As a result of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Eric Garner in NYC, John Crawford & Tamir Rice in Ohio along with countless others, an organization called Black Lives Matter Minneapolis organized a massive economic protest on Saturday, December 20, 2014. An estimated 3,000 protesters in Minneapolis, Minnesota shut down the nation’s largest mall, Mall of America. They chanted “while you’re on your shopping spree, Black people cannot breathe.”
Since that time, 2 more non-indictments of cops who killed unarmed African-Americans have occurred:
- On Monday, December 22, 2014 it was announced that a Milwaukee, Wisconsin police officer who killed and shot Dontre Hamilton 14 times would not be charged. Dontre was unarmed.
- On Tuesday, December 23, 2014 it was announced that a Houston, Texas police officer who shot and killed Jordan Baker would not be charged. Jordan was unarmed.
The list of names of unarmed citizens killed by cops continue to grow. When will Black America truly act, fight back and demand respect? Some believe in marching with signs and wearing ‘I Can’t Breathe’ t-shirts. Others participate in civil disobedience such as blocking highways and doing ‘die-ins’ at malls. All of these strategies serve the purpose of bringing awareness to the issue of police brutality and the criminal injustice system.
However, within the last months, there is a strong contingent of tens thousands who are deepening their level of protest by redirecting their money. Hashtags like: #ShutItDown #BuyBlack #Blackout #ConsciousConsumer #Blackout2015 #NoJusticeNoProfit are being widely circulated on social media.
Money talks in America. 45 million Black people in the United States spend an estimated 1.1 trillion dollars per year. Imagine if Black America showed economic discipline and restraint. Many are jumping on board the BlackOut train to change the system and send a powerful message by 1) boycotting businesses that support injustice and 2) circulating their dollars with each other to build up and protect their own communities.
It’s time to take things to the next level and empower the Black community.