On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will be presented with details of a civil rights case that has the potential to completely dismantle vital protections in the law, which may have lasting repercussions for Black business owners and contractors.
Oral arguments will start between Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African-American Owned Media where attorneys for Entertainment Studios founder and CEO, Byron Allen, will argue that Comcast denied doing business with Allen based on his race in their refusal to carry several of his channels. The argument will use one of the country’s oldest Civil Rights laws, Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, to bolster the case. Comcast (which includes NBCUniversal and CNBC) will argue this is untrue and that Allen’s channels simply weren’t desirable. With a conservative leaning Supreme Court, the odds are in the cable giant’s favor.
In light of these facts, Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO and Brad Berry, NAACP General Counsel hosted a special emergency town hall conference call on Tuesday with presidential hopefuls, Senator Cory Booker and Senator Kamala Harris to discuss the finer details of this case and the huge implications it has on the Black community.
Here are nine new things we learned about this most recent attack on our civil rights and everything the NAACP is doing to fight it.
1This isn’t just about Byron Allen
“What Comcast is seeking to do is make it more difficult to prove a claim of discrimination by petitioning the Supreme Court to reinterpret the application of Section 1981,” said NAACP President Derrick Johnson on the call.
“This corporation is seeking to undermine our ability to negotiate free of discrimination. Let us be clear, this is not about the underlining case. This is about the irreparable harm that will be presented to ask if the Supreme Court is able to rule on an interpretation of an Act that has been foundational to our survival. This is not about appeasing one particular interest versus another. This is about African Americans being able to fully participate in a capitalist system in this democracy free of discrimination.”