Op-EdOpinion

I’m Boycotting: Black Friday Until Jan. 2

I, for one, am committed to boycotting Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2016 in Trumpland with my dollars, and I urge everyone else to do likewise in the name of black solidarity, in the way of redistributing our pain to our tormentors, through economic withdrawal. That includes online and in-store.

Are you with me?

Boycott! That is the way black people in America can redistribute the pain that is inflicted upon them, back to those who caused the pain. From Nov. 25 until Jan. 2. It’s on!

Spending money is literally the freest act any person can commit. Even the inmate on death row, cooped up in a cell waiting to be put to death, has absolute free will when it comes to his commissary purchases. No one can make him buy candy with nuts when he wants candy without nuts, for example. In the worst of circumstances, spending money is an empowerment act.

In 2015, the “Justice Or Else” campaign commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March was the first year in which Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan called for a Black Friday holiday spending boycott. The boycott scored!

Though it would never be reported as boycott-related, holiday sales were down 7 percent in 2015. Macy’s announced that 150 stores would be closed. Boycotts work.

If it does nothing else other than permit me to gloat about not willingly giving my oppressor my money, then I’ll be glad to have that feeling, because I’m sick and tired of fattening the pockets of those who routinely belittle and disrespect black folks, Muslims. Not with my money. Not in my name.

Now that the elections have been decided, there may be some draconian changes ahead in this country — administrative; legislative; judicial —and they will certainly be intended to disadvantage black folks and others who have been the ongoing victims of wicked American policies. But no one can legislate how or if I spend my money!

If the Supreme Court can declare that money is equal to speech, and that corporations have the same rights as people, well the boycott is legal. The boycott is on!

Certainly, if businesses cannot be forced to spend money on hiring and salaries, then individuals cannot be forced to spend with one business or the other. Boycott! Nov. 25, 2016, Black Friday, until Jan. 2, 2017.

In the hands of oppressed, the boycott is a superior weapon against oppressors. It’s just exercising a preference. I prefer to spend money with businesses which do not serve swine, to which Black Lives Matter. I see nothing wrong with those preferences.

Offering his brand of humiliation to black folks while on the campaign trail, President-elect Donald Trump taunted black folks: “what have you got to lose?” Well, I say the same thing about this holiday boycott. What have you got to lose? What if the boycott is successful again and black folks identify a new power at their disposal?

The important lesson to be taught is that black people will not simply be doormats to be walked on by one political party or the other. The lesson is that when black people feel pain from unjust practices in this society, black folks will take it upon themselves to redistribute the pain. Are you with me?

Remember: Boycott spending on black Friday and Cyber Monday 2016 with your dollars. That includes online and in-store boycotts in the name of black solidarity, in the way of redistributing our pain felt in America to our tormentors, through economic withdrawal. Redistribute the pain.

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Askia Muhammad

WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.

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