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NAN, NAACP & Other Hypocritical "Civil Rights" Organizations Assert "Constitutional Right" To Conceal Their Corporate Funding Before the FCC

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A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

When NAN, the Urban League, LULAC, Rainbow PUSH & the NAACP claim a "constitutional right" to hide the extent of their dependence on broadcaster & telecom funding, whose rights are they protecting?  Those of wealthy corporate donors or those of their supposed constituents?  

NAN, NAACP & Other Hypocritical "Civil Rights" Organizations Assert "Constitutional Right" To Conceal Their Corporate Funding Before the FCC

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

“Leading Civil Rights Organizations,” the headline on a story said, “Challenge FCC Rule Limiting Constitutional Freedoms.”

“45 years after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, all the mainline national civil rights organizations depend heavily upon donations from broadcasters and telecommunications corporations...”

Good thing, you might think, our traditional civil rights bodies are on the lookout for threats to our constitutional freedoms. At least till you actually read the story. When you do, it turns out that  the NAACP, National Action Network, the National Urban League, the Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership, League of United Latin American Citizens, Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, and Rainbow PUSH all object to a proposed Federal Communications Commission rule that would force them, whenever they weigh in on matters before the FCC, disclose who they're getting money from.

45 years after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, all the mainline national civil rights organizations depend heavily upon donations from broadcasters and telecommunications corporations from Comcast-NBC, AT&T, and Verizon, to Time-Warner, ABC-Disney, Sprint, T-Mobile. Some of their own top executives in recent years have come from these monopoly industries as well, and the deep pockets of broadcasters and telecoms have sponsored their own shadow organizations of minority entrepreneurs and spokespeople.

All of them, from the NAACP and Rainbow-PUSH to LULAC and the Minority Media & Telecommunications Partnership have in recent years backed state and federal legislation that keeps cities and towns from regulating cable networks or laying their own cable. They've all endorsed laws that bar cities and towns from spinning up their own broadband services which might compete with those of their donors or provide services to poor communities, to schools, libraries and small businesses in their communities that their donors do not. Every one of them opposes network neutrality and backs the digital redlining of black, brown and poor communities. Every one of these so-called civil rights organizations in recent years has backed the privatization or outright giveaway to their wealthy donors vast amounts of the electromagnetic spectrum which could and should have been set aside for community broadcasters and the public good. And of course, these corrupt “civil rights organizations” have unreservedly backed each and every proposed broadcaster and telecom merger, from AT&T's failed attempt to buy T-Mobile to the Comcast-NBC deal and they're lining up right now to back Comcast's current attempt to buy Time Warner cable as well.

Whenever the interests of monopoly broadcasters and telecoms clash with the interests of poor black and brown people, these corrupt “civil rights organizations” always side with their funders, never with their people. Disclosing their financial ties to telecoms and broadcasters in the very same forums where they shill for their donors will make their pretense to represent the poor and oppressed even more ludicrous.

Sixty years ago, during the struggle against Jim Crow segregation southern state governments tried to force the NAACP to hand over membership and other lists. Back then, being on such a list could mean losing one's job, one's home or business or one's life. A federal court ruled the NAACP didn't have to hand over their list. This, today's hypocritical “civil rights” organizations claim, as if the nameless and numberless families whose breadwinners lost their jobs, or who were firebombed out of their homes or evicted from plantations like Fannie Lou Hamer are somehow equivalent to what might happen to Verizon and ABC-Disney – is why they should be allowed to hide their donors. This is the “constitutional freedom” the black and brown misleaders of our civil rights organizations have mobilized to protect. It doesn't pass a smell test, it doesn't pass a laugh test, it doesn't pass a hypocrisy test.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report. He lives and works in Marietta GA and is a state committee member of the GA Green Party. Contact him via this site's contact page or at bruce.dixon(at)

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Arundati Roy_How Corp Funding Neutered Black Freedom Struggle

ARUNDHATI ROY on How Corp Foundation Funding's Role in Neutralizing, Taming & Redirecting the Black Liberation Struggle [@ ]

} 'It began, with foundations like the Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie, etc.., who gave seed money for the U.N., the CIA, the Foreign Relations Council [CFR], etc….

“Having worked out how to manage governments, political parties, elections, courts, the media and liberal opinion, the neoliberal establishment was faced with: how to deal with the growing unrest, the threat of ’people’s power.’ How do you vacuum up people’s fury and redirect it into a blind alley?

“Here too, foundations and their allied organizations have a long history. One example is their role in defusing and deradicalizing the Black Civil Rights movement in the United States in the 1960s and the successful transformation of Black Power into [pseudo] Black Capitalism [a myth].

“The Rockefeller Foundation, had worked closely with Martin Luther King Sr. (father of Martin Luther King Jr). But his influence waned with the rise of the more militant organizations—the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Black Panthers. So in 1970 the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations moved in & donated $15 million to 'moderate' Black organizations, giving people grants, fellowships, scholarships, job training programs for dropouts and seed money for Black-owned businesses. Repression, infiltration & infighting and the honey trap of funding led to the gradual atrophying of the Black radical organizations.

"Martin Luther King Jr made the forbidden connections between Capitalism, Imperialism, Racism and the Vietnam War. As a result, after his assassination, even his memory became toxic to them, a threat to public order. Foundations and Corporations worked hard to remodel his legacy to fit a market-friendly format. The Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, with an operational grant of $2 million, was set up by, the Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Mobil, Western Electric, Procter & Gamble, U.S. Steel and Monsanto. The Center maintains the King Library and Archives of the Civil Rights Movement. Among many programs the King Center runs have been projects that—quote, 'work closely with the United States Department of Defense, the Armed Forces Chaplains Board and others,'. It co-sponsored the Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture Series called— ’The Free Enterprise System: An Agent for Non-violent Social Change.’"

They did the same thing in South Africa & in Indonesia with General Suharto’s war, which we now know of because of The Act of Killing in Indonesia. And very much so even in India, where they move in and they began to NGO-ize, the feminist movement. So you have a feminist movement, which was very radical, very vibrant, suddenly getting funded. They are doing important things- IE: working on gender rights, with sex workers or on AIDS. But then they will, in their funding, gradually make a little border between any movement which involves women, which is actually threatening the economic order. So, in the forest you have 90,000 women who were members of the Adivasi Krantikari Mahila Sangathan, this revolutionary indigenous women’s organization, but they are threatening the corporations, they are threatening the economic architecture of the world, by refusing to move out of there- so they’re not considered feminists.

So how do you turn something into—what in India we call paltu shers, which is a tame tiger, a tiger on a leash, that’s pretending to be fiercely resisting, but really isn’t.' {

I listened with some interest to Ms. Roy as well...

when she talked about the role of the foundations in suborning the civil rights movement.  I thought of John Lewis, who accepted jobs with the Ford Foundation almost right after he left SNCC, and many others like him.

It seems that everybody is well acquainted with this part of our history except us Africans in this wilderness of North America.

Thanks for the reminders.

I always knew

For a very long time now, I always realized, the so called black orginazations did not work in the best interest of the people.  I have read and heard they were getting their funding from groups, corporations, that pulled their strings.  When we see the abuse, the discrimination of black people ongoing, every day, before these groups came into existence, and after they came into existence, the discrimination continued, obviously, they were not what they were suppose to be about.  Jessie Jackson stricks me as being a very dishonest man, he and Al Sharpton.  They never approach real issues, if they do, they only come out to spin, making short statemments to get the media attention, and then disappear.  They never have solutions to problems, only spinning, you know lip service.  We need real black leaders, who are not afraid, and refuse to take the money that will require them to be ineffective.  We need real black leaders, who recognized problems that hold African people down, and real solutions to move African people froward.  The schools, unfair criminal justice, housing, crime, strangers in black people's communities, making money, not employing a black sole, preaching self determination.  That is what these preachers need to be preaching.  They are misusing the people, for a convient livelihood.  How did they become leaders of African people?  People like Jessie Jackson, and Al Sahrpton, and the rest of the bunch.  They do not speak for African people, what you get is a lot of emotional speeches, mostly spinning, not touching on real issues, and never solutions, I mean real solutions.  I haven't even touched on the leaders in the churches today, maybe another day.

NAN, NAACP & Other Hypocritical "Civil Rights" Organizations Ass

Ms. Roy is always on target.

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