The Civil Rights Act of 1866 Could Be Struck Down This Week

And all protected classes should be worried. An essay on the impact of dismantling to Blacks and their civil rights.

The Civil Rights Act of 1866 Could Be Struck Down This Week
I am a man is a declaration of civil rights used by African Americans as a declaration of independence against oppression. Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

If you haven’t heard by now, there is a huge case going before the Supreme Court this week. Comcast wants the court to overturn the oldest civil rights law in the country — Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal in a case involving Comcast and entertainment executive Byron Allen. Allen, who is Black, filed a federal lawsuit in California against Comcast racially discriminated against him when it refused to carry his cable-TV channels on its systems.

According to Allen, Comcast distributes for several channels that include minorities as part owners, the Philadelphia cable giant has not embraced Allen’s company, which is 100% minority owned. Allen states 100% African American–owned media has been shut out by Comcast. This fight is about equality, and African-Americans having the same opportunities as Whites and other minority groups to do business with large conglomerates.

The Supreme Court will decide whether a company’s decision to not award a contract or job to an African American or any person of color could be 99 percent based on a reason of race and only 1 percent based on a lack of sufficient experience in the industry. The bottom line is Whiteness has a lock on the cable industry.

Check out the bios and photos of the board of directors and executive officers of Comcast. Learn who the people are challenging the rights of African Americans.

Board of Directors | Comcast Corporation
The Investor Relations website contains information about Comcast Corporation's business for stockholders, potential…
Executive Officers | Comcast Corporation
The Investor Relations website contains information about Comcast Corporation's business for stockholders, potential…

Why This Case Matters

This case is a big deal because should right leaning Supreme Court Justices side with Comcast and our government, it could mean the very first Civil Rights Act created specifically to protect freed slaves and African Americans after the Emancipation Proclamation would be struck down. This would mean we (Blacks and minorities) couldn’t make claims of racial discrimination, we would no longer have protections, and likely all expansions and amendments to the Civil Rights Act would be void because the foundation for all the other subsequent amendments will no longer exist.

I have written extensively about how other groups have enjoyed the benefits of the Civil Right Act of 1866 meant for Blacks. None of those groups apparently realize their “rights” are on the line too, hence the reason for the little show of support. The only group present to support the Civil Rights Act of 1866 were a small group of Black descendants of slaves (ADOS).

Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 says all people in the United States have the same rights to make and enforce contracts “enjoyed by white citizens.” They enacted this section of the law to help newly freed African Americans engage in work fairly, without laws that created conditions similar to chattel slavery. Blacks and other Brown immigrant racial minority groups rely on this act for protections. Striking down the act means our government and corporate America will sanction inequality and anti-Black sentiments. The fight to end racial discrimination never ends.

LGBTQIA populations, White feminists, women, Black and Brown immigrants, the disabled, the elderly, and other groups protected by the Act risk losing their privilege and status should the courts side with Comcast and the Trump Administration instead of with Blacks and equality. We are living in racistly times and there are many people uninterested in making America more fair to Black and Brown people. Allen is one of the most successful Black television entrepreneurs in American history. He’s trying to open more doors to Black programming, but White gatekeepers are doing what they well, and that’s holding the gates closed when they see us coming so we won’t get in. That’s why this case matters.

Who’s Fighting?

There are twenty-two organizations which have filed Lawyer’s Committee For Civil Rights briefs, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Anti-Defamation League, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Council of Jewish Women, the National Organization for Women Foundation, the Union for Reform Judaism, Center for Popular Democracy, Equal Justice Society, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Action Network, National Coalition for Asian-Pacific American Community Development, National Consumer Law Center, National Council of Jewish Women, National Employment Law Project, National Partnership for Women & Families, Service Employees International Union, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Women of Reform Judaism, the Men of Reform Judaism, and the Southern Poverty Law.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund filed a separate brief that included 10 other organizations, including the ACLU, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the National Women’s Law Center.

Pay Attention To The Courts Ruling

We are living in a time where White Supremacy has been made palatable and mainstream, and fragile nationalists are moving quickly to dismantle our progress. While this case is important for Black people, it’s also important for any person covered in a protected class. If the Supreme Court rules against the protected classes, we all lose our protections. We are distracted with Trump shenanigan. There are lots of laws being dismantled. Don’t sleep on the Supreme Court. Please don’t sleep on the lower courts stacked with incompetent White Supremacist.

As Usual, There Is No One But Us

No one showed up to protests Comcast’s challenge to strike down the law ending Black codes except a small group called ADOS (African Descendants of Slaves).

Most of the Black civil rights movements and organizations are paid by Comcast. Their financial interests come before our freedom. They were absent from the protest.

There were no White women or feminists movements in pink pussy hats marching for their civil rights even though they benefit from it.

There were no LGBTQIA groups marching this week for civil rights.

Most Black people don’t know what’s happening. It’s embarrassing.

No minority groups came to fight for the civil rights act. Instead, minorities mostly showed up for DACA recipients. Without the Civil Rights Act, DACA doesn’t stand a chance. Too bad people cannot connect the dots.

Blacks are at risk of losing their rights, and we’re all acting like it’s another day in the park. While you may think this fight doesn’t impact you directly, it likely benefits someone you know directly. Every other civil rights act that has been created sprang from the original act. If the Civil Rights Act of 1866 is struck down, so goes the rest of the civil rights acts that followed it. Without the foundation, the rest of the Acts cannot stand. It’s not just a Black thing. Other non-racialized groups need to understand this. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was created to end Black Codes and ensure there was some semblance of equality for African Americans.

Whites and other minority groups getting privilege and protections without putting in the work better remember, recognize where those privileges came from, and realize we all must continue to fight for equality.

Our civil rights are up for consideration by the Supreme Court. All protected classes should be worried about it.

©2019 Marley K. All rights reserved.

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