Outreach: African-American Media Outlets
The media contact points beneath the following sample letter are just a start. Save your letters and we'll continue forward with this effort next week. Let's get be aggressive and hit this effort with big numbers of e-mails.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that once barred workplace discrimination on the basis of race and skin color, is now dead for the vast majority of African-Americans. As a result, the economic gains made by black Americans over the past several decades are evaporating into thin air. Employment credit checks quietly became a workplace discrimination tool in the 90s and today have grown to 50+ percent for all jobs and 80+ percent of all white collar jobs. Long before the Great Recession, “bad credit” in the African-American community was 48 percent. With the outrageously high unemployment numbers now in black America the percentage must be a staggering 60 or 70 percent, if not higher.
While many want to minimize it as mere coincidence instead of racism and bigotry, the reality is that racial inequality in the workplace is now rampant once again. By easily adding a couple additional filters to credit checks (such as predominately black neighborhoods along with first and last names) and the result is that African Americans don’t work. The “Whites Only Need Apply” sign has simply been replaced with a “credit check required for employment” policy – Title VII doesn’t exist! This is happening in a nation that has a black president, celebrates MLKs birthday and each year commemorates the passage of the Civil Rights Act with nostalgic fervor?
HR3149: The Equal Employment for All Act, stalled in the House, would outlaw employment credit checks for all Americans and help to restore racial equality in hiring and promotions. Have you or your readers ever even heard of the legislation? Do you see or read about support for the legislation from the Congressional Black Caucus, NAACP, National Urban League, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Jessie Jackson or Al Sharpton? With the exception of the NAACP’s weak support thus far, you won’t see any support whatsoever from the civil rights community because it doesn’t exist. As long as there is no “whites only need apply” sign in the window, the majority of the civil rights community appears to be blind to what quietly just happened in less than two decades.
Your readers and the African-American community at large deserve to know HR3149 exists so they can come together and support it. Without you reporting on it, that won’t happen. It also won’t enable your readers to ask difficult questions such as why there is virtually zero support from black leaders and civil rights advocates. Millions of dollars in corporate PAC money is buying votes and stalling the legislation in Congress which begs the question, could corporate money be muzzling some civil rights advocates as well? Something is clearly amiss . . . otherwise, HR3149 would be law. It’s just that simple!
During a time when unemployment is rampant in the African-American community, backdoor racial discrimination in the workplace via employment credit checks is killing what little opportunity there is. If Title VII of the Civil Rights Act were officially rescinded you’d write an article daily and call for mass protests, but backdoor racial discrimination via employment credit checks and no support for HR3149 from civil rights advocates is just fine? I ask that you perform your duty of informing your readers about HR3149 and to go the extra mile by reporting who is not supporting the legislation and ask the question, why?
[End Sample Letter]
Contact Points - We'll pick up this media outreach again, next week, so save your letters . . .
* Guidelines for submissions http://www.theroot.com/contactus
African American News & Issues
Afro American Newspaper
Atlanta Daily World
Bay State Banner
Ink News Online
The Miami Times
New England Informer
New Journal and Guide
New Pittsburg Courier
People’s Voice Weekly
South Florida Times
Black Press USA