Black Out On Black Friday

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While we are routinely exploited and denied justice, our $719 billion consumer dollars are just as routinely taken for granted, as Blacks continue to outspend all other shoppers, ironically 93% of Black dollars are being spent with people who seem to hold Black people and the Black community in contempt

[When The Smoke Clears]


Throughout the years, we have put millions of marchers in the streets of this nation appealing for an end to American racism and injustice.

As recently as September 20, 2007, we put more than 60,000 marchers in the street in Jena, Louisiana seeking fairness and real justice for  six Black teenagers. The Civil Rights Movement of our generation began with the Montgomery Bus Boycott where Black economic solidarity defeated decades of white racism. It is time we consider using our significant economic power, to once again demand justice and respect.

While we are routinely exploited and denied justice, our $719 billion consumer dollars are just as routinely taken for granted, as Blacks continue to outspend all other shoppers, ironically 93% of  Black dollars are being spent with people who seem to hold Black people and the Black community in contempt. A recent study by the Brookings Institution, found that “Urban Residents” frequently pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars in extra cost for everyday necessities.

Blacks are charged more for most things, like auto insurance, car loans, check cashing services, and groceries among many others goods and services. This Ghetto Tax, as it is called, strips Blacks of at least $6.5 billion a year. Racism in America continues to thrive, and few, if any, power brokers in this society take a truly meaningful stance against these injustices.

A few days after the Jena demonstration, a hang mans noose is found in the locker room of the police station in Hempstead, New York, where a Black man was promoted to assistant chief. The Jena 6 still face trial in racist  Jena Louisiana.  The victims of hurricane Katrina are not given their fair share of Federal dollars, nor are they given their full share of the millions we donated to the Red Cross on their behalf.

Fredrick Douglas was right when he said “Who you give your money to, is who you give your power to.” Consider our power: Last year Blacks spent $1.5 Billion more on shoes than the year before, $206 million more on coffee, $53.8 billion in the super market, $28.7 billion on trucks and cars.

Black youth who are regularly accused of theft, actually spend more than $20 Billion annually, and on the day after Thanksgiving, a day retailers call Black Friday, after marching for justice denied in Jena, many Blacks plan to march to the malls and put as much money as possible back into a racist system that continues to tolerate as well as encourage institutionalized  racism.

It is time we demonstrate the real force of our dollars. It is time we consider economic sanctions as a political strategy against American racism. Consider not spending where Blacks are not respected, not spending with people who never support the Black struggle for justice in this society. Consider moving in the tradition of the historic Montgomery bus boycott, “No Justice, No Profit.”

On the day after Thanksgiving, what if we take the Black out of Black Friday. Let the absence of Black dollars show how important Black people are to this nation. On Friday November 23rd, we can begin to make a meaningful, and progressive change in this society with a show of Black economic solidarity.

Perhaps it is this kind of solidarity that accounts for why other ethnic groups that are fewer in number and have less money than Blacks, are able to demand greater respect than Blacks. Haki Madhubuti points out that ideas rule the world, this is an idea we just want you to consider.

To comment or to subscribe to or advertise in New York’s leading Pan African weekly investigative newspaper, or to send us a news tip, please call (212) 481-7745 or send a note to Milton@blackstarnews.com


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"Speaking Truth To Empower."


 

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