The consumer who cares about the lives of Black men and women; Black boys and girls... the consumer who cares to admit that the system is broken and (as evidenced by statistics) isn't favorable to Black people: Help.
Here we are the day after witnessing the same message that's routinely played in America, "Black lives don't matter" when it comes to systems set in place to destroy the least of these. I challenge you to use your power and prove that Black Lives DO Matter. As the dawning of the holiday season is here, over 100 days after the death of 18 year old Michael Brown, Jr., news broke that Officer Darren Wilson will not face charges for his death. 108 days. It was painful to witness, yet most of us didn't expect to see anything more (sadly). Nothing appeared favorable to justice being served in this case (especially the make up of the grand jury that was in no way reflective of majority of the community in Ferguson.) When I heard the breaking news, I could only let out a sigh. It reminded me of the heartbreak and multiple questions that engulfed me as I heard the unbelievable verdict in the case about the death of Black teenager, Trayvon Martin. One should never turn a death ear to injustice.
As I sat gazing at the television and emotionally drained, I posted: And why should we spend a DIME this holiday season? Bombarded in a news feed filled with concerns about the destroying of property that can be replaced, all I could think about was the Black body that stayed in the street baking for hours...blood escaping its body, "Black lives DO matter." Or do they? Of course they do. Black lives matter in sports, Black lives matter when creating some of the greatest musical styles in American history, Black lives matter when shaping cultures that so many are inspired by that they feel it necessary to appropriate: Black lives matter. Black lives especially matter when studies show that the buying power of Black people will escalate to a trillion dollars in the United States alone by 2015. Black lives matter where profits are concerned, yet every 28 hours a Black person (unarmed) is killed by law enforcement and yet Black people make up majority of the prison population. The world is watching and many from different nations have stood in solidarity with the Ferguson community. They too are apart of a movement that's greater than Ferguson. So, consumer who cares, I know you're disappointed and even feeling hopeless. I say to you to stay encouraged. You are not powerless, but powerful, and this holiday season we get the opportunity to really prove the power of our voices. Withholding your money for a cause is a form of activism and one that's proven to be effective throughout time (e.g. The Montgomery Boycott).
The character, Jake Sulley, that James Cameron created in one of my favorite movies, Avatar, proclaimed to the Navi people during their assembly before fighting the sky people:
"The Sky People have sent us a message... that they can take whatever they want. That no one can stop them. Well, we will send them a message. You ride out as fast as the wind can carry you. You tell the other clans to come. Tell them Toruk Macto calls to them! You fly now, with me! My brothers! Sisters! And we will show the Sky People... that they cannot take whatever they want! And that this... this is our land!"
I say to you with expectations of a trillion dollars in buying power by 2015, this is our land. Our children matter. And, until we harness that economic power politically may our voice grow forever faint. Your dollar is your voice! The choice is yours. It is political power that runs our nation and it is money (and special interests) that runs politics. Black lives matter is a very special interest. Overall, our buying power is as powerful as our votes. Spend wisely: Support Black owned business or none at all. As those who participated in the Montgomery Boycott, we don't know what the outcome will be by standing in solidarity with Ferguson through Boycotting Black Friday (including Thanksgiving Evening sales, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday to Cyber Monday), but I am willing to take the chance to see. There's a better way than this because Black lives matter.