As the events unfold in Charlotte in the aftermath of the murder of Keith Scott — another Black man by police — questions arise as to what it will take to bring about real change in the realm of racial justice in North Carolina, and the role that corporate America will take.
As part of the so-called “new” South, with a large corporate presence and urban professional transplants from the North, the state wants to have it both ways. President Obama won North Carolina in the 2008 election, and a city such as Charlotte represents growth, progress and diversity, as The Washington Post reported, with “buttoned-up business (a banking center, an airline and retail hub), a multicultural melting pot and a farm-to-table haven.”
And yet, the state has elected a Republican-led, white supremacist state government, with a governor and a legislature that has sought the wholesale deprivation of Black voting rights, leading to the NAACP-led Moral Mondays movement.
Then there is the so-called “bathroom bill” known as HB2, which challenges a Charlotte city ordinance regarding gender-neutral bathrooms. And while the legislation has been known as an anti-LGBT law, it also eviscerated local ordinances, making it illegal for localities to expand the protections of state laws governing minimum wage standards, job discrimination and public accommodations, as the Charlotte Observer noted.
So while North Carolina had positioned itself as more cosmopolitan, progressive and tolerant than its neighbor bordering to its South — South Carolina, which had been embroiled in a Confederate flag debate of late — the state has paid a price with HB2.
According to Facing South, while state officials wish to downplay its impact, a corporate boycott of North Carolina has led to losses in the tens of millions of dollars. Over 200 companies and organizations have expressed their opposition to HB2, and they are taking their business out of the Tar Heel state. For example, PayPal canceled its planned $3.5 million complex, Deutsche Bank placed a corporate expansion on hold, and the NBA will take its All-Star Game elsewhere. The purpose of this and other boycotts, Facing South noted, is “to raise the economic and political costs of doing business as usual, to the point that decision-makers — whether lawmakers or corporate CEOs — are forced to change course.”
But what will it take for corporate America to respond to the calls for racial justice, in the midst of police violence against Black people? If they can take a stand against HB2, certainly these companies can demand that local and state governments do more and enact reforms if they want the dollars to continue flowing.
With a high-profile police killing and a continued effort at Black voter suppression — despite a Supreme Court decision rejecting North Carolina’s voter ID law and other voter restrictions — the time seems perfect for corporations to use their political muscle to benefit Black folks. White reactionary lawmakers believe they can get away with disrespecting African-Americans. For example, U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, who represents parts of Charlotte and its suburbs, said Blacks are protesting in Charlotte because “they hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not,” as NBC News reported.
And in some cases, with blood on their hands through their role in profiting from slavery, these North Carolina-based companies have a debt to pay Black people. For example, Bank of America admitted its ties to slavery, as two of its predecessor banks had dealings with the slave trade, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Further, a third predecessor accepted slaves as collateral on loans, as Your Black World Today reported. Two companies that were incorporated into Wachovia — now owned by Wells Fargo — owned slaves and accepted them as collateral on loans or mortgages. And the founder of R.J. Reynolds, Richard Joshua Reynolds, came from a large slave-owning family of tobacco farmers. These companies can, at a minimum, support a boycott in North Carolina and a movement around racial justice, and provide support to the descendants of enslaved people in the form of employment, scholarships and community programs.
Writing an editorial in NBC News, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II — president of the North Carolina NAACP and founder of the Moral Mondays movement — summed it up best when he called the riots in Charlotte “the predictable response of human beings who are drowning in systemic injustice.” It is not about Black people hating the police, he noted, but rather people of all races “rising up against systems of injustice that shield officers who kill but leave millions defenseless.”
Declaring that “it’s the ballot or the riot,” Rev. Barber wrote that as hopeless as things may seem, we know what needs to be done to change the conditions that led to Keith Scott’s death.
“Right here in North Carolina, we have seen how people impacted by unjust policies can come together in coalitions across color and lift up a moral agenda that embraces the good of the whole,” he said. “This kind of coalition movement building is not easy, and we cannot win the change we need in a single election. But every step forward in this nation’s history has come from movements like this one.”
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Whether written, broadcast, or spoken – the media is a powerful force that often shape the minds our society. It subconsciously impact the psychological development of black children, while influencing everyday decisions of black men & women.
Today, the black owned media space is almost nonexistent due to “corporate takeover” or partnership with mostly white owned companies. This adversely affects the perception of black people since often times we are misrepresented.
In the words of Dr. Boyce Watkins, “no matter how well-intended a partnership might be on the surface, the truth is that when the hard decisions are being made and that white editor comes into your office to tell you that your article is too radical, you have no choice but to stand down.”
If the decline of black owned media continues there’s no telling what the future may hold for the perception of African Americans. Check out this list of companies that are no longer or was never black owned but identifies with the black community.
#1. Essence Magazine
In 2013, Essence magazine editor Constance White was fired as corporate overseer. According to White, Essence was being pushed in a direction that she felt was designed to dumb down the black woman in America, focusing more on fashion and beauty tips than more serious issues of the day. It’s safe to say that Essence magazine now represents the black woman that white people would like for them to become.
#2. Ebony Magazine
In 2011, Ebony magazine was bought out by JP Morgan Chase. The announcement marked the end of a 69-year period in which the company was family-owned. Last year, Ebony received backlash for using a cracked photo of the Huxtables (a black family) in an effort to demean Bill Cosby over sexual assault allegations.
#3. XXL Magazine
XXL magazine, owned by Townsquare Media, is touted as the new voice of the hip-hop generation.
#4. Huff Post: Black Voices
Huff Post: Black Voices, originally known as Blackvoices.com, is owned by Arianna Huffington. This website has writers from different race addressing issues within the black community. Huffington, a pale skinned white woman, came under fire in 2012 when she said Michelle Obama wasn’t black enough.
TheRoot.com was sold to Univision in 2015. Univision prides itself in being an American media company serving Hispanic America.
#6. TV One
TV One is not 1980s BET in the making. This company is primarily a partnership between Radio One’s Cathy Hughes and cable company Comcast Corporation.
#7. VH1 Soul (BET Soul)
Vh1 Soul, now known as BET Soul, is owned by Viacom. VH1 repeatedly shows images of black men as thugs and black women as hoochies (Love & Hiphop, basketball wives etc).Post Views: 459
Your girl Proof of Consciousness (P.O.C) will be facilitating the conversation for the AIDS Prevention performance brought to you by the Black Gold Project this FRIDAY April 28, 2017!! This event is entitled Skits and Conversations! This is an amazing FREE event that you do not want to miss. The time is NOW to focus on solutions and not the problem! FREE admission RSVP at www.BlackGoldProject.com. Be there on April 28, 2017 at 8:00 pm at The Common Place 5736 Chester Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143! See you there! #REVIVE
Follow the Black Gold Project on social media: @blackgoldimageryPost Views: 466
This is another example of the failure of Black Religious Leadership to properly guide and represent Black people, and their interest, instead of looking out for themselves. Maybe they need to spend time reading and understanding these two verses in their Bibles, Jere 23:1-2, Matt 7:15. I think the religious need to always forgive people that don’t ask for forgiveness, or show repentance, is sick and misguided.
Read the article below and leave your comments.
WASHINGTON — A group of black pastors Monday criticized African-American opponents of attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions for demonizing the Alabama Republican, instead characterizing him as someone who shows “respect and care for people of all races.”
The ministers are holdout Sessions supporters in a much larger crowd of opponents among Southern black clergy and African-American and civil rights groups, including the North Carolina Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Alabama NAACP and the activist group PICO, which uses congregations and churches to help in community organizing.
“There is an attempt by some to demonize people and call them racist when there is actually no proof for it,” Evangelical Bishop Harry Jackson said at a Capitol Hill news conference. “Let me say clearly, Sen. Sessions is not a racist.”
Jackson, the pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md., said Sessions “worked to bankrupt the KKK in Alabama with a $7 million judgment,” and helped to desegregate the state’s public school system.
But clergy who are leaders of the African-American organizing group PICO, sent a different message Monday to the Senate Judiciary Committee that will consider whether to recommend confirmation of Sessions by the full Senate. The committee will hear from Sessions on Tuesday.
Desmond Meade, president of the civil rights group Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, said Sessions has not shown a strong commitment to racial equality or social justice.
“When you talk about the position of attorney general of the United States, that is an extremely powerful position, and I think it is prudent to scrutinize any individual being considered,” Meade said. “I don’t think that is a form of racism, and I’m weary of anyone that doesn’t have a sustained history of campaigning for civil rights. [Sessions] has not demonstrated a strong commitment to the restoration of civil rights.”
In 1986, Sessions was denied a federal judgeship after allegations of racism in his decisions as a U.S. attorney in Alabama. At least one former colleague testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Sessions supported the Ku Klux Klan until he realized its members used marijuana. “One of the most important factors [in confirming a nominee] in my opinion, is to have an open and honest process,” says Dr. William Merritt, North Carolina Southern Christian Leadership Conference state field director. “That gives any individual the right to present themselves in the manner that qualifies them for their job.”Post Views: 463