marissa Alexander’s saga seems unending. But a group of women and various civil rights groups are hoping to help expedite the case. They are calling on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to fire the prosecutor in case, Angela Corey. She wants to triple Alexander’s initial 20-year sentence when the case is retried in July and if Alexander is convicted.
You may recall, “Alexander was initially sentenced to 20 years — three separate 20-year sentences that Alexander was ordered to serve concurrently – for firing what the defense argues was a warning shot in the direction of Rico Gray, her estranged husband, during an alleged domestic violence incident,” reports Salon. During the incident no one was injured and only one shot was fired into a wall. Gray, who admitted in court he had threatened Alexander’s life, had a history of violent abuse against Alexander, 31.
Alexander’s conviction was tossed out by the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee. An appellate court ordered a new trial after it found that the jury instructions impermissibly shifted the burden of proof from the prosecution to the defense. Alexander was released on bail on November 27, 2013 and placed under house arrest.
Alexander tried unsuccessfully to use the Stand Your Ground defense.
Now advocates including UltraViolet, Color of Change, and Black Youth Project 100 have joined forces to deliver 100,000 signatures gathered in a petition to Gov. Scott demanding that prosecutor Angela Corey be fired.
They claim the prosecutor’s blatant abuse of power has led to the possibility that a domestic violence survivor will be sentenced to decades behind bars . And that Corey has had a history of overzealous prosecution before targeting Alexander.
“Marissa Alexander’s case has struck a nerve because of the way it demonstrates the racial bias that exists in our justice system, resulting in disproportionate prosecution and harsher sentences handed to women of color. This case also demonstrates how the justice system has failed women– 75 percent of female prisoners are domestic violence survivors and 82 percent are survivors of child abuse. Worse, 1 in 10 face further sexual abuse while in prison,” states the petition.
By Eric L. Hinton
They are ghastly images seared into the public consciousness. Much like the horror of witnessing innocent victims leaping to their deaths before the towers fell on September 11th, the images of countless blacks wading through floodwaters and clinging to rooftops with hand-scrawled “Help Me” signs, shook the nation to its core. The disaster that killed nearly 1,900 people, mostly poor black residents of New Orleans, and caused over $81 billion in property damage, prompted many across the nation to shake their heads in disbelief. Could this really be happening here? In the United States? In 2005?
At the time James Rucker was serving as a director of grassroots mobilization for MoveOn.org. The organization, which serves a largely white base, develops and executes fundraising, technology, and campaign strategies for progressive causes. Prior to Katrina he and Color of Change co-founder, Van Jones, had been kicking around ideas for something like MoveOn for black people. As Rucker sat in his living room watching alarming footage from Katrina stream across his television, he felt compelled to act.
“When Katrina happened it became this very clear moment around the country when you saw black people effectively had no political power. The level of disservice and neglect that happened in the aftermath was unacceptable. And it wasn’t as if the White House was reacting ‘Oh my goodness Black America is going to have our heads for this.’ It spoke to a political impotence on the part of Black America,” said Rucker.
A few days later Color of Change was born. It started out focusing on Katrina, fighting for everything from housing rights, to FEMA payments, to the protection of displaced survivors’ voting rights. In the six years since the web-based, African-American political advocacy group launched, 800,000 members have contributed to or taken part in various lobbying and public education campaigns.
Today the work is focused on an eclectic mix of targets ranging from the obvious — Glenn Beck and Fox News — to the unexpected, such as the Congressional Black Caucus. The fledgling organization has morphed and grown into a force that investigates claims of police brutality, insists on criminal justice reform, examines media misrepresentation of blacks and demands accountability from elected officials.
Among its victories Color of Change counts raising public awareness and money for the legal defense of the Jena Six, six black boys who initially were charged with attempted murder in the 2005 beating of a white student in Louisiana.
(LA Times) — An African American political organization is demanding that Eric Bolling, the host of Fox Business Network’s “Follow The Money” be fired for making what they called racist comments about President Obama and saying that he hosts “hoods in the hizzy.” ColorofChange.org, which bills itself as the nation’s largest African American online political organization, said it has collected 65,000 signatures demanding that Bolling be fired for comments, including one in which he said that Obama was “chugging 40s in Ireland” while tornadoes ravaged Missouri.
(Hollywood Reporter) – An African-American political advocacy group is targeting “Celebrity Apprentice” star Donald Trump in the aftermath of what many feel are racially tinged political comments made about President Obama. On Thursday, the organization ColorOfChange launched a Twitter-based campaign to persuade black “Celebrity Apprentice” cast members Star Jones and Lil Jon to denounce Trump for what the group terms “race-baiting.” Trump has made headlines in recent weeks by repeatedly questioning whether Obama was born in the U.S. Obama released his longform birth certificate April 27 with the hope of settling the matter, but the issue has been kept alive by a segment of the “birther” movement.
(AP) — Organizations that led boycotts of Fox News talk show host Glenn Beck say they will continue to monitor his programs while he finishes his television commitment on Fox and continues his radio programs. Fox last week announced that the controversial Beck will no longer be hosting a news talk show. He will however, have a role as a producer. “He will still be on radio. That’s another platform,” said James Rucker, executive director of the Internet-based civil rights organization Color of Change. David Brock, founder and chairman of the media watchdog group, Media Matters, in a prepared statement said: “ As long as conservatives continue to broadcast misinformation and hate speech, we’ll keep working around the clock to monitor and fact-check it and to prevent it from influencing the national dialogue.”
(theLoop21) — The announcement Wednesday that Fox News would end “The Glenn Beck Show” proved nothing short of stunning. After all, Glenn Beck’s not only one of the most high-profile personalities on Fox News but in conservative politics period. So just what did him in? Falling ratings, conflict with Fox executives and an unclear direction for the show all reportedly played a part. But news outlets from the Los Angeles Times to the St. Petersburg Times say what likely hurt “The Glenn Beck Show” most was an advertising boycott launched by African-American political group ColorofChange.org after Beck remarked that President Obama harbors “a deep-seated hatred for white people.”
How much damage has the advertising boycott, started in 2009, done over the years? More than 300 sponsors abandoned Beck after Color of Change got a whopping 285,000 people to sign a petition asking the show’s advertisers to leave because of Beck’s race baiting.
(The Hill) — ColorOfChange is pushing back on a key endorsement for Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) in his bid to become the top Democrat on the subcommittee overseeing telecom. The activism group panned a decision by the Congressional Black Caucus to endorse Rush this week for the ranking member position on the House Communications subcommittee. A staunch proponent of net neutrality, ColorOfChange has been highly critical of Rush’s effort. The group says he has not done enough to support Internet line regulations.