All Articles Tagged "color of change"
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.
(Wired News) — The founder of an influential, left-leaning web-based organization that advocates on African-American issues is asking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to oppose the candidacy of Bobby Rush (D-Illinois, pictured at left), who is African-American, to become the ranking member on the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet. The reason? “Congressman Rush has repeatedly supported the interests of the telecommunications industry over the interests of regular people, and has been a fierce opponent of network neutrality,” James Rucker, executive director of Color of Change, which has 800,000 online members, wrote in a letter to Pelosi Thursday.
James Rucker, head of ColorOfChange.com, the organization working to stregngthen Black America’s political voice, recently condemmed CNN for employing the same sensational and unjust tactics to generate ratings.
FOX is claiming that under President Obama, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is refusing to prosecute voting rights offenses when the victims are White and the perpetrators are Black. It’s a bogus story based on the allegations of one former Republican DOJ attorney, and it sidesteps a mountain of facts.
On Tuesday, FOX complained that other news outlets weren’t covering the story. The next day, CNN uncritically echoed FOX’s distorted story, lending it mainstream credibility. We expect FOX to engage in this kind of race-baiting. But CNN should know better, and we need to hold them publicly accountable.
Click here to access the letter to CNN.