Two brothers battle to make a difference

Devon A. Mosley | 8/23/2013, 7:21 a.m.
When you think of cable television in the late 1970s, what comes to mind? Dallas? Fantasy Island? The Incredible Hulk? ...
Clinton Galloway and the cover of Anatomy of a Hustle

TDE: You mentioned that your experience was a war for education, self-awareness and economic independence. With respect to programming, how were you and your brother going to bring self-awareness to South Central L.A.? Was there a solution-based plan?

Galloway: Since we were in Los Angeles, we had access to plenty of entertainment sources. Our knowledge wasn’t in the entertainment part of it. We realized that poverty is an economic condition. As a CPA, I could provide programming to help people understand how money works, show them not to just throw it away on lottery tickets. At that time, AIDS was a big thing and no one was really doing much about it. My brother was doctor. We would have programming about the medical field, too … The “community” was supposed to be most important to the cable franchise. The cable television system was initially called a community antenna television system. Each franchise was supposed to be unique to the community.

TDE: You mention in your book that competent Black leadership is entirely possible in this country. Then you go on to say that it has to be “new” and “honest.” What piece of advice would you give current and aspiring Black elected officials?

Galloway: Those who don’t show integrity, we don’t need to vote for them. So that is No. 1 – develop integrity. Second, I would say don’t follow the party line. Stand up for the people, not the party.

Then I would say don’t elect the same people over and over. We’ve [African Americans] been losing for 30 straight years – economically, judicially and educationally. We need economic development in minority communities. You can’t live in a capitalistic society without capital. Just like you can’t play in a baseball game without bases. We have to start looking at alternatives of who we are electing.

TDE: Considering what happened to your case at the Supreme Court, do you think that there is less corruption at higher levels of government?

Galloway: They are the same people. I’ve known [U.S. Congresswoman] Maxine Water for a long time. She would not look out for the rights of the people in South Central when she was on the California State Assembly.

The corruption is endemic to the political system. We need a third dominate party to act as a fulcrum. A fulcrum party balances out the ability for parties to go to the extreme.

As for the Supreme Court, there was no dispute. They basically read over the case and was like, “we have to overturn this,” because the city’s argument was so outrageous. Thurgood Marshall said that cable television was not a natural monopoly, like utilities, as the assistant D.A. argued. He said that when you are changing the content of your product, it could not be a natural monopoly. Gas is the same everywhere. Electricity is the same everywhere. Cable can be different.

TDE: Do you think that media can still effectively address the problems confronting Black youth today?

Galloway: Not in the media as it is now. Black youth get everything streamed to their computer. I think we have to be aggressive in taking advantage of online.