I am in awe. There are no words to describe the climate of America right now. As I watch one disturbingly horrible act after another, I look on in utter dismay. The situation is out of control. Everyone has lost their damn minds, and I am afraid it is all leading to something way worse than what we’ve seen thus far.
This has been one hell of a week for this country. As the black community, once again, grieved two back-to-back senseless killing at the hands of the Boys in Blue, a protest in Dallas turned into a situation where five police officers were killed. I know that we (black folks) feel that “An eye for an eye” is fair, but killing white people in retaliation is not going to stop them from killing us. In fact, all it’s going to do is add to the climate of racial tension that exists. Taking one life for another, in this situation, isn’t really justice. So what do we do?
What is the answer during these perilous times? If they kill us, and we kill them, all it’s going to do is create a civil war. The activism we’ve seen is great and the people with a voice bringing awareness is empowering, but what can their words really do if no constructive physical action accompanies the cries? Given the way things have happened in the past, at this moment, I don’t believe that marching is the best form of protesting. All it does is leave a narrative that can be twisted into another “justification” for violence against black people. With that, I do commend rappers like Snoop, The Game, and T.I. who led peaceful protests in Los Angeles and Atlanta recently. They are doing what they believe to be the least threatening show of frustration, in an attempt, I’m sure, to not further fuel an already enraged community.
In our plan of action, we first have to lay out what it is we expect to happen. What it is we want. We want equal rights. We want to walk into a store and not get profiled. We want to patron a restaurant without the discrimination of sub-par service and unnecessary waiting. We want to live. Whatever we choose to do, we must be clear is our expectations of an outcome we are happy with.
So here is the thing, if we look back in history and study how our ancestors dealt with the system of this country that disenfranchised them, we will find that all fingers point to the one thing people love above all else- money. This is how we make a statement. This is how we get legislation that works in our favor. Hell, if we do it right, we may even get reparations.
When you hit people in their pockets, they’ll take notice. During the civil rights movement, from December 5, 1955, to December 20, 1956, black people in Montgomery, Alabama refused to use the bus system. After the incident with Rosa Parks, people were fed up and decided that the best course of action was to keep their hard earned money. They may have had to find other ways to get around, but it was better than giving their coins to people who didn’t respect them as humans. Their actions led to the integration of Montgomery’s bus system.
You see, everyone then was on the same page. Black pastors announced and pushed it in their churches. People went into the community to talk about it and the unity they found brought about a significant change for them. This is what we have to understand about money.
Let us put down our weaves from the beauty supplies, forego our manicures at the nail shops and stop giving people who don’t have our best interests at heart our money. We don’t own these establishments so let’s not patron them. Plain and simple as that. White people and other ethnicities that think less of us will change their tune real quick.
Some folks may find this notion outrageous, but with black people having an estimated $1.3 trillion buying power by 2017, I think the lack of our business will make an impact big enough for the powers that be to do better by us. This is something we have to get. The average lifespan of Jewish dollars is 19 days. In the Asian community, it is 28 days. Amongst black people? It’s six hours. Let that sink in for a moment.
This is not a drill. We can no longer take this shit lying down. We march. We protest. We lend our voices to the cause. We keep our money. Then we’ll see change.
I guarantee it.