OPINION: Antonio Moore explains Comcast’s four-pronged method of attacking Byron Allen

Attorney Antonio Moore continues his commentary on the Civil Rights case between Comcast and Byron Allen, which goes to the U.S. Supreme Court this week

Antonio Moore’s new commentary video series on theGrio discusses economics, politics, and wealth, encouraging us to see news of the day in a whole new way.

In this episode, Attorney Moore discusses media mogul Byron Allen’s latest interview on The Breakfast Club. The CEO and owner of Entertainment Studios explains why Comcast attacking The Civil Rights Act of 1866 is so pertinent and the 4 D’s that contribute to their plan: dismiss, discredit, demonize and destroy.

READ MORE: Byron Allen calls out Comcast and Justice Dept. for “institutionalized racism” after new brief filed

Here’s the background:

  • On November 13th, a racial discrimination case involving Comcast and Charter Communications will be heard in The Supreme Court.
  • Media mogul, Byron Allen (owner of Entertainment Studios, The Weather Channel and theGrio), alleges the companies were specifically in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which prohibits racial discrimination in contracting.
  • Due to an amicus brief filed by Comcast, the case has gone from being about Allen’s racial discrimination allegations to challenging the entire The Civil Rights Act of 1866 as we know it.  According to legal experts, Comcast’s interpretation of the law would require plaintiffs to prove discrimination was 100 percent the reason they were denied business or contracts.

READ MORE: NABJ condemns Comcast for attempting to dismantle Black people’s civil rights in Byron Allen’s Supreme Court case

Dismiss and Discredit

“We see this attempt initially when Allen brought the case for billions of dollars when nobody really understood he already was worth hundreds of millions of dollars, an attempt to dismiss him as being frivolous or something of the sort. Then we see this next attempt to discredit his message; to discredit him around everything by Black audiences.

“The Civil Rights Act of 1866 doesn’t just apply to African-Americans, ADOS (African Descendants of Slavery) Americans, it applies to all Americans that are nonwhite, allowing them access to contract and to be treated fairly. But what we see is that he poured millions of dollars into this lawsuit. And that in actuality, the Supreme Court part of it is not his case. It’s essentially just deciding the Civil Rights Act of 1866.”

READ MORE: 5 game-changing Supreme Court cases to watch that could challenge Black people’s rights for years to come

Demonize and Destroy

“What we see in that demonization and that destruction step is this attempt to recreate the outlets of what could happen with this case. So Byron, along with ADOS, along with Color of Change and several other groups have called for Comcast to actually drop this lawsuit. Comcast is petitioning Byron to the Supreme Court. It isn’t the other way around; Byron won in the Ninth Circuit and essentially they agreed the ‘motivating factor’ standard, which is the lesser standard, should be applied to the Civil Rights Act of 1866.

“Comcast wants a ‘but for’ standard which essentially will make it too high for any everyday man to actually use the law. You would have to prove outright racism, which is hard to prove if you’re not internally in the company. Now, I look at this thing and I think that an attempt, an attempt to demonize and destroy. We see this thing, “Well Byron should just drop his lawsuit if he cares about Black folks.”

Moore continues to explain why Allen dropping his lawsuit isn’t the best move.

“As an attorney, I’ll tell you, the problem with that is that what you are left with is an unresolved issue in which Comcast, this mega-company that is far too large, sits on the idea that they were actually right and that the ‘but for’ standard is the law. This is something that only a billionaire can resolve with millions of dollars to invest in cases, particularly given the fact that our civil rights organizations from the NAACP, to the Urban League, have largely been muted.

If you look at the Urban League, Comcast sits on its board. So if not, Byron, who will bring the case to force the fact that the law should be using the motivating factor standard? In addition, you don’t ask the person that is not petitioning or appealing to the Supreme Court to drop the case, you ask the appealing party to drop the case. Here, that is Comcast.”

Watch Moore’s full video commentary above and hit us in the comments below. 

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