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NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK’S DECENCY INITIATIVE 20-CITY VIGIL

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Sunday, August 5, 2007

For Immediate Release
Saturday, August 04, 2007

Contact Information
Debra Toomer
305.218.2252

(BPRW) REVEREND AL SHARPTON AND NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK’S DECENCY INITIATIVE TO LEAD A 20-CITY VIGIL TO PROTEST THE USE OF WORDS “NIGGA” “BITCH” AND “HO” IN THE MUSIC RECORDING INDUSTRY

(BLACK PR WIRE) New York,NY (August 4,2007) – Reverend Al Sharpton, Founder and President of National Action Network (NAN), along with Tamika Mallory, Director of NAN’s Decency Initiative, has announced a national “Day of Outrage” against the continuous use in the music recording industry of the words “nigga,” “bitch” and “ho.” Reverend Sharpton, who has persistently challenged the entertainment industry on denigrating lyrics, will use August 7th to call for the withdrawal of public investments from companies that won’t clean up their act. In New York, one of the states where the event will take place, roughly $3 billion from the state pension fund is invested in the entertainment industry. According to Reverend Sharpton, “The idea of divesting State taxpayers’ money from record companies that have a double standard when it comes to language is something that will be a priority.” In April, Reverend Sharpton led the drive to have Don Imus fired from his syndicated radio show for calling the Rutgers University women’s basketball team “nappy-headed hos.”

The event on August 7th which is being held by National Action Network’s Decency Initiative will take to the streets in 20 cities across the country at 12 (Noon) to mount public pressure on the music industry to adopt a universal standard of respect for all people. The cities are New York City, Newark, NJ, Los Angeles, CA, Detroit, MI, Atlanta, GA, Miami, FL, Washington, DC, Dallas, TX, Jacksonville, FL, Las Vegas, NV, Kansas City, MO, Phoenix, AZ, Stamford, CT, Philadelphia, PA, Columbia, SC, Houston, TX, Richmond, VA, Baltimore, MD, and Augusta, GA.

Since April, the Decency Initiative, in collaboration with dozens of activists across the nation, has demanded that the music recording industry eliminate the use of the offensive words “nigga,” “bitch,” and “ho” in all recordings. No other ethnic group is subjected to denigration for profit by the music industry and the Decency Initiative will continue to demand a universal standard of respect, particularly for all women and African Americans.

The August 7th national protest will mobilize dozens of women and men in 20 cities for a call to action. There will be a press conference and protest in each city located strategically outside of a major music distributor. The strategic locations will send a strong signal to the music industry that the people will no longer stand by idly while public airwaves are used to promote disrespect.

The protests will be multi-cultural and include all age groups. The women and men will come from all facets of the community including leaders and students. All people must now stand united in defense of decency and the August 7th gathering is just the beginning of a national movement to achieve this end.

Background on the Decency Initiative:

In Reverend Al Sharpton’s 2003 book “Al on America” he dedicated a whole chapter to Hip-Hop, condemning Hip-Hop artists for using those exact three words. He convened the first Hip-Hop summit taking a very public stance that was widely covered in the media both nationally and locally. He also picketed the movie Barbershop for desecrating Rosa Parks, a position that was covered nationally. He has written numerous op-ed pieces for the New York Daily News and others about the “N” word and how Blacks must stop using it. On his syndicated radio show which is broadcast in 40 markets he has had hip hop artists on and debated them about the use of demeaning lyrics. He appeared recently on Oprah Winfrey’s show opposing the Hip-Hop artists. At our recent NAN national convention that was widely covered by all newspapers, we withdrew an award for L.A. Reid, a Black music executive because he had co-authored songs with the “Ho” word, and we had a public forum on the words with hundreds of Black kids and formed a Decency Initiative headed by Tamika Mallory to follow up with Blacks and others that use the terms “N,’ “B” and “H.” The Decency Initiative and Reverend Sharpton led a march of hundreds outside of the four major companies on May 3, calling upon on them to remove those words from their artists, most of them Black. Then Decency Initiative and Reverend Sharpton went into Detroit holding the same public forum in late May.

The Decency Initiative has marched upon Viacom, the owners of BET, and even addressed their stockholders on this issue. The Initiative also called upon comedian Michael Richards to apologize for his use of the “N” word and the Decency Initiative does limit its outrage to members of the music industry or to its impact on African-Americans. The vigil on August 7th will be an annual event sponsored by the Decency Initiative.

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