The Supreme Court continues to erode our rights and protections, like the gutting loss of Roe v. Wade last year. Now financial connections to conservative donors and activists have surfaced. It's time Congress include more voices on the Court and increase the number of justices.
Recently 40 protestors have been charged with domestic terrorism for opposing the $90M police training facility known as Cop City. Three face “felony intimidation of an officer" for placing flyers on mailboxes, and dozens sit in jail on trumped-up charges. Demand DA Sherry Boston drop the charges against them.
Ralph Yarl, a 16-year-old high school star, was shot in Kansas City. While picking up his siblings from their friends’ house, he accidentally went to the wrong house and rang the bell. He was met by bullets, shot in the head, and suffered serious injuries before being helped by neighbors who found him in the street. It's time to repeal Missouri's Stand Your Ground law.
A 30-year-old unhoused Black man was killed on the subway. After he started experiencing a mental health breakdown, a white vigilante put a chokehold on him for 15 min, killing him. Despite this violence in broad daylight, media outlets are echoing police language, treating him like a suspect rather than asking why the NYPD isn't pressing charges.
There is no war on the police. Yet Congress is going out of its way to protect police officers, giving them the same protections federal hate crime laws use to protect marginalized groups. We need Congress to focus on the real issues and to promote policies to keep our communities safe.
The Community Safety Legislative Agenda outlines solutions that invest in people and communities — not police and prisons — to keep us safe. It includes the Break The Cycle of Violence Act for violence intervention, and the Mental Health Justice Act, to dispatch mental health professionals to respond to people in crisis.
Far too often, prosecutors prioritize conviction rates over the truth, ruining the lives of innocent Black and Brown people. Linda Fairstein prosecuted the Central Park Five, coercing confessions and wrongfully convicting five boys from Harlem for a brutal rape they knew nothing about. They spent years in prison before being exonerated. We went after Fairstein and persuaded Simon & Schuster to stop publishing her popular crime novels, telling the company it can’t profit off someone who reinforces racist ideas of crime and justice.
social list opener
Google Bans Bail Ads
Color Of Change has been working to end money bail, which is one of the largest drivers of incarceration of Brown and Black people. People should never be locked up simply because they can’t afford to pay bail. We’ve gone after the predatory bail bonds industry, partnering with Jay-Z on a video, publishing an op-ed in the New York Times, and successfully pressing Google to pull its ads for bail. This makes it harder for bail agencies to exploit people and sets a new norm that major companies should steer clear of those profiteering from mass incarceration. We are now pushing Google to conduct a full racial equity audit of their business policies and practices too.
social list opener
RCA Drops R. Kelly
For decades people in the music industry turned a blind eye to R. Kelly’s blatant sexual and emotional abuse of women and girls. We teamed up with dream hampton to promote and elevate her docu-series Surviving R. Kelly, which was streamed 25M times – then went after RCA, successfully pressuring them to drop R. Kelly from their label. This sends a message to all artists and record labels – you can no longer profit off of abusers and hold out artists who exploit women and girls as cultural icons.
social list opener
Color Of Change helps people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by 7 million members, we move decision makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people, and all people. Until justice is real.
Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, joins WNYC host Brian Lehrer to talks about how corporate America is reacting to legislation that restricts voting rights – in Georgia, Texas, and other swing states – and what COC members are doing about it. Rashad says, “Corporations play an outsized role in advocating the terms of our democracy… We are engaging in the free market the same way they do — by telling them that they can’t come for our money by day and take away our vote or make us unsafe by night.”
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.”
While Derek Chauvin was standing trial, new images of fatal police encounters, unjustly killing Black people in Chicago, Minnesota, and Ohio competed with the now-familiar video of George Floyd pleading for his life. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson is quoted about what, if anything, can build trust in policing and how Color Of Change’s 7M members will continue to fight for true change. “When you amplify our message of justice and equity, decision makers take notice; when you stop funding police and their enablers, heads turn; and when you use your power to demand systemic change, Black people will be safe in our country.”
Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson appeared on MSNBC to discuss police reform. While Minnesota prosecutors broke “blue wall” of silence by having police testify against Derek Chauvin at his trial, these police witnesses are still resisting real accountability, he explains. In essence what the “bad apple” defense is doing is defending the policing establishment by acting like Chauvin is an outlier, whereas he is representative of what’s wrong with police departments across the country. “This is a systemic issue so it demands a systemic solution… Derek Chauvin just did what he did that day with his hands in his pockets, his sunglasses on, and we’re expected to believe this wasn’t part of an unwritten culture of a police department where Derek Chauvin had repeated violations, repeated complaints and nothing was done. This is what we see time and time again.”
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.”