“Colorful demonstrations and weekend marches are vital but alone are not powerful enough to stop wars. Wars will be stopped only when soldiers refuse to fight, when workers refuse to load weapons onto ships and aircraft, when people boycott the economic outposts of Empire that are strung across the globe. ” Arundhati Roy
All too often it is cash flow that controls what we presume to be the health or success of an economy. If activism is related to amplifying the voices of the oppressed and marginalized, then activists can use money in the same way we raise our voices – to raise awareness of the need for change.
If profit is the language of corrupt systems, then people are the centerpiece of systems renewed by justice. For this reason, Faith for Justice is answering the call to participate in a movement that esteems people over profit.
“People over profit” means that human beings matter more than money, plain and simple. On the daily, it means that our quality of life is not connected to the type and number of items we have in our closets or cabinets. So we choose not to define our political value by the amount of money we spend. Instead, we strive for access to power structures that SEE the people they serve, and see us truly, as equals.
If our dollars speak louder than our pain, then we must use our dollars to “kind of redistribute the pain” as Dr. King described in his famous speech the day before he was assassinated.
There has long been a greater concern for wealth and acclaim than healthy relationships, and little attention given to alleviating the struggles of underprivileged people. This is why we disrupt the daily habits that distract us from addressing our privileges. Habits like absentmindedly avoiding small businesses that enrich our communities are easily changed by directing money to businesses owned by people of color as often as we can.
In our struggle to proclaim that black lives matter, and in the fight to make that truth a reality, we have become convinced of the need for more dialogue about supporting minority-owned businesses. Everyone who is able is invited to spend at least the next few days reducing or eliminating non-essential spending at corporate stores by pouring money into black-owned businesses.
Please join us! Take your family out to Diner’s Delight, get pizza from Master Pieza and barbecue from Rib Shack, check out UrbArts. These next few days also include Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. There are a number of blogs and websites that list black-owned businesses perfect for gift shopping. Here are links to a few.
Read up on the history and purposes of economic boycott: