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Byron Allen Spares No One in Accusing Comcast of Racial Bias
Nov. 23, 2019 | The New York Times | By John Eligon.

The black entrepreneur has gone after civil rights groups and other black leaders to make his case. Some fear that protections dating to 1866 are in jeopardy.

Entrepreneur, Byron Allen, offers his life story as a model of African-American economic success.....Byron filed a $20 billion lawsuit against Comcast in 2015, contending that Comcast, after discussing a deal to carry six of his company’s channels, had turned it down in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The nation’s oldest federal civil rights law, it gives “all persons” the same right “enjoyed by white citizens” to “make and enforce contracts” and “to sue.”.......the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, ruled last year that a lower district court had “improperly dismissed” it. Comcast appealed. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case......At stake before the court in oral arguments on Nov. 13 was not the specifics of his dispute with Comcast, but the standard for proving racial discrimination. The justices seemed to focus on the narrow question of whether a plaintiff like Mr. Allen must make the case that racial discrimination was the main factor or just a contributing factor in the early stages of litigation.........Comcast has vigorously defended its record on diversity and refuted Mr. Allen’s claims of discrimination, arguing that the six networks he wants it to distribute are not interesting enough for its lineup or aren’t distinct from current offerings. His demand that Comcast carry all of them in high definition and the price he is asking are unreasonable, the company said.........A key element of Mr. Allen’s argument centers on an agreement Comcast struck with black leaders and organizations in 2010 in order to get clearance to purchase NBCUniversal. As part of the deal, the conglomerate agreed to add four new African-American owned networks over eight years. Two of those networks were owned by Sean Combs, the mogul better known as Diddy, and Magic Johnson, the former basketball star and entrepreneur.
Mr. Allen has argued that the organizations that helped broker the deal — the National Urban League, Mr. Sharpton’s National Action Network and the N.A.A.C.P. — were essentially bought off by Comcast, which has donated money to them. The agreement provided only token investment in black-owned networks, Mr. Allen said, and has been used to justify blocking black entrepreneurs from getting a seat at the table......putting black faces out there.....isn't the same things as true economic inclusion......Comcast said it spent $13.2 billion on programming last year, but a spokeswoman declined to say what share of that went to black-owned networks........Sean Combs, surprisingly, has publicly backed Mr. Allen’s point of view and leveled his own criticism against the company for not providing proper support for his television network, Revolt.
“Our relationship with Comcast is the illusion of economic inclusion,” Mr. Combs said.....many black leaders have avoided expressing a firm opinion on whether or not Byron Allen was discriminated against by Comcast........The 2010 agreement between Comcast and the civil rights groups failed to position the black-owned networks for success, said Paula Madison, the former chief diversity officer at NBCUniversal who helped broker the deal. An issue raised during negotiations, Ms. Madison said, was whether the company would guarantee the networks a certain number of subscribers. In the end, Comcast agreed to launch the channels, with no guarantee of how many subscribers they would reach......Ms. Madison said she felt that Comcast had a duty to try to help the new black-owned networks succeed, because they were integral to the company’s gaining federal approval to acquire NBCUniversal. But at a time when streaming becomes dominant and cable operators are looking to shed channels, Ms. Madison said she believed Comcast executives would not blink if the black-owned networks went away.
“It’s laissez-faire,” Ms. Madison said of Comcast’s treatment of the channels. “It’s, ‘They want channels, we’ll give them channels.’”
African-Americans  Byron_Allen  CATV  Comcast  economic_inclusion  entertainment_industry  entrepreneur  lawsuits  moguls  NAACP  racial_bias  racial_discrimination  U.S._Supreme_Court  Weather_Channel 
november 2019 by jerryking
William Coleman Fought Civil-Rights Battles From the Inside - WSJ
William T. Coleman Jr. graduated at the top of his Harvard Law School class, served in President Gerald Ford’s cabinet as transportation secretary, argued 19 cases before the Supreme Court and was a director of companies including International Business Machines Corp. and PepsiCo Inc. He was one of the few blacks of his generation to become a top-level insider in business and government.

In his later years, he also was frustrated that American schools and neighborhoods remained largely segregated. “We underestimated the complexity of achieving sustained integration,” he wrote in his 2010 memoir, “Counsel for the Situation.”

He shunned extreme language. “You accomplish things by being in the room when the deal is made, and it’s just not in your interest to take positions where you’re not going to get in the room,” he said in an oral history.....He relished legal problem-solving, and it allowed him to live well. Blue-chip companies “pay me a hell of a lot of money to tell them what to do and what not to do,” he said in an interview with the National Visionary Leadership Project. He also remained active in civil rights.
African-Americans  lawyers  Harvard  '70s  NAACP  memoirs  books  obituaries  civil_rights  segregation  desegregation  problem_solving  cabinets  HLS  blue-chips 
april 2017 by jerryking
Capital Journal: Republicans Grapple With the Rand Paul Conundrum - WSJ
By GERALD F. SEIB
Updated June 2, 2014

Rand Paul is, of course, the junior senator from Kentucky and a rising star in his party. He mixes tea-party appeal with the libertarian instincts he inherited from his father, former Rep. Ron Paul .

He attracts some constituencies other Republicans have a hard time reaching—college-age voters, in particular—and is diligently trying to reach out to minority groups that have slipped further from the grasp of others in his party. Indeed, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, an organization not known for its close relations with Republicans, invited him to appear at its July annual meeting, Mr. Paul's office says, though a scheduling conflict likely will prevent him from appearing....Mr. Paul doesn't consider himself an isolationist, of course. In fact, in an op-ed written earlier this year for the Washington Post, he essentially described the debate between isolationism and interventionism as a phony one: "False choices between being everywhere all of the time and nowhere any of the time are fodder for debate on Sunday morning shows or newspaper columns. Real foreign policy is made in the middle...."
Gerald_Seib  Rand_Paul  GOP  U.S.foreign_policy  millennials  NAACP  isolationism  false_choices  constituencies  conundrums 
march 2015 by jerryking
Joseph Epstein: What's Missing in Ferguson, Mo. - WSJ
Aug. 12, 2014 | WSJ | By JOSEPH EPSTEIN.

The black family—the absence of fathers—is the problem. The old dead analyses, the pretty panaceas, are paraded. Yet nothing new is up for discussion. Discussion itself is off the table. Except when Bill Cosby, Thomas Sowell or Shelby Steele and a few others have dared to speak about the pathologies at work—and for doing so, these black figures are castigated.

President Obama, as leader of all the people, is not well positioned for the job of leading the black population that finds itself mired in despond. Someone is needed who commands the respect of his or her people, and the admiration of that vast—I would argue preponderate—number of middle-class whites who understand that progress for blacks means progress for the entire country.

The older generation of civil-rights leaders proved its mettle through physical and moral courage. The enemy was plain—rear-guard segregationists of the old South—and the target was clear: wrongful laws that had to be, and were, rescinded. The morality of the matter was all on these leaders' side. In Little Rock, in Montgomery, in Selma and elsewhere, they put their lives on the line. And they won.

The situation today for a civil-rights leader is not so clear, and in many ways more complex. After the victories half a century ago, civil rights may be a misnomer. Economics and politics and above all culture are now at the heart of the problem. Blacks largely, and inexplicably, remain pledged to a political party whose worn-out ideas have done little for them while claiming much. Slipping off the too-comfortable robes of victimhood is essential, as is discouraging everything in ghetto culture that has dead-end marked all over it.
Ferguson  African-Americans  leaders  leadership  Michael_Brown  '60s  '50s  NAACP  MLK  civil_rights  fatherhood  dysfunction  victimhood  thug_code  family_breakdown 
august 2014 by jerryking
The Ideas Behind the March
August 26, 2013 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS.

As we commemorate the 1963 civil rights march on Washington, it’s worth remembering how close it came to not happening at all. When A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin started shopping the idea, the Urban League declined to support it, the N.A.A.C.P. refused to commit one way or another, and Martin Luther King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference were too busy with other challenges to get engaged. President John Kennedy argued that the march would hurt the chances of passing legislation...It’s also worth remembering that while today we take marches and protests for granted, the tactics of the civil rights movement had deep philosophical and religious roots...They wanted a set of tactics that were at once more aggressive and at the same time deeply rooted in biblical teaching. That meant the tactics had to start with love, not hate; nonviolence, not violence; renunciation, not self-indulgence. “Ours would be one of nonresistance,” Randolph told the Senate Armed Services Committee all the way back in 1948. “We would be willing to absorb the violence, absorb the terrorism, to face the music and to take whatever comes.” ...At the same time this tactic was not passive. It was not just turning the other cheek, loving your enemies or trying to win people over with friendship. Nonviolent coercion was an ironic form of aggression. Nonviolence furnished the movement with a series of tactics that allowed it to remain on permanent offense. ...

The idea was to reduce ugliness in the world by reducing ugliness in yourself. King argued that “unearned suffering is redemptive.” It would uplift people involved in this kind of action. It would impose self-restraint. At their best, the leaders understood that even people in the middle of just causes can be corrupted. They can become self-righteous, knowing their cause is right. They can become smug as they move forward, cruel as they organize into groups, simplistic as they rely on propaganda to mobilize the masses. Their hearts can harden as their enemies become more vicious. The strategy of renunciation and the absorbing of suffering was meant to guard against all that. ...In short, [nonviolence] relied upon a very sophisticated set of paradoxes. It relied on leaders who had done a lot of deep theological and theoretical work before they took up the cause of public action...So that’s what we are commemorating: The “I Have a Dream” speech, of course, but also an exercise in applied theology.
A._Philip_Randolph  African-Americans  anniversaries  Bayard_Rustin  biblical  David_Brooks  civil_rights  commemoration  JFK  MLK  NAACP  nonviolence  paradoxes  protest_movements  self-righteous  self-restraint  speeches  suffering  Washington_D.C. 
august 2013 by jerryking
To Boos and Polite Applause, Romney Speaks to the N.A.A.C.P. - NYTimes.com
July 11, 2012, 12:27 pm1 Comment
To Boos and Polite Applause, Romney Speaks to the N.A.A.C.P.
By ASHLEY PARKER
Mitt_Romney  NAACP  speeches  Campaign_2012 
july 2012 by jerryking
Surprised by Opportunity - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 14, 2007 | WSJ | By WILLIAM EASTERLY.

Set big goals. Do whatever it takes to reach them. These muscular sentences form the core of commencement addresses, business-advice books, political movements and even the United Nations approach to global poverty. In "Strategic Intuition," a concise and entertaining treatise on human achievement, William Duggan says that such pronouncements are not only banal but wrong.[Duggan is therefore the perfect counterpoint to Jim Collins]

Mr. Duggan, who teaches strategy at Columbia Business School, argues that the commonplace formula has it backward. Instead of setting goals first, he says, it is better to watch for opportunities with large payoffs at low costs and only then set your goals. That is what innovators throughout history have done, as Mr. Duggan shows in a deliriously fast-paced tour of history.
[photo]

Napoleon is Mr. Duggan's canonical example -- his strategic genius was not to storm a pre-fixed position on the battlefield (the traditional approach to military strategy at the time) but to attack any old position that came along where his army was at its strongest and the enemy's at its weakest. Similarly, in the battle for civil rights, Martin Luther King Jr. seized on the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 to shift the NAACP's strategy away from filing lawsuits and toward organizing nonviolent civil disobedience.
audacity  books  book_reviews  civil_disobedience  counterintuitive  flexibility  goal-setting  goals  hard_goals  innovators  intuition  Jim_Collins  kairos  large_payoffs  MLK  NAACP  Napoleon  observations  offensive_tactics  opportunism  personal_payoffs  strategy  William_Duggan  William_Easterly 
november 2011 by jerryking
Peggy Noonan: The Power of Redemption - WSJ.com
JULY 22, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By PEGGY NOONAN. Shirley Sherrod's speech, and her story, has lessons for us all.
race_relations  politics  NAACP  Peggy_Noonan  inspiration  obama 
july 2010 by jerryking

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