The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is the latest major organization to weigh in on Byron Allen’s civil rights lawsuit against Comcast and Charter, which is going all the way to the Supreme Court. The esteemed group made up of 4,000 professionals in the media and journalism field, has issued a statement bashing Comcast and urging the Supreme Court to be on the right side of history.

At issue is the interpretation and enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which was created to protect Black people from discriminatory business practices. NABJ understands the wide-reaching impact such a decision and has laid out its position.

READ MORE: Berkeley Law Dean believes that Comcast and Charter Communications are putting Black people’s civil rights in jeopardy

Read the entire statement below:

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) joins the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus and numerous other civil rights organizations in urging Comcast and the Supreme Court to not dismantle the critical protections provided under Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The potential outcome of Comcast’s urging of the Supreme Court to undo equal opportunity protections afforded under the Act could impact our more than 4,000 members, as well as Black media professionals and entrepreneurs nationwide.

At issue is the filing of a brief asking the courts to require a minority plaintiff to provide proof that the denial of a contract, property ownership or job opportunity is 100% based on race. For example, a company’s decision to not award a contract or job to an African American or any person of color could be 99% based on a reason of race and only 1% based on a lack of sufficient experience in the industry. What Comcast is proposing allows for acts of discrimination to be hidden by the justification of that 1%, leaving those impacted with no legal remedy to pursue.

Even if the motive of the Comcast filing is isolated to defending itself in one court case, the profound and widespread lasting impact will be devastating to minority entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs. It will also have a negative impact on communities of color in that there will be even fewer media platforms and content of interest produced for and by us.

 

NABJ strongly urges that these efforts not be allowed as they would have a huge long-term and negative impact on our members and their content creating opportunities, as well as entrepreneurial aspirations.

READ MORE: Color of Change demands Comcast withdraw its Supreme Court challenge to the Civil Rights Act of 1866