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Rashad Robinson
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Rashad Robinson serves as Executive Director of ColorOfChange, having
joined the organization in May 2011. For well over a decade, Robinson
has helped to mobilize communities across the country to create more
inclusive cultural and political institutions. A recognized expert on
how popular culture impacts American attitudes and values, he has
served as a thought leader, widely sought-out speaker, strategist and leader on holding public figures accountable and utilizing media to shift public opinion concerning progressive and civil rights issues. He has appeared in hundred of news stories, interviews, and political discussions through outlets such as ABC, BET, CNN, MSNBC, OWN, The New York Times, Fast Company, and NPR.

In 2010, Robinson was selected as one of "The Root 100," a list of
emerging and influential African Americans. He has previously held
leadership roles at GLAAD, the Right to Vote Campaign, and FairVote.

Entries by Rashad Robinson

Corporate Buyout: Why Legacy Civil Rights Groups Are on the Wrong Side of History

(3) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 6:48 PM

How did it come to this, when the NAACP, Urban League and other legacy civil rights groups are actually propping up Republican leadership in their efforts to tear down President Obama? It's like an alternative universe where stalwarts in the fight to amplify the voices of the powerless are now...

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Ensuring the Voices of Government Reflect the People They Represent

(1) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 2:05 PM

It has been more than a month since the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown and the highly militarized and repressive police response to the rallies and demonstrations that came in its wake. The scenes still seem misplaced, as if taken from a history book illustrating the height of the...

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Private Prisons Are Losing

(1) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 9:57 PM

It is no secret that for-profit prison companies are responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses of the past 30 years.

In 2012, the Department of Justice found that guards at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility (managed by GEO Group) routinely pepper sprayed and viciously beat youth...

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Private Prisons: The Case for Divestment

(4) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 3:35 PM

Tom Beasley, the co-founder of the largest private prison company in the country, the Corrections Corporation of America, once boasted that selling prisons was little different from selling "cars, or real estate, or hamburgers."

That may have been music to the ears of his shareholders, but it also revealed how...

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A Reason to Watch Saturday Night Live Again

(6) Comments | Posted January 17, 2014 | 9:29 PM

Just a day after Saturday Night Live announced the midseason addition of Sasheer Zamata to the cast, and still weeks prior to her scheduled debut, at least one Hollywood critic was already scribbling an asterisk by Sasheer's name.

*Token, undeserving, diversity hire.

SNL's decision...

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An Open Letter to Jay-Z: One Thing You Could Say About Barneys That Might Matter

(91) Comments | Posted October 25, 2013 | 9:40 PM

It's unfortunate but, sooner or later, Jay-Z, you're going to have to say something.

Nobody should blame you for cutting a promotional deal -- launching an exclusive holiday collection -- with Barneys just before a racial profiling scandal exploded at the luxury Manhattan department store. As one of your most...

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The Miss America Backlash Is an Opportunity We Can't Miss

(10) Comments | Posted September 17, 2013 | 4:56 PM

On Sunday night, 24-year-old Nina Davuluri became the first Indian-American to be crowned Miss America.

Like clockwork, social media exploded with a cavalcade of horrifically racist comments. Ignorant Twitter users dubbed her "Miss Arab," called her victory a "slap in the face" to 9/11 victims, and accused her of being...

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A Modern March for Newer Dreams

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2013 | 9:21 PM

In his autobiography Walking With the Wind, John Lewis describes the morning of the 1963 March on Washington. The most prominent civil rights leaders -- Dr. King, Bayard Rustin, Lewis and others -- were in meetings at the Capitol and realized that the march had started without them. They watched...

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It's Time for the Freedom to Vote

(1) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 5:26 PM

Last week, the United States Supreme Court attacked a signature achievement of the Civil Rights Movement. The decision in Shelby v. Holder, to strike down part of the Voting Rights Act, will make it harder to vote for voters of color, language minorities and other Americans.

Since 1965, Section 5...

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Albany Leaders -- What About Black New Yorkers?

(29) Comments | Posted June 14, 2013 | 5:24 PM

Last week, I read the new national report released by the ACLU that examined marijuana arrests across the country. While we knew there was disparity, the levels reflected in the report were shocking even to those of us who follow these issues. The report reveals that although Blacks...

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A Time to Reflect on Justice

(14) Comments | Posted September 21, 2012 | 3:31 PM

One year ago, after decades of appeals, witness recantations and petitions for clemency, the state of Georgia executed Troy Davis. I stood witness outside the prison in Jackson, praying, singing and crying among a crowd of hundreds, all of us certain that the exonerating evidence would compel the justice system...

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Unite the Two New Yorks: End Discriminatory Marijuana Arrests

(3) Comments | Posted June 18, 2012 | 3:10 PM

I love New York City. Besides being the capital of arts, media and culture, it's presented as the capital of possibilities. The possibility that you can come from anywhere in the world and if you work hard and use your talents, you can make it. I dreamed of living here...

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The Trayvon Martin Tragedy: Pop Culture Plays a Role

(160) Comments | Posted March 30, 2012 | 9:30 AM

Trayvon Martin was a good student, had no criminal record and was unarmed, but what George Zimmerman saw was "a real suspicious guy" who might be "on drugs or something." Despite being instructed by a 911 dispatcher to wait for police to arrive, Zimmerman took things into his...

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White Supremacists Show Support for MSNBC's Pat Buchanan

(32) Comments | Posted November 1, 2011 | 3:05 PM

White nationalists see Pat Buchanan as a mainstream champion of their beliefs. So when ColorOfChange.org launched a campaign last week calling on MSNBC to fire Buchanan from his role as a contributor and political analyst, white supremacists took to the Internet to rally around their prized public intellectual....

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Troy Davis Is Dead; the Movement Continues

(240) Comments | Posted September 22, 2011 | 9:33 AM

At 11:08 pm, Wednesday September 21, the state of Georgia killed Troy Davis. Just before he was executed, Troy maintained his innocence, urged people to dig deeper into the case to find the truth, and said "For those about to take my life, may God have mercy on your souls,...

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Will Arkansas Officials Support Black Student Achievement?

(10) Comments | Posted August 30, 2011 | 6:05 PM

Earlier this month, we delivered more than 130,000 petition signatures -- the product of tremendous activism on the part of the ColorOfChange.org and Change.org communities -- to local school officials in support of recent high school graduate Kymberly Wimberly.

ColorOfChange.org has followed up with hundreds...

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Innocent, But Forced to Confess -- To Murder

(2) Comments | Posted August 22, 2011 | 10:42 PM

In October 1992, five Black teenagers (known as the Dixmoor Five) were arrested in Cook County, IL for the brutal sexual assault and murder of 14-year-old Cateresa Matthews. Two-and-a-half years later, five other Black teenagers from Cook County (known as the Englewood Five) were arrested for the sexual assault and...

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Glenn Beck's Final Day On Fox, But The Work Continues

(81) Comments | Posted June 30, 2011 | 3:41 PM

Today marks Glenn Beck's last day on air as a Fox News commentator, and proponents of civil, fact-based political discussion everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief. His departure comes almost exactly two years after he declared during an appearance on Fox & Friends that President Obama is a "racist"...

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Tell Fox: Fire Eric Bolling

(6) Comments | Posted June 16, 2011 | 12:11 PM

President Obama's guest is a "hoodlum in the hizzouse"?

Yes, according to Fox Business host Eric Bolling.

This week ColorOfChange.org launched a campaign calling on Roger Ailes, Chair of Fox Business Network, to fire Bolling. On Friday Bolling said that President Obama has a habit of hosting "hoods in the hizzy," a reference to the president of Gabon and rapper Common, two recent White House guests. Bolling is the same Fox personality who said recently that President Obama was too busy "chugging forties" in Ireland to respond to the tornadoes in Missouri. Clearly, these statements play off of racist stereotypes.

Since Tuesday, more than 60,000 people have signed onto a petition calling on Ailes to either fire Bolling or admit that Fox accepts his brand of stereotyping and race-baiting. Please add your name and join us.

In an effort to stave off criticism, Bolling issued a weak pseudo-apology on Monday saying this: "We got a little fast and loose with the language, and we know it's been interpreted as being disrespectful, and for that, I'm sorry. We did go a bit too far." This "apology" doesn't begin to acknowledge the inflammatory and offensive nature of Bolling's comments, and as Media Matters points out, it's dishonest:

First, it's simply not true that the problems on his Friday show consisted of him and his guests getting "a little fast and loose with the language." Some of the most racially inflammatory language Bolling used on his Friday show was in the two teases for the segment, both of which were apparently scripted and accompanied by equally inflammatory images.

Among these images was one in which a photo-shopped gold tooth flashed in the mouth of President Ali Bongo of Gabon. Later, a voice-over announced, "It's not the first time he's had a hood in the big crib" as a photo of rapper Common appeared on screen. A chyron that read "Hoods in the House" captioned an image of Bongo sitting with President Obama, presumably at the White House. Bolling opened his segment by asking, "So what's with all the hoods in the hizzy?" Later, when a guest challenged him, asking why Bolling was treating the meeting as a social event rather than an official meeting between two heads of state, Bolling said, "How do you know what they did? Maybe they did have s'mores and watch movies. Maybe they watched a basketball game." Throughout the segment, Bolling's language and the graphics recycled racist stereotypes. None of the offensive material seemed impromptu. These were not "fast and loose" ad libs.

Such obvious promotion of racial stereotypes is nothing new at Fox.

Commentators at Fox News and Fox Business have long stoked the racial anxieties that some segment of their viewers surely harbor. We saw it last summer in Megyn Kelly's desperate, nonsensical coverage of the New Black Panther Party. We also saw it when John Stossel tried to argue that a central piece of the Civil Rights Act -- the part that says businesses that serve the public can't discriminate on the basis of race -- should be repealed.

But the network's most recent repeat offender has been Glenn Beck. Race-baiting is a big part of what made Beck's career at Fox News before he took things too far -- a move that eventually cost him more than 300 advertisers and his 5pm show on the network. Glenn Beck's time slot is opening up at Fox News at the end of this month, it looks like Bolling may think that over the top race-baiting is a good way to audition for the spot.

Please join us in demanding that Fox Business Chairman Roger Ailes fire Bolling. Ailes might not care what we think -- but he has to care about Fox's public image. If Ailes fires Bolling, it's a step towards accountability. If he refuses, it will make it abundantly clear to the public and the media that stoking racial division is part of Fox's...

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Censorship? You Can't Be Sirius

(8) Comments | Posted December 2, 2010 | 1:20 PM

It turns out Laura Schlessinger's so-called "retirement" from radio is going to last all of a day or two. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the current incarnation of Dr. Laura ends on December 31. Her new show on SiriusXM will begin on January 3. That's not a retirement; that's a...

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