The Centre for New Black Leadership Monday challenged the Rev. Al Sharpton's
protests of EchoStar Communications Corp.
'While we may agree that more sermons and gospel programming should be on
television compared to what generally airs, EchoStar and its programming
department and viewers should make that decision, not protesters in the street,'
said Charles Polk Jr., chairman of the CNBL's board of directors.
Sharpton and his National Action Network have been protesting outside
EchoStar's Washington, D.C., office, the home of CEO Charlie Ergen, and
EchoStar's investment bank, Credit Suisse First Boston, complaining that the
satellite-TV company will not carry Word Network, an urban ministry channel.
'No one can deny the importance of employee, stockholder, consumer and
customer oversight of corporate business practices and mergers,' Polk said. 'It
is more important, though, that the black community engage in entrepreneurial
endeavors, creating viable businesses of our own rather than merely picketing
The CNBL is a nonprofit organization that believes 'racial equality
presupposes a parity of economic and skill development between the races. CNBL
takes exception to a civic order in which past victimization is made the
currency of a near-permanent black identity of protest and entitlement,'
according to the organization's mission statement.