I did a quick poll of the my fellow workers in the office, and a few of them are going to participate in the National Blackout that's going on today. My online buddies have already admitted to not being compliant.
Which makes the whole thing pointless.
I've gotten a little tired of the historical black leaders, the theoretical president and vice-president of Black people - Jesse and Rev. Al - who fifty years later still want to march and boycott to show strength. They worked then. In specific instances and under specific circumstances they were very effective in showing the power and solidarity of a people disrespected. But just as we set the tools of the that day and age aside in lieu of new tools, so we must do the same with these.
Should we never boycott or march again? Sometimes the old tool is the best tool for the job, so there will come a time when they are most appropriate. This is not that time.
Current estimates set the spending power of the target group at 2 to 3 billion per day. Real money to those whose minds are consumed with small thoughts. To put it in perspective, the US government lost 9 billion dollars in Iraq last year, lost as in "we don't know who we gave it to - we don't know where it is now. That was 9 billion in CASH. Not credits or monies paid toward or contracts promised... billions of actual paper dollars. And nobody's that concerned.
Last year Walmart had billion dollar sales on SINGLE days.
A famous congressional anecdote goes that, "a few billion here, a few billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money" when discussing funding of bills and projects.
The amount we're talking is a drop in the bucket. To small minds a billion or two is ridiculous money. To the people whose minds we hope to change, it is pocket money. The stakes have changed, and the rules of the game must change with with it. The people with purpose must wrap their minds that the world has change. They dream of being Martin and leading the people, but even brother Martin would realize that those things that once worked so well need to put aside for other times.
And let's not get started on the modern March, which we turn into throwback road-trips and excuses to miss work. I listened to students boarding the bus for Jena with hardly a clue as to why they were traveling.
And since the whole project not a unified effort, it's effectiveness is questionable. Wholly questionable.
In an economy with a large number of people living check to check, stockpiling supplies for a few days really wasn't an option. It's payday Friday for a large number of Americans. Children need things and sales start today. The black American icon Denzel Washington's movie debuts today, and opening day receipts are crucial.
And a number of people enjoy the nightlife. The nightlife at black owned businesses.
Which gets me to the crux of my point. The vast majority of the people joining the protest generally tend to focus their dollars at black owned or black focused businesses already. So those businesses are the ones that will suffer as we cry into the wind.
And what was the point of that?
If we must make a statement, then let's make it. But let's find a new approach, a new language, a new tool to get our point across.
Barkeep - Do you have any ripple?