The Commodification of ‘Equality’: Verizon, Net Neutrality and Using Our Struggle to Sell Products!

See the picture up above? Yes the one with Rosa Parks on a bus and the Apple logo in the corner that says “Think Different”. Well it pisses ...

See the picture up above? Yes the one with Rosa Parks on a bus and the Apple logo in the corner that says “Think Different”. Well it pisses me off! See the picture implies that Steve Jobs’ company “Apple” thinks differently much like Rosa Parks. Before Apple products such as Mac computers and Ipods became popular, Microsoft products dominated the technological industry. So what Apple was attempting to convey to their consumers is that by buying their products you are going against the grain; fighting the man, behaving in a non-conformist manner, trying something new, something brave and something worthy of praise much like Rosa Parks. *gags*

The PROBLEM: Buying some fuckin’ new technology is nothing comparable to the (often tumultuous) struggle for RACIAL EQUALITY!!! Rosa Parks didn’t sit on that bus to be cool nor did she sit there because she was trying something new! Rosa Parks wasn’t sitting on that bus because she “thought differently”, in fact many colored folks were thinking the same thought: which is that we are human beings and deserve to be treated with equality, respect and human dignity!!

See Apple, like many other corporations, hijack our success stories about the struggle for freedom and attempts to use it as a marketing tool.

*Notice that they only use socially acceptable struggles like that of race or gender, if they really want to be progressive I DARE THEM TO ADVOCATE FOR TRANSGENDER RIGHTS or against police brutality*

Well recently another mega corporation, Verizon, decided to engage in this foolery with the commercial below:

See that women and racial minorities? All that is necessary in undermining structures of inequality is to buy whatever it is that Verizon is selling. Have an opportunity to equally “rule the air.” Attain a Verizon product that will help you fight sexism and racism all in one pretty bunch! *snark*

Well this is how our very “socially progressive” Verizon decided to further their stated cause in achieving social equality: by potentially striking a deal with Google that would further compromise consumer access to the internet. According “The New York Times” article:

                “ Google and Verizon, two leading players in Internet service and content, are nearing a deal that will now allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege.”
                 YAY!! You know what this means our Google searches will provide us with the highest bidder! I love how corporations (yes entities with the resources that can afford to engage in such shenanigans) find ways to constantly dominate all aspects of my life. They control what I watch on TV, what I listen to on the radio. If this deal were to pass they would control which news website’s spin on a story that I would read or which pornographic website I would use in fulfilling my ungodly desires *OMGEE mom! Don’t read this*.
               “The agreement could eventually lead to higher charges for Internet users.”
               Of course, higher charges means that those without the finances, poor people, further relinquish accessibility to the internet. Since we know that class is gendered and racialized (higher rates of Blacks, Latinos and Women live in poverty) this will surely NOT help with marginalized group achieving equality !! YAY!! *snark*
    Also let the record show that there is a vast amount of knowledge available on the internet. Access to the internet is pivotal to the intellectual enrichment of many!

    • “Such an agreement could overthrow a once-sacred tenet of Internet policy known as net neutrality, in which no form of content is favored over another.”

    So let me rephrase the above Verizon commercial for you in a manner that reflects the possible effects of their deal !

    Air has many prejudices.
    It does carry the opinions of the wealthy over the internet faster than for those unwilling to subscribe to corporate bully.
    It does filter out ideas .
    Air is very aware if one is black or white as class is extremely racialized.
    Air doesn’t care if it reinforces classist/sexist/racist structures , so it stands to reason that one’s ideas will be powerful IF THEY ARE WILLING TO PAY!
    THEY (corporations) will lead the army that we will follow!

    I am a twenty something year old college student with many plans for the future. I am a self identified egalitarian, although I don’t mind being referred to as an African feminist. I care deeply about racial equality, class equality, gender equality, GLBTQ rights, disabled rights, sex worker rights, religious freedom and prison reform. You can find some of my work at

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