The Murder of Daunte Wright - An Accident? What? Financial protests will bring about change!
By Faye N. Porter
Once again, my spirit and heart are broken by another murder of an unarmed Black man by the police. Wow! I cannot say that I am surprised. It is quite obvious that the killings of unarmed black people and people of color by the police have been pushed aside. 2020 was the year from hell. Trump, a pandemic, the economy and the combined turbulence of it all took our eyes off of what was still happening. That is, until the beginning of the Derek Chauvin Trial for the murder of George Floyd. And the murder of Daunte Wright.
So, let's be honest. How else can I be? Kim Potter, the policewoman who murdered Daunte Wright, claimed that it was an "accident". There is a distinct difference between the weight of a gun in the hand vs. the weight of a taser in the hand. And aren't the trigger mechanisms for a gun different from that of a taser? Yes, that is what I thought.
Here it is...here is the face of a female white officer, with 20 plus years of experience in policing and she had an accident? She did not know where her gun was? She didn't know where her taser was? After 26 years? C'mon son!
Once again we are asked not to believe our eyes! Once again we are dismayed. Once again, I hear the comments from the media about what can be done to stop the murders of unarmed people of color by the police. Black Live Matter is great. I have marched with them and maybe you have too. I believe in marching in the streets. It gets great attention but what has changed? Let me answer that for you...nothing.
Here is the deal. The ONLY way that we can stop the murders of black people and people of color, the ONLY way that we can protect our voting rights is to use what we have in our hands. Our money!
Well, Frederick Douglass had it right, black and brown people are still enslaved in more ways than one.
Let's talk about the order of things and how The Black Dollar Days Initiative works. Black Dollar Days are specific days that we will spend no money in corporations except Black-owned or affiliate businesses. Black Dollar Days can last for 1 day, a week, a month, a year or any compilation of days. Withholding our 1 trillion plus dollars of spending power will give us leverage to bring resolution to issues impacting black and brown lives. Right now, our initiatives are the murders of black and brown people by the police and the attack on voting rights.
Let's talk about corporations and what they do. Corporations have lobbyists. Lobbyists are public relations workers who use different techniques (like donating to politicians) to influence legislators in favor of their clients' (corporations) special interests. Lobbying is an attempt by individuals or private interest groups to influence the votes of legislators. Lobbyists may be on the payroll of the corporation or interest group that they represent. Or they may be salaried employees of a lobbying firm. Lobbyists influence government policy. Lobbyists are paid persuaders who typically operate behind closed doors and are invisible to the public.
Let's talk about the police. Police are funded by all three levels of government - Federal State and Local. According to USA Facts "police funding is the second largest category of local government spending after education. On average, the United States spends $340 per person per year for public policing, for a total of $193 billion in spending in 2017.
Police spending accounts for 9.2% of all local government spending. This works out to $192,940 per police officer, including part-time employees."
Now let's talk about how The Black Dollar Days Initiative will get a seat at the table of the Corporations, Politicians, Lobbyists etc. to get the results that we demand.
On Black Dollar Days we spend no money, except with black or brown owned businesses or corporations who are affiliates. Affiliate companies must believe and actively participate in the resolution of our initiatives. For instance, Corporation X does not want to be the target of financial protests. Therefore, Corporation X would use it's influence, whether financially or other means, to advise the legislators that it would be in their best interest to comply with our demands. Our demands may include creating new laws, expanding existing laws or protecting our rights. (Civil rights, Voting Rights etc.)
If the legislators do not comply with the demands of Corporation X, then Corporation X would withdraw it's donations, favors, etc. from the legislators.
Legislators will be pressured to implement changes that we demand because they want to have continued donations, power and keep their jobs. In other words, we will vote them out if they do not comply.
Corporations will lose money because we will not shop on Black Dollar Days if they donate to legislators who are in favor of or create and pass laws that negatively affect the black and brown communities.
Legislators will lose donations, favors, etc. and ELECTIONS and POWER!
Black Dollar Days are successful because they are continuous.
Black Dollar Days attack the root of the problem...corporate money. There is talk of an "economic boycott" in Georgia and in Texas of the new Jim Crow voting laws. There are some corporations who have made statements about the laws. For instance, Major League Baseball pulled the All-Star Game out of Atlanta. That was great! But will it gain traction? Or is it a one time boycott. There was some push back from United States Senate Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Governor Brian Kemp. But, who cares?
To my surprise, Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms stated that “I’m absolutely concerned this will backfire. This is likely the first of many events that will pull from our city and from our state." Point well taken. However, it appears that Mayor Bottoms does not understand the big picture.
The big picture is, until we take our money out of the hands of the corporations who do not care, do not know, or refuse to acknowledge the plight and issues affecting the black and brown communities negatively, things will remain the same. We have the power to make change happen quickly, and we do not have to leave our homes to do so.
Visit theblackdollardays.com to join us by writing I'm in! Or register your business to be listed in our Resource Registry. People need to know who they can shop with on Black Dollar Days. And it's free.
So "Are we together or Are we Ain't?" These are the words of the late great Godfather of Soul James Brown while trying to diffuse a crowd at the Boston Garden after Martin Luther King was killed. Well...what's your answer?
We can do this together. It does not matter what your race, gender or culture is. We must, we can be united! Black and brown people are not the only ones who know that Black Lives Matter. Nor were black and brown people the only ones in the streets protesting. The Black Dollar Days Initiative is all-inclusive. We welcome you with open arms.
The next Black Dollar Day is April 20th, 2021. Be prepared to keep your money in your pocket! Spread the word on every social platform. Let's get it, let's go!