Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter slams Comcast over attack on civil rights law
Dr. Bernice A. King says changes to Civil Rights Act of 1866 could have "cataclysmic results for people of color."
Dr. Bernice A. King, daughter of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is calling on Comcast to not challenge the Civil Rights Act of 1866, in its Supreme Court case involving media mogul Byron Allen.
In an open letter to Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast, Dr. King lays out the “cataclysmic” consequences of the cable company’s attempts to change America’s original civil rights law.
“We are alarmed at the consequences of a Supreme Court ruling that could have cataclysmic results for people of color, who comprise a large segment of your customers,” Dr. King wrote.
King’s letter comes the same week as Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL), issued a scathing critique of Comcast, and demanded the conglomerate be broken up.
Allen, who is Chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios, sued Comcast and Charter Communications for $20 billion, alleging racial discrimination because the companies refused to license his channels.
In pursuing a legal edge against Allen’s claims of racial discrimination, Comcast’s appeal to the Supreme Court rests on changing the essence of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. It would require people to prove race was the sole motivating factor for any discrimination claims, not a partial factor as was used in the past.
“To alter the Act to accommodate discrimination against people based on race would reverse precarious progress in the freedom struggle, which my father was assassinated for leading and which my mother continued to join others in leading until her death,” Dr. King writes.
“Knowing that the Civil Rights Act of 1866 was enacted to prohibit discrimination of any kind when making and enforcing contracts, why is Comcast relentlessly fighting for the right to avoid doing business with a person of color so long as her or his race is one of several factors for such refusal?”
King, who is the CEO of The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, is protective of her parents’ legacies– invoking their names on issues of the utmost importance.
Her two-page letter signals the seriousness of the moment not only for Black America, but the entire country.
Comcast will argue its case before the Supreme Court, Wednesday, November 13th, utilizing the legal support of President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice.
Read Dr. Bernice King’s entire message to Comcast below:
Editor’s note: theGrio is owned by Entertainment Studios.