Net Neutrality| From Net Neutrality to Net Equality

John McMurria


I argue that the conceptual foundations for net neutrality assume a race neutrality that obfuscates the daily experiences of racial discrimination and the institutional dynamics of structural racism. I begin this study with an assessment of the race-neutral conceptual foundations of net neutrality reasoning, and then discuss how Critical Race Theory (CRT) has challenged these race-neutral frameworks. Drawing from CRT, I locate the ways in which legal and economic structures of discrimination have historically inhibited people of color from gaining access to employment, ownership, and decision-making power in the media and telecommunications sectors. I conclude with thoughts on how CRT can inform media policy scholarship to challenge race-neutral thinking and develop conceptual foundations for supporting what advocacy groups representing people of color have called “net equality.”


Internet policy, Critical Race Theory, media ownership, television policy, network neutrality, institutional racism

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