I’ve been monitoring the NegroNet, and there has been a lot of talk about boycotting. The talk is between those who support boycotts and those who don’t. (For our white audience: the NegroNet is comprised of all of the social media channels that African Americans use to communicate with one another.)
It has been a tough few weeks for black folks attempting to get their consumerism on. We’ve been arrested in Starbucks and the Waffle House. I recently watched a video where a black man was waiting for a ride from the hospital. And he was assaulted by officers for, well…um…waiting?
The list of things black folks can’t do without getting arrested or killed keeps growing daily. The police in the Starbucks incident were literally called right after the two men walked into the store. You have to be extremely terrified of someone in order to do that.
If you consider all the poor treatment black folks have received lately, maybe we should stop spending our hard-earned money where it’s not wanted? But what kind of commitment would that take from us?
A financial boycott would surely get the attention of the businesses in question. And just maybe, using the boycott as leverage might force them to make other changes in their organizations (i.e., who sits on boards and who gets promoted into management). But some black folks think it’s pointless to boycott every time we are offended. I guess the fear is that, at this rate, we will be boycotting everything.
Starbucks hasn’t been hurting since the incident in Philadelphia. I walk by one every morning, and the damn thing is packed to the ceiling. Black folks are in there laughing and drinking Hazelnut Mocha.
When evidence against Bill Cosby started piling up like a college student’s dirty laundry, some of us complained about him being set up and vowed to watch EVERY Cosby Show marathon that EVER came on. And now Kanye West has done the unthinkable and booked a ticket on the Trump Train. Do we boycott his music and throw his albums on a pyre?
What is the breaking point for a consensus of blacks to decide that we need to boycott? Is it a young black girl pinned to a Waffle House floor by police? Her only crime was asking for plastic flatware. In the same week, we watched video of police being called on black women for golfing too slowly.
Situations that could have been handled with common sense were overblown. The police in all these instances were used like garbage men to take out the trash.
Trying to hold police accountable is a pipe dream, but the entities that initiated their arrival, well that’s a different story.
To boycott or not to boycott? That is the question.