Who is Rashad Robinson? And why has his fringe, race-baiting organization been able to pressure several major corporations into abandoning a pro-limited-government legislative association — all for a few cheap social-justice brownie points?
Conservative consumers need to get informed, get active and stand their ground against free speech-squelching progressive activists who have demonized the American Legislative Exchange Council. This isn't just a battle over ALEC. It's a war against the left's shakedown artists taking aim at our freedoms of speech and association.
ALEC, as I reported last week, is the four-decade-old policy organization of state legislators and like-minded business people who believe in "the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty." They are under fire from a longstanding network of liberal groups — tied to the Democratic Party — that are unhappy with effective conservative opposition at the state and federal legislative levels.
Anti-ALEC hypocrites seized on the Trayvon Martin shooting case in Florida to blame ALEC and Republican lawmakers for their advocacy of Stand Your Ground self-defense legislation - even though the case does not implicate the policy and ALEC followed Florida's lead on the legislation. Moreover, eight of the 15 states that have adopted such polices were helmed by Democratic governors at the time of passage.
Robinson is spearheading the anti-ALEC campaign, along with Soros-backed Progress Now and a MoveOn.org/Big Labor political action committee, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC). While they claim to oppose black "voter suppression" by working to undermine anti-voter fraud bills backed by ALEC, Color of Change's true agenda is to chill and suppress pro-capitalist, pro-Second Amendment, pro-low taxes and pro-law enforcement lobbying and legislating in the political marketplace.
Robinson is in charge of "Color of Change," a radical activist group founded by disgraced 9/11 Truther, anti-police agitator, Occupy movement promoter and former Obama green jobs czar Van Jones. The group used Hurricane Katrina to condemn America as institutionally racist. Most shamefully, Jones and his fledgling group helped perpetuate director Spike Lee and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan's wild conspiracy theories about government-engineered black genocide in New Orleans.
Before taking over Jones' demagogue duties, Robinson previously lobbied for felon voting rights at the left-wing Soros family-backed Fair Vote. The group has repeatedly fought common-sense efforts to rein in voter fraud. Unsurprisingly, Robinson is close to the community organizer in chief's administration. While media director at gay rights group GLAAD, Robinson traveled to Serbia in 2010 to officially represent the U.S. at a gay pride festival. He was invited by the Obama State Department, which sponsored the trip.
Robinson claims that his group has "more than 800,000 members" and "is the nation's largest online civil rights group." The numbers, however, don't add up. The Color of Change Twitter account has fewer than 14,600 followers. Robinson himself, acclaimed by leftists as a new media guru, has a measly 1,400 followers after three years on the premiere social networking platform.
But the foot soldiers of radical organizer Saul Alinsky know how to conjure up facades and false narratives. Over the past several weeks, Robinson has released a series of press releases claiming mass victories in the Color of Change campaign to boycott ALEC. The bulletins are being dutifully regurgitated by sympathetic journalists such as National Public Radio's Peter Overby — a former staffer at the anti-ALEC group Common Cause, a fact that he failed to disclose to radio listeners in at least two recent hit pieces on ALEC.
Color of Change's corporate appeasers include McDonald's, Wendy's, Mars Inc., Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Intuit, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Reed Elsevier (owner of LexisNexis), American Traffic Solutions and Arizona Public Service. This week, Robinson also claimed that Yum Brands and Procter and Gamble had dropped their memberships as a result of "hundreds" of Color of Change phone calls.
On Tuesday, I called Procter and Gamble and asked them how many phone calls they received. Company spokeswoman Christine Wever refused to answer. I asked whether the company had met at any time over the past year with Color of Change or any other protest group regarding their specific complaints about ALEC. Wever refused to answer.
I also called the media office at Yum Brands several times with the same questions. No response by end of business Tuesday.
It's not enough for conservative consumers to avoid cowardly businesses that cave to Van Jones and company. Beating back the anti-ALEC mob means getting ahead of them. Color of Change and its "hundreds" of callers are now pressuring State Farm and Johnson and Johnson to join the spineless herd and cut ties to ALEC.
I'll say it again: Silence is complicity. Speak now or surrender your ground.
Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.