When Social Media and Cause Engagement for Minorities Come Together

The use of communications during the struggle for social justice in the United States is far from being a novelty. News spread quickly by word of mouth when black college students started a host of nonviolent sit-ins in several states almost 50 years ago, as The Washington Post’s Krissah Thompson noted. Today, civil rights activists, particularly African Americans and Hispanics, have found in social media a powerful channel to voice their support for a cause and generate cause engagement, according to a latest study by Georgetown University and Ogilvy PR Worldwide.

The study found that nearly one in three African-American adults (30 percent) and four in 10 Hispanics (39 percent) say “they’re more likely to support a cause or social issue online than offline,” whereas one in five (24 percent) of Caucasians expressed the same interest. Likewise, a slight majority of African Americans (58 percent) and Hispanics (51 percent) are more likely to believe that they can help spread the word “about a social issue or cause through online social networks” adding that they feel they’re part of a community by supporting causes online --compared to 34 percent of Caucasians.

The study goes on to say that, although television and print media are still regarded as reliable sources to learn about causes, both African Americans and Hispanics are significantly “more likely than Caucasians to look for social media as an additional source of information (31 and 27 percent versus 21 percent, respectively.)”

The Georgetown/Ogilvy study seems to corroborate a number of successful online campaigns within minority-oriented organizations. Color of Change, for example, is an online civil rights group that has proactively used a large email list of subscribers to champion causes like the fundraising to help reduce charges for a half-dozen young black men in Jena, LA in 2007. Also, the NAACP enhanced its webpage in 2009, started a new blog site, and has revamped its online advocacy list that hovers around 400,000 members.

Also, Thompson noted that a study by the Pew Internet & Family Life Projectfound an increasing preference among minority Internet users for Twitter, and in the past decade, “the proportion of Internet users who are black or Hispanic has nearly doubled—from 11 percent to 21 percent.”

Minorities’ zeal to join causes online signals the importance of social media for furthering civil rights, hence changing the nature of activism nowadays. And it’s proof that, even amid the latest display of partisanship in Washington, communities in the United States can find unity by way of technology.

 

 

Al Sharpton is not “the president” of Black America

 

OMG, now the folks at Politico.com are saying that Al Sharpton is emerging as “the president” of black America. Read more at politico.com

Yes, there is a lot of conversation on the internet about Al Sharpton and Barack Obama. The conversation is about how President Obama was in New York last night supporting Al Sharpton‎.  Candidly, I don't get how President Obama is making a pitch to Al Sharpton's Group‎ when he knows full well about Al Sharpton's history, particularly with regards to his lack of respect for black women. As an example, Al Sharpton and the NAACP Support Dunbar Village Rapists. Yes, just in case you never heard about Dunbar Village, Here are the basics of the story from Black America Web:

“The incident occurred at a public housing project called Dunbar Village in West Palm Beach, Florida.“After dark on June 18, the police say, as many as 10 armed assailants repeatedly raped a Haitian immigrant in her apartment complex at Dunbar Village … They took cell phone pictures of their acts. They burned the woman’s skin and (her 12-year-old son’s) eyes with cleaning fluid, forced them to lie naked together in the bathtub, hit them with a broom and a gun and threatened to set them on fire.”

As despicable as that sounds, it wasn’t the worst of it. The worst of it was when these vermin, according to Times writer Amy Goodnough, “forc(ed) (the woman) to perform oral sex on her 12-year-old son.”

Now we learn that the President of the United States is supporting, Al Sharpton, you know Al Shapton  the same guy who supported the Dunbar Village rapists. The blog, What About Our Daughters covered this issue a number of years ago. I guess our President supports the madness of Al Sharpton. Read more on the untold details of horror at Dunbar Village.

Maybe the President does not remember Al Sharpton, the NAACP, and Dunbar Village like black and other progressive bloggers do.  We remember how Al Sharpton defended the scum bags who  “forc(ed) (the woman) to perform oral sex on her 12-year-old son.”

If that is the type of people the President wants to hang out with, fine. It's not the type of person I would want near me. I hope Obama is not courting black votes with Sharpton as some reports are saying. 

Oh, and by the way, politico.com, Al Sharpton (the supporter of rapist) is no emerging "president” of black America.  Black America has the same President as white America, "President Barack Obama." It looks like politico.com needs black political writers/reporters.

Cross posted on black news junkie.com and African American Pundit

 

SCLC, NAACP, Chokwe Lumumba and Scott Sisters

I want to discuss with you two old negro Civil Rights groups that have lost their way. First SCLC. They are becoming more and more irrelevant.

As reported by wctv.tv for more than a year, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has declined to serve as president in a group her father co-founded.

Now Reverend Bernice King doesn't want the job at all.

Reverend King says she's decided to abandon the Southern Christian Leadership Conference because the once proud organization has struggled to stay relevant.

She says the group has split in two different directions and had its finances scrutinized. The former chairman was also indicted on theft charges last week.

The former national chairman of an Atlanta-based civil rights organization was indicted Wednesday in Ohio on 51 charges that include grand theft, forgery and tampering with government records.

The Rev. Raleigh Trammell, 73, was indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury in Dayton, where he lives and also headed a local chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Trammell was indicted on one count of grand theft and 25 counts each of forgery and tampering with government records. Read more HERE  Also read more about this story at the Washington Post

Martin Luther King, III says, "I think she was in an awkward position and she prays a whole lot, so I think as a result she was led to no longer want to accept the position."

The SCLC led the movement to end segregation in public facilities and earned more rights for million of black Americans today. More HERE


AAP says: The SCLC is no longer relevant just like NAACP national office is no longer relevant.

Speaking of the NAACP here is an interesting UPDATE:

Word on the street is the NAACP is preparing to pimp the the Scott sisters. There is also word on the street that the national office of the NAACP may be creating conflict between the Scott sisters and the Scott sisters family. The blogosphere and blog talk radiois a buzz with Scott Sisters family members talking about the national office of the NAACP and Attorney Chokwe Lumumba are causing friction and conflict within the family.


The Root's E.R. Shipp may just be right when in rights in The Root about how black folks get scorched by the spotlight of instant fame. In the article he talks about how Ted "Golden Voice" Williams isn't the only person to have his 15 minutes of fame before crashing to earth. Remember the subway hero? And what will come of the Scott sisters?

It's a must read article. Here is a bit of what is said:

"I think of Wesley Autry, who threw himself atop a man who had fallen onto a New York City subway track and saved him. He was honored by President George W. Bush at the 2007 State of the Union address and by other politicians in New York. Donald Trump gave him $10,000; he was given a Jeep and sports tickets. He was all over national television. And on and on.

But months later, when he still hoping for lucrative movie and book deals, he was passing out business cards identifying himself as "Wesley Autry Sr. -- Subway Hero." Terrie Williams says she saw him at one event carrying around some of his awards and "pulled his coat" to tell him that was not a good thing. He and an early team of managers ended up in conflict over their insistence on taking 50 percent of any income that Autry earned from the subway incident, but eventually settled out of court.

When it comes to prisoners -- from men and women freed as a result of DNA evidence brought to light through the efforts of the Innocence Project to the Scott sisters released from a Mississippi prison earlier this month after 16 years for a robbery that may have netted $11 -- there is often a rush of publicity and invitations to tell their stories. Then everything is expected to be normal.

The Scott sisters' story became international in part because of outrage that a condition of their release was that one donate a kidney to the other. They have relocated to Florida, where they have family, but the Mississippi NAACP is more or less continuing to advocate for them, according to Derrick Johnson, the state conference president. It will convene a meeting in coming days to coordinate their medical and transportation needs and to identify a facility to perform tests to determine if Gladys Scott is a match for her sister, Jamie." 

AAP says: As I said earlier, word on the street is the national office of the NAACP is creating a bunch of messwith the Scott Sisters and their family.

     The NAACPand Atty Chokwe Lumumba are talking it up with the Scott sisters, telling them that they too can get lucrative movie and book deals. the only problem is, the real heroes are the mother, Nancy Lockhart, black bloggers, blogtalkradio, black radio, blacktalkradio, and other activist.  Yes, the NAACP will have the Scott sisters on the Image Awards, and probably won't ask the mother or Nancy Lockhart to attend.

    AAP says: lets remember folks, this is "Ben Jealous, he is the same guy who issued a statement decrying  shirley Sherrod's so-called  abhorrent statements she made during an address to members of the NAACP at a banquet, about denying a white farmer as much help as she could because of the color of his skin. Then to cover his self he said the NAACP was “snookered” into condemning former Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod

    Now Ben jealous and Chokwe Lumumba are snookering the Scott Sisters."

    Unfortuanetly the national office of the NAACP and Atty Chokwe Lumumba are now selling the Scott sisters another Jena6 dream, now the question is whether the Scott sisters will be passing out business cards identifying themselves "the Scott Sisters. -- former prisoners of the Mississippi prisons, new prisioners of Chokwe Lumumba and the NAACP."

 

 

Scott Sisters, NAACP, Black Bloggers and Lessons Learned

The Scott Sisters where released and no one should have a doubt that the victory was inspired by black bloggers, black internet activist and blogtalk radio host.  But more importantly it was inspired by the Scott sisters mother, Evelyn Roscoe, who fought for 16 years for their freedom.

Let's not forget Nancy Lockart, a black woman who many are calling a mordern day Harriett Tubman, who lead the Internet grass root effort for the past 5 years, day and night working to educate the public about the Scott Sisters while the NAACP ignored their plight for over15 years.

OK, there is a lot of conversation across the black side of the internet about the Scott Sisters being freed and how the African American Internet helped in getting the story of the Scott sisters known. There is a learning curve for people from the right, left, and the middle of black political thought

The fact of the matter is there is a changing of the black gate keeper guard. There was a time when the NAACP gate keepers were old house negroes, now it's young house negros. A new face with the same old game. Supress black activism, and when black activism works, claim it as thier own. No matter what pictures you may see with NAACP President Ben Jealous standing behind the Scott sisters, in a photo op, remember this...

The NAACP can afford to jump on a plane to Mississppi, because of it's white benificators, and say they were ALWAYS behind the Scott Sisters. Yet the fact is, they were Johnny-Come-Lately, to Free the Scott sisters movement.  They can also "style and profile" with the Scott Sisters and probably set up a fundraising effort like they set up with the Jena 6, and steal as much as they can, saying it is administrative cost. Be warned my good friends... The NAACP speaks with fork Tongue. As Yobachi from the blog Black Perspective.net noted the NAACP is looking  to cash in on the Scott Sisters Plight. Check out what Yobachi had to say:

"The NAACP is ratcheting up their personal publicity machine. Actually they’re providing more publicity to the fact that they showed up on the scene at the last minute after more than a decade of local grassroots organizing, and 2 years of blog based advocacy, then they ever did in favor of bring the Scott Sisters plight to the American consciousness in an effort to free them. 

One of BlackPerspective.net’s sister blogs, The Jena 6 Blog, got mentioned in a couple of different places in the past few days regarding a post I did in 2008 about NAACP swooping in to collect money on behalf of the Jena 6 when it started to become a popular story, then spending half of the money on themselves. This was after the NAACP demanded that the rural town with a population of a couple hundred black people, including children, first start a dues paying NAACP chapter before the NAACP would even begin to help." More HERE

But, there are some people who have a different few.

Take for instance Internet Blog Talk Radio host Black Achievement USA who talks about The Scott Sisters Are Freed: Now What Are The Lessons. He writes: I wish the Scott sisters all the best as they fight to re-acculmated themselves to "free" society. The homecoming is a major adjustment for the Scott family as well as the Scott Sisters. Basically, the Scott sisters have fierce battle for a good life. I would like to say that some of the people around the Scott Sisters did them no good and we on blog talk must not create an atmosphere that is not helpful. The Honorable Governor Haley Barbour and the good people of Mississippi must be respected and thanked for their decision to grant the Scott sisters "an early parole."

AAP says: The NAACP is under a microscope regarding their bogus last minute attention to the Scott sisters freedom movement. Take for example black bloggers, including Jill, over at the blog, Jack and Jill Politics, who has experessed concern at the way the NAACP has dissed black Bloggers over Scott Sisters and Haley Barbour ... 


Candidly I have questioned the motives of the Johnny-come-lately national office of the NAACP. It's interesting that the national office of the NAACP knew about the Scott Sisters for over 15 years, and did nothing until after the mother of the Scott Sisters, along with Nancy Lockhart, built a national and internatioal movement to free the Scott Sisters, then about 6 Months ago, the national office of the NAACP found a way to try to be the national spokes people for the Scott Sisters. Claiming all sorts of victories, although they were not actually "pardoned" and they will be on probation for life.

It's candidly amazing how the NAACP and others have bought into the new form of  Jim Crow Justice. You know what I'm talking about, The  type of  "Debt to Society" and the New Jim Crow justice that James Ridgeway wrote about in his article in the Mother Jones. He writes: "The Scott sisters will have to pay out money to maintain their freedom. Rather than pardoning Jamie and Gladys, Barbour suspended their sentences. According to Nancy Lockhart, a legal advocate who played an instrumental role in the sisters’ release, each will have to pay $52 a month for the administration of their parole in Florida, where their mother lives and where they plan to reside. Since they were serving life sentences, that means $624 a year for the rest of their lives. Both women are now in their thirties; if they live 40 more years, each will have paid the state $24,960."  Read More HERE

The fact is a number of black folks, like Verite Parlant is Nordette Adams, a reader of the blog Electronic Village made some interesting thoughts about the NAACP when he wrote:

"I think the NAACP suffers from the curse of many older heralded institutions, old blood and lack of vision. They have a tendency to see themselves as the big star and others as the little twinkles, and so they cripple themselves by an unwillingness to embrace new ideas and people and form the alliances that will be critical for power in the coming age. They persist in functioning like gatekeepers more than community collaborators."

He went on to say, "Nevertheless, I believe there was some grandstanding and opportunism involved. I suspect that after the Shirley Sherrod incident, they began to listen to some of the criticisms thrown at them which are that they let women do much of the grunt work but tend to make men their causes celebres. That whole incident caught them with their pants around their ankles."

AAP says: Yes, I agree with those comments by the reader at Electonic Village, the involvement of the NAACP in the Scott Sisters effort was to bolster there own image.

Lessons Learned

The NAACP is no longer the big star while black bloggers the little twinkles. The Internet has provided an equalizing of the playing field. Yes, the NAACP can run from city to city like Jesse Jackson, 10 years ago, but this that leadership or stylin' and profiling? 

The new big stars, black bloggers, blogtalkradio host, and black internet activist are working for positive progressive change.  They have taken activism to the next level, with the help of two strong black women, Evelyn  Roscoe and Nancy Lockhart. Two women who could see the possibility in spite of the NAACP. Nancy Lockhart and Evelyn Roscoe knew that they didnot want to cripple themselves by an unwillingness to embrace new ideas and people and form the alliances that were to obtain the Scott Sisters Freedom. They persisted, even when the old school gatekeepers called the national office of the NAACP wanted to be less than community collaborators. I'm Done!

But Johnathan Farley has more to say about the NAACP. He says:

"Thank you, NAACP!" Demophilos says from across the table at Starbucks, smiling. "The governor of Mississippi pardoned the Scott sisters." When he sees your expression, his eyebrows arch questioningly. "I'm uncomfortable with black groups campaigning for common thugs," you begin slowly, "when there are so many completely innocent people rotting in prison, to say nothing of political prisoners. But people like Kemba Smith, who carried drugs and guns for her boyfriend – they paid or are paying for real crimes, not for stealing bread." "Are they paying, or are we?" Demophilos says, with fire. "In urban America, besides the burned-out husks of buildings that were never rebuilt after the riots of the sixties, stand only taxpayer-built sports stadiums – and jails. More and more of them private. Corporations profit; we pay." Demophilos sits back in his seat, now seemingly exhausted. "You don't have to convince me," you say, defensively. "Listen, I still remember where I was when Geronimo Pratt was freed. I was on College Avenue in Berkeley outside my local bank. I looked at the headlines of the newspaper in a kiosk and started to dance.
"The bank's security guard, an African-American woman in her 40s, asked me what I was excited about.

"'Geronimo Pratt is free,' I said, out of breath. As you know, Pratt's conviction had been overturned after he spent 27 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, more time than Nelson Mandela.

"'How much time did he spend in jail?' the woman asked me. 'A year?' "My rush ended. I realised that, though we were only miles away from where the Black Panther party had burst into life, this black woman had no idea who Geronimo Pratt was. "But she knew who OJ Simpson was, and probably cheered, later, when Kobe Bryant was found not guilty."  Your small coffees arrive. "That'll be $10.95," says the barista.

When she leaves, you say, "The NAACP has finite resources, and the public has a finite amount of empathy. So, why is this being wasted? In 2005, when Crips founder and multiple-murderer Tookie Williams was facing a death sentence, the NAACP staged 'die ins' to protest the execution." "Stop," Demophilos pleads. "The NAACP is not 'celebrating criminality' by calling for the release of blacks who received harsh sentences. It's fighting injustice."

"And an injustice anywhere, blah blah blah." Read MORE


                          ***
Cross posted on African American Pundit

African American Pundit is publisher of the blog African American Pundit, he is a nationally recognized moderate independent African American blogger who addresses black American politics and social issues. He served as a credentialed blogger at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He can be reached at AfricanAmericanPundit@gmail.com 

Powerful racial profiling documentary screened at Congressional Briefing

From the Restore Fairness blog-

Breakthrough’s Restore Fairness campaign showcased its powerful new documentary, ‘Face the Truth: Racial Profiling Across America’ at a briefing for Congressional staff on Racial and Religious Profiling in Washington, D.C. on Thursday September 30th. The documentary brings to life a new report by the Rights Working Group that was released along with 350 local and national partners on the one year anniversary of the Face the Truth campaign to end racial profiling. Along with compelling personal stories, the documentary features interviews with notable law enforcement and civil society leaders, many of whom were present at the briefing. Hilary O. Shelton (NAACP), Dr. Tracie Keesee (Denver Police Department) and Karwan Abdulkader (resident of Nashville subjected to racial profiling) are some of the speakers from the film who spoke in person to the packed room on September 30th.

“I’ve seen a lot in my life but to be degraded… not just stripped of my clothes, being stripped of my dignity, was what I had a problem with.”

As Kurdish American Karwan Abdulkader broke down while relating his story, listeners learned that he was detained and interrogated by local law enforcement for no reason other than driving around in the wrong neighborhood. His is one among many stories featured in ‘Face the Truth,’ a moving video that illustrates the devastating impact of racial profiling on communities around our country, including the African American, Latino, Arab, Muslim and South Asian communities.

Racial and religious profiling as a pervasive problem that is not only humiliating and degrading for the people subjected to it, but one that is unconstitutional, ineffective as a law enforcement practice, and ultimately damaging to community security. Both the video and report urge Congress to pass the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA).

Watch the video NOW and urge Congress to pass the End Racial Profiling Act.

Learn. Share. Act. Go to restorefairness.org

 

 

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