Verizon Wireless In Bed with “Niggas” (from Put On BLAST! July 7, 2008)

The following Put On BLAST! item was published last month. In fact, it was sent July 7, 2008 at 9:55 am. By 12 noon, Verizon has issued a statement in response to the outcry. The POB! family played a key role in pushing Verizon to address this.

Read the back-story below, then (in a separate post) read my comments on the statements and learn why I’m not dealing with Verizon anymore. They’re lame.

Dear POB Fam,

My colleague PAUL PORTER of INDUSTRY EARS sent this info out last night (see statement below). It’s a media advisory from him, Najee Ali of Project Islamic HOPE and others, announcing the latest example of racism as demonstrated by a corporation. This time, its Verizon Wireless on the offensive. What is being challenged is Verizon Wireless’ deal with Loren Feldman of 138Media.

First, I did my own research this morning in an effort to flush out the story a little more. I watched some of Feldman’s video content and was floored. I should not be, though. But, here is what I found…a little “back story” to Paul’s press conference today in Los Angeles.

1. Loren Feldman is a video blogger and he is the president of 138Media. He fancies himself as a comedian, tech guy.

2. 1938Media is a satirical video blog started by Feldman in 2005 and they produce video for the web and mobile devices [click here for reference]

3. Verizon Wireless has inked a deal with Feldman’s 138Media.

Starting today (June 30, 2008) Verizon Wireless’ 3 million mobile VCast users will have access to Feldman’s video content on their phone, as well as 1 million Fios broadband cable subscribers via video on demand. The deal, which will pay Feldman an undisclosed license fee, puts the 1938Media brand next to YouTube, and other high profile partners.

4. Click HERE to see the kind of content that could be delivered to your mobile devise if you are one of Verizon’s 3 million VCAST subscribers.


Now, Here is the CALL TO ACTION!

Media Contact:
Project Islamic HOPE

EVENT: Press Conference
WHERE: Verizon Store located at 3829 S. Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90018
WHEN: Monday, July 7 2008
TIME: 11:00am (Pacific Time)

Civil rights activist Najee Ali, Executive Director of Project Islamic HOPE, and a coalition of civil rights organizations are calling for Lowell C. McAdam – who is President and CEO of Verizon Wireless – to withdraw the Verizon Wireless contract and distribution deal with Loren Feldman, President of 1938 media.

“Feldman has a history of using the Internet to promote racism and demeaning and negative racial stereotypes against African Americans on his Internet site. He is responsible for and appears in what he calls “TechNigga.”

This clip on his [ficticious] website “TechNigga” is racist and demeaning to Africans Americans and women. The Verizon [Wireless] distribution deal with Feldman sends a horrible message that Verizon seeks to partner with racists like Feldman and that Verizon and CEO McAdam find nothing offensive with TechNigga. [McAdam] needs to demonstrate that Verizon understands they should demonstrate corporate responsibility and will not tolerate racism, or bigotry.

Our community nationwide should contact Lowell C. McAdam and let him know that you will boycott Verizon unless this distribution with Feldman is severed. There are plans for an upcoming national day of protest against Verizon stores nationwide if our calls for a meeting and our demands are not met,” stated Ali.

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