Dismantle Digital Redlining With Net Neutrality

Gabriella Anaïs Deal-Márquez

Gabriella Anaïs Deal-Márquez

As organizers committed to unlocking power in communities of color and co-creating our own solutions, net neutrality is indispensable. Voices for Racial Justice is an anchor organization of the Media Action Grassroots Network along with 174 organizations nation-wide. We recognize that systemic barriers in economic and racial equity gaps must also be addressed by organizing around media justice.

At its core, our fight for racial justice is about generating opportunities as people of color to tell the stories of our communities and sit at decision making tables. This includes the power to create independent platforms that can contribute to the larger political dialogues that directly impact our daily lives and those of our families. FCC Chairman Wheeler penned an article (http://www.wired.com/2015/02/fcc-chairman-wheeler-net-neutrality/) articulating net neutrality rules that would reclassify the Internet as a Title II service under the Communications Act, which he says will ensure a “fast, fair, and open” internet. In addition, it will provide protections for users regardless of if they access the internet on their tablet, phone, or computer.

So why does this matter?

Every day we see the impact institutional and structural racism has on our communities. Internet access has also proven to fall along these same lines. What has become known as digital redlining is where low-wealth communities of color are excluded from high-speed access. Rural communities, which in Minnesota are becoming increasingly more diverse, need internet to be reclassified as Title II Service to even be able to access high speed internet. Strategic conversations around net neutrality must take place at the core of our organizing. Chairman Wheeler’s support of reclassifying the internet demonstrates how much people across the nation have organized and mobilized around this issue. However as always, there are powerful corporate interests working to ensure this shift does not occur.

The Black Congressional members of Team Cable aren’t very happy.

After taking millions of dollars from the cable industry, members of Congress like Bobby Rush (IL), G.K. Butterfield (NC), Gregory Meeks (NY), and Lacy Clay (MO) are desperately launching one last effort to undermine the democratic process to attack the FCC. That’s why we’re teaming up with the Media Action Grassroots Network and Color of Change to stop them!

For the next day help us call these representatives and demand that they let the FCC do its job to pass strong net neutrality rules. Thanks to Color of Change, this online tool will help make the calls for you and provide a script you can read.

Opposing media consolidation is about taking a stand for workers, families and communities over corporations. Will you join us?