Just fifteen months ago, I wrote a piece entitled “Is Policing Running Amuck” to address the issue of black people being killed unarmed by law enforcement. It appears that in that time things have escalated. There is a killing of an unassuming black man every couple of days. This is not a law enforcement issue, this is a black people issue in terms of how we choose to address the situation. Protesting is not getting black people anywhere. Speaking out and raising awareness is a step in the right direction, in fifteen months, nothing has come of it.
We need to put our money where our mouth is because that is what society understands. We as a people need to withhold our dollars and only support businesses that reflect us. When Rosa Parks decided that she was not going to the back of the bus, got removed and arrested, the response was “we’ll walk where we need to go.” This in turn hurt the economy even back then when the bus only cost ten cents to ride. We know that only the poor and middle class were the primary users of the service. We know that black people were the majority who fell into that class. The Montgomery bus boycott got attention, not because it was violent, it got attention because it hurt Montgomery’s revenue stream.
Jesse Williams was absolutely correct when he gave his humanitarian award speech at the BET Awards stating this quote “So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.” We have got to restructure how we deal with society at large. I strongly believe that if we stop chasing the brands that make others rich and only patronize brands made by us, then maybe the powers that be will take notice realizing that our strength in numbers is important. Malcolm X did it, Martin Luther King Junior did it, and they did it in fashion that had others outside of our race take notice and want to be involved.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Philando Castile and Alton Sterling families. Your loss is our loss because they each had something positive to contribute to this world. I have said this on twitter when the Alton Sterling tragedy occurred and I will say it again here. I worry for my sons, siblings, nephews, and grandson who is only four years old. This has become such a normal thing and not the exception. It is a form of genocide that needs to be halted. Unification is only the beginning of the conversation but again there is strength in numbers and money talks. Make a conscious effort going forward of how you spend your disposal income. You might be surprised at who takes notice and wants to start a dialogue that could lead to real reform.