Apparently Color of Change, a venerable online activist organization collected money to pay for the Jena 6 legal defense and was SO OUTRAGEOUS as to use the money collected to GASP... PAY FOR THEIR LEGAL DEFENSE! Oh the sacrilege! The horror! You mean to tell me that there are actually organizations that actually use the money that they raise to do what they said they were going to do?
Well apparently the Jena 6 families want the money to be used for purposes other than getting their children out of the clank and they collaborated with consummate attention whore and smutty book writer turned prognostitute and talk show "personality", Michael "Baby Oil" Baisden to bite the hand that fed them. Better yet, they just bit off the hand of Color of Change completely. Listen to the audio of the calls. Micahel Bell's Daddy ( the one who can't stop his child from repeatedly violating parole), gets on the Michael Baisden show and says he doesn't know WHO Color of Change is and then goes on to slander ALL Black activists online. Baisden goes on to call Color of Change "Shady" Now wait just a hot dog minute. Mr. Smutty book-writing- wanna be Tom Joyner's water boy, attention whoring, womanizing, prognostitute had the AUDACITY to call somebody "shady':
Jones offered no evidence for his assertion. But Baisden told his listeners that Rucker "sounds shady to me," before promoting his own fundraiser. SOURCEWell clearly neither Baisden nor Mickey Bell's Daddy can R-E-A-D.
Who is Color of Change:
ColorOfChange.org exists to strengthen Black America's political voice. Our goal is to empower our members—Black Americans and our allies—to make government more responsive to the concerns of Black Americans and to bring about positive political and social change for everyone. SOURCE
What does Color of Change do?:
Using the Internet, we will enable our members to speak in unison, with an amplified political voice. We will keep them informed about the most pressing issues for Black people in America and give them ways to act. We will lobby elected representatives using email, the telephone, and face-to-face meetings. We'll bring attention to the needs and concerns of Black folks by holding coordinated events in different parts of the country, running TV and print advertisements, and demanding that the news media cover our issues. We will also work with other groups—online efforts and other organizations that are doing related work—to magnify our impact. SOURCENow Color of Change has been absolutely transparent about how much money has been raised and where it has been sent. They even provide copies of the checks.
And how have the Jena 6 famlies reported the 250,000, they have collected... Well they HAVEN'T:
Parents of the "Jena 6" teenagers have refused to publicly account for how they are spending a large portion of the cash, estimated at up to $250,000, that resides in a bank account they control. SOURCEOh and Michael Baisden, he ain't revealing where the money he has been raising is going or how much he has raised:
Michael Baisden, a nationally syndicated black radio host who is leading a major fundraising drive on behalf of the Jena 6, has declined to reveal how much he has collected. Attorneys for the first defendant to go to trial, Mychal Bell, say they have yet to receive any money from him. SOURCESo we got the organization that is being transparent being attacked by the families who clearly have something to hide or have kept such poor records that they couldn't give an accounting if they wanted to.
BAISDEN Apologizes- AFTER THE FACT
On Friday, after several prominent African American bloggers criticized Baisden for his comments, the radio host issued a statement apologizing to Color of Change "for not seeking more reliable sources."SOURCEWait a minute. Go back and listen to that original call. Baisden goes on and on about how he's "Checked with the lawyers" and laments how he made Michael Bell's daddy wait TWO WEEKS before slandering Color of Change. What the heck was he doing during those two weeks? Oh yeah, he was writing another smutty novel.
Black Online Activists are a New Breed (for now)
Black online activists aren't distracted by banquets and brunches. We aren't impressed by who will take our calls or invite us to sit at a conference table and drink bottled water and munch on scones. We could care less if Michael Jackson came to our birthday party. Last and certainly not least, old media doesn't respect new media. So Baisden didn't realize he was attacking a scion of the Black and Brown Blogosphere. If he had, he would have checked his facts FIRST. If he respected Color of Change he would have made that effort BEFORE slandering them. Because they weren't the old guard alphabet soup organizations (NAACP, NAN, NOW, SLCL, CHIP, DIP, SALSA) they weren't worthy of a phone call.
Now Color of Change is too diplomatic and classy to say this but I AIN'T...
Those families want that money Color of Change. God only knows why since the only thing you have been doing with the money is PAYING LAWYERS TO KEEP THEIR KIDS OUT OF THE CLANK! I say LET EM HAVE IT! Give all the money to them and then walk away and wish them well. Color of Change, you did what you set out to do, you highlighted an egregious abuse of prosecutorial discretion, your efforts and the efforts of Black bloggers over the course of MONTHS ultimately led to the national coverage and massive demonstrations.
Before Baisden ever knew who they were, black bloggers were working the Jena 6. The families have now decided to cling to Bad Boy Baisden, I say LET 'Em! Let them cling to a man whose claim to fame is that he writes smutty books. Maybe he can get them on a few more red carpets or help them produce some more myspace videos. Sometimes, you really do need to pack up your toys and head back to the crib. Especially when folks start kicking sand in your face. You have done what you could for these families, the kids aren't facing attempted murder charges. There is no coalition to be shattered or broken. You did the work you set out to do.
Eventually, the old media will get a clue and realize that the internet can magnify their power and is not a threat to it. They'll figure out that there are SOME activists that actually use donations for the intended purpose instead of buying houses furs, cars, and, paying off paramours, and paying child support. YEAH I SAID IT! The folks at Color of Change have given me no indication that they are anything other than what they are: decent honorable people trying to do the right thing.
I didn't blog about the Jena 6. About the most I have written is BET inviting them to the BET Hip Hop Awards and one fool purportedly putting up a Myspace page covered in bling, and $100 bills.
So why the heck should WAOD care about this foolishness? Well, it is simple....
Dear fellow diplomatic and tactful Black bloggers, I know that y'all want to temper your public outrage for fear of creating a chasm in some coalition you believe now exists as a result of the Jena 6, but let me make it plain as moi is prone to do. THIS WAS AN ATTACK ON BLACK ONLINE ACTIVISTS IN GENERAL. It was a calculated attack. Baisden worked on this attack for weeks and knew EXACTLY WHAT HE WAS DOING. Y'all can be all "We Are the World" if you want to, but it is what it is. Old media is terrified of Black bloggers. The Black Elite Establishment, of which smutty book writing Baisden wants to belong, views bloggers with suspicion and disdain and since I love hyperbole... they don't have a problem destroying what they cannot control and they can't control Black bloggers.
In closing, Baisden says he wants to raise another ONE MILLION DOLLARS! My question is FOR WHAT? The legal defense to my knowledge has been provided for so tell me what the Jena 6 has done to warrant $1 MILLION DOLLARS? Um anybody? This wasn't the LOTTERY! Y'all weren't in a car wreck. Nobody went to jail except the person who violated probation for previous crimes. Nobody has been kept out of college. Nobody rescued a cat from a tree or a baby from a burning house. Nobody discovered a cure for cancer. The only thing the Jena 6 did was jump a boy and beat him unconscious. For that, you do not get $1 MILLION. What you get is a lucky star, which you need to be thanking that folks were willing to raise pure unadulterated hell on behalf of your ungrateful lot.
Folks let's move on. New Orleans is still in shambles, folks in Dunbar Village are still living in fear, a WHOLE BUNCH of Black folks are actually SITTING IN JAIL, and the Entertainment Industrial Complex is still cranking out multimedia crack aimed at destroying Black America
The Jena 6 and their families want a DIVORCE from the Black Blogosphere. Give it to them already!
Remember the Iron Rule: "Never do for others what they can do for themselves." There ain't nothing left for y'all to do for those families that they can't do for themselves.
Color of Change, Keep y'allz heads up. As someone who has had repeated run ins with old media and the Civil Rights Industrial Complex, you stay in your lane, keep you eye on your goals, and do it with JOY.
Color of Change, shake them haters off! In law school we were fond of saying "be careful about the feet you step on today, they might be connected to the $*# you have to kiss tomorrow" In other words, Baisden, I hope you enjoyed the moment of "glory" by savaging Color of Change. I have the feeling you will rue the day you crossed these well meaning folks behind some foolishness.
To the families of the Jena 6, seriously, go sit down somewhere. Get your kids off red carpets and awards show stages, keep them out of after parties sponsored by liquor companies, make them take down, MySpace, YourSpace, TheySpace, pages, stop going on the radio. Just keep your head low until your children are completely out of legal peril because quite frankly, you are not helping your case. YOUR FAMILIES are not HEROES. But for the idiot hapless DA in your tiny Louisiana backwater, nobody would know your names. the only thing you did was raise some kids who thought 6 on 1 was a fair fight. Seriously, you and your families have done nothing to be proud of or famous for. Go. Sit. Down. and PRAY for the liberty of your children.
Whew. I am through.
This episode would make a GREAT panel discussion at Blogging While Brown. Someone write up a workshop proposal and turn it in during the call for workshops. I wonder if we could get someone from the Industrial Areas Foundation to partner with Color of Change to do a workshop on grassroots organizing and what happens when you violate the Iron Rule.