The hours following the somber verdict of Darren Wilson not being indicted for killing Michael Brown, an online poster quickly circulated through social media urging everyone, and specifically Black Americans, to boycott this upcoming Black Friday. As the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter becomes a national call to action, calls for a protest of Black Friday would be another effective way to send a message to the government about the extreme level of injustice towards Black people. Since Black lives apparently don’t matter, it may be time to show how the market could look once “Black” wallets don’t matter either.
In 2013, a general study was done in that by 2015, African-Americans will collectively have a buying power of $1.1 trillion dollars to spend. That’s a lot of moolah to go around towards companies that have sometimes, even regularly, do not appreciate the service of Black shoppers. The Nielsen Company originally reported that the power of the Black consumer is actually “underrepresented”.
Pro-Black reporters have suggested we spend our hard-earned money at independent stores than large-scale corporate retailers before (especially when last year, there were higher than usual instances of racial profiling, or “shopping while black” that occurred). You can also use the other Black Friday boycott hashtag #notonedime that’s also been making the rounds.
To reject Black Friday and certain retailers would be in contingency to historic protests of the past, organized and executed by the common folk that also felt that they had had enough. There was the bus boycott of 1955 as thousands of Black people walked from home to work, sometimes at long distances, everyday. The anti-apartheid movement of the late 1980s was a massive effort to dissuade companies worldwide from doing business and investments (“divestment”) with organizations that supported segregation in South Africa. In a January 2013 New York Times Op-Ed, Cecelie Counts, sharply recounts how affiliating with prejudice so casually and carelessly made lasting impressions beyond their inner circle or initial playing grounds: “Just as the U.S government was embarrassed when images of police brutality against civil rights protesters were publicized worldwide, corporations investing in South Africa were embarrassed each time apartheid’s escalating brutality became widely publicized”.
Could a widespread boycott in a similar lane be as effective in our day? Dedication is the to such causes as boycotts normally have to last longer than a day to bring change. Steps small or large are imperative, but too many times we have called for protest to no avail. Weren’t we supposed to be protest Florida after the Trayvon Martin verdict? Why do our pro-Black stances only last a week after heartwrenching news like with Michael Brown? If you want to make a difference, you have to be dedicated. There are just as much power in numbers as they are in one, so if we’re looking to protest Black Friday let’s stick to the plan for real this time.
Should we protest Black Friday in support of #DearFerguson? Tell us what you think in the comments.
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Boycott Black Friday Or Stop Complaining About Ferguson was originally published on hellobeautiful.com