Marion Brothers

Marion Brothers

Monday, October 22, 2007

US Economic Boycott Set for November 2

Surely we should not have to protest in order to get freedom, justice, and equality in America- at least, not in the 21st century. But it seems that our outcry keeps falling on deaf ears.

After last month’s mass demonstration in Jena, Louisiana, you would think that the country would wake up to the plight of African-American youth being routed out of the school system into prisons. But no, there seems to be this mad insistence in prosecuting six black boys for a schoolyard fight that was instigated by nooses looped over a tree by fellow white students. And to make matters worse, nooses keep cropping up all over the country to reiterate the point that black people still cannot get any respect.

Now people across the United States are asking: What do we do now? We are faced with a situation: Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

On the one hand, when we demand action from the government, we are criticized, for one reason or another. They say we want the federal government to usurp states’ rights to prosecute whomever they will for whatever reason they desire. They say we want big government and a welfare state, without saying anything about equal treatment under the law or that the only protectorate of black people in America has historically been by way of the federal government.

They criticized the protest and claim that black leaders merely pimp the public and pandering to the media, even though they themselves admit the charges against the youth are too harsh.

What do we do now? There is no alternative except to take our money out of circulation, if only for a day. November 2, 2007 is marked as Economic Blackout Day in America. This, according to proponents and radio talk show hosts, is the logical next phase in escalating the struggle to win justice for black youth.

The Jena 6 cases has opened the eyes of many to something we thought no longer existed. There is a pandemic of racism in the backwoods of America. And, the powers-that-be are dogmatically determined to run roughshod over our children’s civil rights.

They think that by characterizing these six black boys as “thugs” they will convince enough Americans that this case is justice as it should be. But as Malcolm X once said, “You can stick a cat in the oven it still does not make it a biscuit.”

They said the same of Shaquanda Cotton, the 14-year old Paris, Texas high school freshman before they sent her to juvenile detention for up to seven years for simply shoving a teacher’s aide. And worse, the appeals court upheld the conviction.

And, what about Genarlow Wilson, the 17-year old black boy sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual sex with a 15-year old girl in the state of Georgia, under an antiquated law that has since been changed? Not that this boy-meets-girl scenario is outrageously unusual, but the fact that Geralow is still incarcerated and will be marred as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

No longer can we accept this persecution as business-as-usual. If most American people can outwardly condemn these over-prosecuted cases and still do nothing about it, we must have reason to fear for all of our black children and their future. No, the problem is out of the hands of America. It is personal. It is our problem to solve.

We only thought it was horrendous to see juveniles incarcerated in Texas Youth Commission facilities being raped and sodomized by high level prison officials, only to see legislators sweep their investigation under a rug, under the auspices of confidentiality due to the ages of the victims. We only thought it was outrageous that 473 youth were incarcerated past their release date. We only imagined ourselves appalled at the horrible conditions of their incarceration while private prison contractors like GEO raked in profits, and dried up hellhole prison towns sucked the life out of our youth for the sake of their economies.

We thought that we were shocked when James Byrd was hitched to the back of a truck and dragged along the back roads of Jasper, Texas until his body parts were completely disassembled. By the time we read of Megan Williams being raped and tortured and sodomized with sticks, forced to eat dog and rat feces, by six white assailants who repeated lambasting her with racial epithets, America had lost its collective sense of what constitutes torture and hate crimes.

No More! Not one dollar more on November 2! America should volunteer herself to go to the gallows- for all past, current, and future contemplated hate crimes.

So, we ask you and every decent human being left in America and around the world to just hold your money on that day (November 2). Boycott American products, goods, and services. Maybe then, and only then, will we gain some respect for ourselves and our children.


  1. I'm am not in dispute with boycotting the economy, as a matter of fact, I also spoke of being in agreement with the suggestion on Francis's site, however, what do we do afterward? A poster on another site stated that this would only end with us shopping on the Nov 3rd. These boycotts have to be well thought out and continued. Not only do we have to challenge the ecomomies, but white supremacy at all angles.

  2. we cannot forget, every time it's made to appear justice will prevail, an enemy is always plotting for a way to take away. I can only hope that this movement will be continued because one day of challenging the economy will never compare to over 400 years of what our people had to endure..

  3. So true, it can't be an event or even several events. Fighting for equality should be a way of life as much as it can be. If we keep our eyes open we can probably find all sorts of ways to improve the world. We can join community leaders in demonstrations. But we can also each use our own individual talents/situations in creative ways in our little corner of the world.

    I would like to make a suggestion about the boycott. You may remember that several years ago we (people in general) had a national one-day boycott on gasoline. We waited until the next day to buy it. The unfortunate result was that oil companies had record sales the day after the boycott and gloated about it. If possible, maybe we should not go shopping exactly the day before or after this boycott, but make plans as far ahead as we can, or put off some purchases as long as we can afterward so this doesn't backfire on us. On a related note, several years ago there was a thing where black people paid for all of a certain day's purchases with dollar coins and 2-dollar bills to highlight our financial power. I think that worked out pretty well and may be worth repeating some time.

  4. I am all about justice, but by not spending money on goods, the people being punished are normal human beings who just try to feed their families - black, white, chinese, hispanic. And their employees are black, white, chinese, hispanic, who all need jobs to feed their families in turn. This is not punishing a government entity and frankly makes no sense. A march, a sit-in, electing the right people, keeping elected officials accountable, sitting with others in dialogue and changing minds, and praying makes sense.

  5. I have to say that Anonymous' point is valid in a way. It seems as if we're trying this boycott because nothing else has worked satisfactorily. Reasonably, talking things out should help, but we've been hitting our heads against the same proverbial brick wall for ages now trying to reason with unreasonable people.

    I don't want to harm any individual employees or mom and pop stores, and I don't believe that is the intention of this boycott - it is intended as a show of our economic power. Eddie, is it possible to do this in a way that will not harm the livelihood of innocent employees and small shops?

  6. First, Anonymous bloggers have no credence with me, because in most all cases I see them trying to plant the seed of doubts. Anne, remember your advice to Woozie. Strategies work in proportion to what support you wish to put in it. Of course, I am religious and live by faith. One God plus one man constitutes the majority.

  7. True, doing nothing is never an option. We already have done/are doing every single thing Anonymous suggested, and probably will keep doing them, along with new ideas.

  8. ...I mean we have done all those things with the exception of electing the right officials and keeping them accountable... not that we aren't trying. The quality of our elected officials, and how many of them artfully dodge accountability and back-stab their constituents is a big subject in and of itself!

  9. If we really want to make statement, why not extend this boycott to cover the entire upcoming christmas shopping season?

  10. You are all racists. It doesn't matter what color skin you have. If you resort to violence, you will not be tolerated in our society.

  11. I have read some very good suggestions, some of which I agree with. And Mr. Griffin I must say that I am proud to be a part of a push to build up some inertia with in this movement towards justice. However I work in corporate america and I have been dealing with Caucasians every day for many many years and the conclusion that I have drawn is that the respect that we deserve has to be earned using "gradualism". We must attack this virus at a cellular level meaning we have to start at the beginning...with the children. We cannot force America into submission on an issue that we cannot convince them to even admit exists.
    What do we do next? What collective plan do we have in place to get us not only the respect that we deserve, but also the prosperity that we are entitled to (as ordained by GOD)? Unless we can implement a plan in which every one of us can contribute to and even non people of color will contribute to unconsciously then we will have a hard time catching up.
    We need a collective plan comparable to white Supremacy (In terms of Power not Ethics) which is primarily the reason Caucasians dominate the planet now.
    Let us continue to dialog. Because there are some brilliant people out there, but the people with the power to make a difference must pay attention to the insight from the people, formulate a plan, and implement it.
    By the way that anonymous person is clearly Caucasian.

    Peace & Blessings

  12. Egypt, The principal of "gradualism" was the strategy during the 1940s and 1950s, when I was growing up. We presupposed that we would win all our rights through the courts. Therefore, the older generation opposed civil rights marches, and so opposed Martin Luther King, Jr.- the first time around. If you noticed all the protests of the late 1950s and 1960s were supported primarily by students... we called it the Student Movement, not the Civil Rights Movement. It was a radical break from gradualism.

    Also, it was hoped that we would outlive all the old racists. We never expected them to pass the hatred on to their kids. Therefore, gradualism is never-ending.

    I believe the first real declaration of justice was in the case of Genarlow Wilson, where the Georgia Supreme Court ruled (in essence) that excessive charges and excessive prison sentences constitute "cruel and unusual punishment". If that principal holds up in the US Supreme Court, we may be able to redeem some of our children who have been too harshly punished for minor offenses.

  13. In subsequent days following the November 2, 2007 Black Out, I strongly encourage all Black/Brown people in the United States to do business with only Black/Brown owned businesses permanently. Let's keep our money in our communities with our own people, then maybe we can collectively change the injustice against all people of color everywhere. Remember to always put GOD first in everything we do and to Repent. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

    I believe that the current war is not only in Iraq, but against all people of color in this world.

    With GOD, Prayer,Working together, remaining faithful and steadfast things will change!
    Matthew 21:22 " And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."

  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.