by Malkia Cyril
The debate over Open Internet Protections and civil rights is heating up.
In a response to my recent call for the voices of young leaders of color to be heard on the issue of strong open Internet protections, Commissioner Robert Steele, President of the National Association of Black County Officials, harkens back to the “old days”, when according to him, young leaders of the past a) worked closely with civil rights veterans, b) demonstrated how their cause would address a clear danger to “minorities”, c) got their “facts” right, and d) held government accountable. But many of us live in the legacy of the struggles between Malcolm X and the civil rights veterans of that day. We are clear that the loss of self-representation poses a clear and present danger to communities of color. We know that industry reports may be considered biased by some. And we understand that corporate accountability is as crucial as government accountability, and work hard for both. Young leaders of today are powerful, thoughtful, crucial leaders and the widest users of mobile broadband today. It would be as tragic to squander the potential of young leadership in the fight for an Open Internet, as it would be to squander the potential of the Internet itself.