Happy holiday season 2016 to every one. It’s the annual time of year that many of us look forward to for various reasons. To many of us the holidays represent a sense of nostalgia that takes us back to a happy place in our child hoods. Many of our most vibrant memories are memories that were formed around the holiday seasons and often were the only times that we get to see our extended families and loved ones. In short the holidays mean a lot to Americans and I sincerely wish you and yours the best holiday season possible.
As many of you may know the honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has called for a boycott to the economic season spending that many of us have grown all to accustomed too as Black Americans. I understand that many of you have questions and concerns as to why such a boycott was proposed and how can it possibly benefit black Americans to withdraw their spending power during the period of the year that every single merchant is offering deals that often appear too good to pass up, especially for the working class individual who lives check to check for the majority of the fiscal year.
I have heard the feedback from many of you asking what you should do or why you should go without the finer things in life just because a staggering amount of unarmed black men women and children are being killed by the police. The answer is simple, because it could have easily been you or me. I know many of you would like to believe that innocent people do not get killed by the police but the statistics say other wise.
- Police killed at least 102 unarmed black people in 2015, nearly twice each week.
Nearly 1 in 3 black people killed by police in 2015 were identified as
unarmed, though the actual number is likely higher due to underreporting
- 37% of unarmed people killed by police were black in 2015 despite black people being only 13% of the U.S. population
- Unarmed black people were killed at 5x the rate of unarmed whites in 2015
- Only 10 of the 102 cases in 2015 where an unarmed black person was killed by police resulted in officer(s) being charged with a crime, and only 2 of these deaths (Matthew Ajibade and Eric Harris) resulted in convictions of officers involved. Only 1 of 2 officers convicted for their involvement in Matthew Ajibade’s death received jail time. He was sentenced to 1 year in jail and allowed to serve this time exclusively on weekends. Deputy Bates, who killed Eric Harris, will be sentenced May 31.
2016 is shaping up to be a bloodier year than 2015, a feat experts did not think was possible but history is proving otherwise. With the recent election of President elect Donald Trump black Americans have little reason to believe that things will get any better concerning the prospects of justice being served for the mounting murders of unarmed black Americans and many of us are beginning to feel helpless. The democratic process has failed to elect a candidate that values black lives more than they value black dollars and the gap between the haves and the have-nots is ever-widening. The illusion of us being powerless is just that, an illusion. We have power and plenty of it however it may not be in the places one traditionally looks for power. We do not have an advantage when it comes to sheer numbers. It’s not even close. We have roughly 40M Black Americans in America compared to roughly 270 Million white people in America.Our population would be roughly 60M if it were not for 20M black babies that have willingly been aborted by black women since 1980.
This is why Trump won the election. Minorities in America are in concentrated pockets. In every place that their was a significant minority population Hillary won, it just so happens that America is big and white.There are places in America where there are literally no black people. The reality is that for the foreseeable future this will likely continue to be the reality. I say that to say this, all that talk of a purge and a race war waged between whites and blacks is our worst nightmare. We do not have the man power or the resources to win such a war. It wouldn’t even take that long to eliminate us in that fashion. Before we begin to talk about a war of attrition we first need to consider some very important variables.
- We are outnumbered 6 to 1 by white people in America. So for every 1 black person there are 6 white people. I know some of us have hands but damn, you really think we winning a fight 1 vs 6?
- Black people are unarmed. 41% of the 270 Million whites are armed in their households compared to just 19% of black households. A 2 to 1 ratio that doesn’t even take into account the 6 to 1 ratio that I mention previously.
- Black Americans purchase almost all of their food and utilities from white America. The first thing they would do is starve us out. Within 2 weeks we would be so hungry that we would not have the energy to fight. It’s cool to talk all that tough guy shit as long as the EBT card still works but as soon as we can’t feed our kids the most militant men become docile.
I only listed three reasons for the sake of presenting my argument. I could list many more points of contingency but hopefully the 3 I listed are enough to present the visual to you. So we have established that we can not win via democratic process, and we do not have the numbers and or resources to win a war. So what is it that we do have? I thought you would never ask. We have spending power, and a whole lot of it. How much exactly? Black buying power is expected to reach $1.2 trillion this year, and $1.4 trillion by 2020, according to the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth. That is so much combined spending power that it would make Black America the 15th largest economy in the world in terms of Gross Domestic Product, the size of Mexico based on World Bank data. By comparison, in 1990, Black buying power was $320 billion. As the largest consumer group of color, in a nation that is becoming increasingly darker, this trend will only continue to have its impact on the U.S.
What does this all mean?
What this means is that our true strength is in our economic spending power. A power that benefits everyone but us. Of our 1.4 trillion that we are expected to spend during the holiday season a whopping 2 percent stays in the black community. 98% of all of our spending power is spent with groups who would never spend with the black community, let alone reinvest any of their earnings into the black community. With all of the money we spend with others we could easily rebuild the infrastructure of black America, easily. However this article is not about rebuilding our infrastructure. We can discuss that later.
Let’s focus on the why behind the boycott for the time being.
The why is simple. We want to withhold our spending power so that we can influence the corporations that so willingly takes our money to put some pressure on Congress and the House of Representatives to pass legislation that will hold law enforcement accountable for the malicious murders of unarmed black men women and children. Last year alone 98% percent of the policemen that killed unarmed black people were not charged with a crime. They were considered justifiable homicides. A term usually reserved for minorities that are killed by the very people sworn to protect and serve them. So in short we are expecting the corporations to feel the inevitable sting of the financial ramifications of the discriminate use of force in the black community which will compel them to listen to the voice of their customers.
The concept is not unprecedented and in fact was discussed by the Great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shortly before his death. History has shown us some very successful incidences of boycotts. We can go as far back as the Montgomery bus boycotts which lasted 380 days. As a result of the boycotts the city of Montgomery was on the verge of bankruptcy and was forced to meet black America at the bargaining table. Our demands were heard and full bus integration followed shortly after. Was it easy? No not at all. Our forefathers had to commit to being uncomfortable for over a year, a commitment that was shared equally by each and every person of color. A commitment that transcended both gender and class, a commitment that was entirely vertical in approach. Vertical meaning that every black person from top to bottom was committed to the process of change. You see, we are no longer fighting for freedom, we have that. We have the freedom to make choices that can either benefit our children or lead them further into the burning house.