Civil Rights groups oppose Comcast trying to beat civil rights law that goes all the way back to 1866


Byron AllenChris Carlson/AP

❝ A coalition of civil rights organizations this week accused Comcast of undermining Reconstruction-era protections against racial discrimination, weighing in on a lawsuit against the company that is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Comedian and media mogul Byron Allen is suing the cable television provider for $20 billion under an 1866 law ensuring newly freed African Americans the same right to enter into contracts as any white citizen…

❝ Allen, who is black, alleges that Comcast discriminated against him in its refusal to carry cable channels by his company, Entertainment Studios Networks. Comcast said it made a business decision to reject Allen’s general-interest channels based on what it thought viewers want.

The question before the court is whether, as Comcast contends, Allen must show that race was the sole motivating reason for Comcast’s decision to reject his channels.

A coalition of more than 2 dozen groups committed to civil rights have filed briefs supporting Allen and his suit.

Trump had his flunkies file a brief defending Comcast.

2 thoughts on “Civil Rights groups oppose Comcast trying to beat civil rights law that goes all the way back to 1866

  1. Mike says:

    Two weeks before its Supreme Court challenge to our oldest civil rights law, Comcast/NBCUniversal,, the parent company of film production company Focus Features, is releasing the autobiographical film “Harriet”, based on the formerly enslaved and abolitionist hero Harriet Tubman. Tubman risked her life countless times to free hundreds of enslaved people and lived to see the nation’s first civil rights law come to pass: the Civil Rights Act of 1866 — the same civil rights act that Comcast is currently petitioning the Supreme Court to strike down.
    In a letter sent to Color of Change, Senior Vice President of Federal Government Affairs Melissa Maxfield argues that Comcast’s interpretation of the Civil Rights Act statute is based on previous circuit court rulings — and so a Supreme Court decision in the company’s favor won’t actually set new legal precedent. The onus is on Entertainment Studios Networks owner Byron Allen to drop his “meritless” lawsuit, Comcast argues. The Justice Department is backing Comcast in the case.
    Color of Change, founded in 2005, has issued a petition asking the public to push Comcast NBC Universal to withdraw its Supreme Court challenge to the Civil Rights Act of 1866. https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/comcast_withdraw/
    Color of Change is not alone in its opposition. A raft of other civil rights groups, including the NAACP, have signed legal briefs rebutting Comcast. The high court will hear the case Nov. 13. https://thegrio.com/2019/10/02/color-of-change-demands-comcast-withdraw-its-supreme-court-challenge-to-the-civil-rights-act-of-1866/

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