Put your money where your mouth is… Black lives matter
As I watched the stamp of approval on the killing our black men and boys last night when the officer who murdered Mike Brown was not indicted, my eyes filled with tears and my heart with rage. The continual injustice endured by those within the African American community continue to get worse, yet my people still remain blind as to how we can fight back against a system that was never made for us to prosper. Protests, digital activism, written campaigns and the like are fine, but the REAL way to make this country see the value of African Americans is through our financial power. We do account for a little over $1 trillion in buying power.
If you truly examine the protests of the civil rights movement, the common thread is that they caused a serious tidal wave in the finances of their oppressor. The bus boycott started by Rosa Parks in 1955 lasted a little over a year. Once the transit system realized how much money they were losing when Blacks stopped riding the bus, they gave in to their demands. Sit-ins at various restaurants, theaters and libraries across the country caused those establishments to lose money. This is when they decided to no longer refuse service to people of color. Our people came together on a united front to show that we are just as valuable as any other race and should be taken just as seriously. Today we repost thoughtful images on social media, do a few protests and then go back to business as usual after about a month or less. Then we continue to wonder why our outcries are ignored. We continue to feed this country by giving our time and money to businesses that don’t support our causes or understand our plight. We refuse to vote, attend community board meetings or make sure we are a strong presence in the place we call home. When we do decide to show rage, we destroy our OWN communities and get violent with those who are just looking for an excuse to execute us. What sense does that make?
This country continues to disregard our lives because they don’t respect our position as citizens. They know that the word “unity” is so foreign to Black people that they don’t need to worry about any significant uprising that will cause a change in the way society operates. It is beyond time to put our money where our mouth is. I see many posting about boycotting Black Friday, but I need my people to OPEN THEIR EYES. Boycotting Black Friday will do nothing. To choose a day when even people who are frugal and hardly shop will be cashing in on the savings is naïve. The profit margins will still be huge with or without our dollars. The true act of civil disobedience is to stage a month or two month long retail blackout where people of color ONLY shop Black owned businesses. In the days of the civil rights era, this idea may have seemed ludicrous due to the shortage of substantial Black owned businesses. But in 2014, we have more than enough quality options ranging from high fashion to restaurants to skin care to choose from. We need to support our own and show this country that what we say matters. How many more of our children have to be slaughtered like cattle before we realize that protests and petitions are not enough?
We cannot allow the love of money to rule us to the point that we refuse to support our own and take a stand because of the financial gains we will lose or the material things we may miss out on. Showing this country that we will not tolerate living in a continent that continues to tell us that our lives don’t matter is more important than being blind about where we spend our hard earned coins. Once we can unite on a financial boycott then the protests and town hall meetings will have more of an impact on those in power. It’s time to invest into our own people and communities. If this country wants our money, then they have to acknowledge our wants and address them accordingly.
If you want to shop on Black Friday then shop Black owned businesses. I will be posting lists every day this week leading up to the day. It’s time to take care of our own. Black lives matter.