News: From Mass Incarceration To Mass Censorship: Why Zuckerberg And Sheryl Sandberg Are So Dangerous For Black America
Joel Kaplan, (Facebook’s chief lobbyist), CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg did extreme violence to the idea of free speech for Black Americans speaking up and speaking out against elites.
This violence comes only weeks after USA Today published a profile of Facebook’s apartheid policing of Black activists who dare to bang against the establishment. It may seem far fetched now with Facebook’s stock price trading at rich levels, but Facebook accelerated its downward spiral yesterday. I predict it will collapse and shock the consensus, like a Lehman Brothers or Bear Stearns.
Yesterday’s lifetime ban of Louis Farrakhan, Alex Jones, Paul Nehlen, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson and Laura Loomer was not surprising to anyone paying attention. The heavy-handed action by Facebook is not about personalities. It’s about censorship and the power of online platforms to re-engineer society and communications to their liking. It’s about whether Zuckerberg and others can be trusted to treat Black America fairly.
As recently as March, Facebook was charged with housing discrimination by the MAGA-led U.S. government. The government has stepped in to charge Wells Fargo with systemic racial discrimination. The government charged Honda Motors in 2015 with racial discrimination in its lending practices. Digital redlining and racist algorithms are more recent tools to enforce white supremacy systemically.
Apartheid systems can develop quickly in online platforms when left to normal American behavior. We saw this with Airbnb users systemically discriminating against Black users. What Kaplan, Zuckerberg, and Sandberg have going on is far worse. While yielding massive influence and power politically, economically and technologically, Zuckerberg and Sandberg have proven to be extremely dangerous over and over again.
The “strategic” censorship announcement felt like Farrakhan was thrown into a group of policy abusers just to seem fair. Facebook had anticipated “What about Farrakhan?” from the so-called far-right. This was a political move and Facebook must be looked at as a massive political actor with profit and unholy elitist motivations at its core.
Some of the internal political activity within Facebook was explored by the Wall Street Journal late last year:
“After more than a year of research and discussion, Facebook late this summer shelved a project called “Common Ground” that tried to encourage users with different political beliefs to interact in less-hostile ways. One reason: fears the proposed fix could trigger claims of bias against conservatives, according to people familiar with the decision.
“The objections were raised by Joel Kaplan, a former White House aide to George W. Bush who has emerged as Facebook’s protector against allegations of political bias—and thus one of its most powerful and controversial executives.”
Kaplan is worried about how things will look with conservatives — people like him. This would explain throwing Farrakhan in the strategic censorship group. Throw some meat at folks on the right. Facebook wouldn’t care about a potential backlash from Black America in going after Farrakhan.
Some questions need to be asked. Why not give a lifetime ban to Benjamin Netanyahu’s son, who has made racist statements against Palestinians?
Why aren’t Mohammad bin Salman and the Saudi government considered a “dangerous” individual and organization after they sent a 15-member kill team to murder Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi and butcher him into pieces?
Why go after a prominent Black religious leader before going after the hip-hop artists on Facebook preaching rape, drugs and the murder of other Black men? Why isolate the censorship on religious leaders? Most of Black America would say those preaching death and a culture of destruction are dangerous — not Farrakhan.
There is an escalation of strategic censorship against Black political leaders and thinkers. We saw CNN terminate Marc Lamont Hill for speaking up for the Palestinians at the U.N., attacks on Tamika Mallory of the Women’s March for building bridges with Farrakhan, and the public rebuke of Rep. Ilhan Omar for questioning the wrong lobbying group, AIPAC.
The power of elites is being weaponized into a Frankensteinian of Black political and religious thought. You can only think like Bakari Sellers or Cory Booker and they have the wallet and power to enforce this through the media and technology pipes and employment.
The trend in censorship against Black America inspired John Legend and New York Times’ Michelle Alexander to speak out.
Black America must take this dangerous censorship trend very seriously, on the level of mass incarceration. Charles Rangel and the Congressional Black Caucus thought tough sentences on mostly offenders would help.
From mass incarceration to mass censorship
Yes, your Black leaders in the U.S. government pushed for mass incarceration, just as some are now pushing for mass censorship against whatever a group of white men in Silicon Valley classifies as dangerous and hate speech. We have to remember that MLK, Malcolm X, and Muhammad Ali were thought of as dangerous in their time. They only became less threatening to white America after death.
In addition to political expediency and lacking the will to fight, the Congressional Black Caucus lacked an understanding of the history, structure, and racist orientation of the leadership who would execute their policy ideas.
When you see negroes fighting for more censorship across Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and other media platforms, think of the actors who will be enforcing such policies. Some policy actions may make you feel good and seem right at this time. Think of the potential systemic abuse of more censorship, particularly against the most courageous and best fighters among us.
The people on the bottom in America have the most to lose from the censorship of radical ideas about what the people at the top are doing. This is what’s dangerous. The white censorship police officers in Silicon Valley are already bad but they’re going to get a lot worse than the police in Watts, Baltimore, and Harlem. You’ll likely have more Black people on the worst and most abusive police departments than on the censorship police teams at Facebook.
For those who are ready to put on a cape and defend Facebook as a private business, Black people will have the most to lose. Facebook needs to come under stricter federal regulation and civil rights laws, like the ones that say a private business has to serve birthday cake to members of the LGBTQ community, like everyone
Written by Jamarlin Martin