By Faye N. Porter
Years ago, there was a television show and a movie called "To Catch A Thief". The movie was produced, directed and written by Sir Alfred Hitchcock, considered one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. I enjoyed the series and the movie because they were entertaining and fun. As I grew older, I realized that many things were being stolen from me without my knowledge. If I didn't know what was being stolen, I most certainly didn't know who the thief was!
I grew up in a middle class (I do not like categorizing people by class...I have to find other wording) somewhat integrated community. We had an apple tree in the back yard and a railroad track where freight trains ran slowly through our alley. We would run next to the train and jump on it for a few minutes. My mom would have not been happy had she known that! The railroad track separated two communities. One from which I saw my first Ku Klux Klan rally...while sitting on our back porch.
When Martin Luther King was assassinated I asked my mom why he was murdered. She replied " because he was Black". That was the day my bubble burst forever. I know that my skin was the same color as his despite not knowing that I was Black. I was too young to understand race. I just knew that people were people. I thought that I was going to be murdered too. Little did I know that Black people and people of color had been murdered for centuries just because of the color of their skin. Or that many people would die to obtain and keep the right to vote even to this day.
The freedoms that Black people and people of color have fought for and deserve have never been fully realized. Those freedoms that were realized are hanging in the balance. The powers that be are trying to ensure that the the assaults and murders of unarmed black people continue and become the new normal. While Trump and his flock were screaming "Stop the Steal", Mitch McConnell and his buddies were behind closed doors trying to steal our right to vote. Just a room full of wrinkled up old white men who will do anything to hold on to power even if it meant voting against the Covid Relief bill. Or, voting against the For the People Act (also known as H.R. 1). Black lives have been stolen by police brutality. Now they want to rob black people of the right to vote. It is up to us to make sure that those rusty old thieves and their cronies are not successful!
We know that black lives matter. We have and will continue to protest with them in the street. But now is the time to catch some thieves through other means. An alternative way to protest, a financial protest, will attain the results that many have cried, sang, marched and died for. Yes, we have done all of the above... but little has changed because we have not attacked the beast. Money!
The Montgomery Bus Boycott was not successful because all of a sudden someone was empathetic and decided that Black people were able to ride in the front of the bus. The politicians, and those in the Jim Crow south did not care if Black people walked to work or anywhere else forever!
And they walked...for 382 days. Imagine that! Walking for miles in run down shoes. Blisters, leg pain, back pain, headaches, thirst, heat stroke and other maladies to fight for the right to have a seat in the front of a bus. It was successful because Black people withheld their money. The bus company was going bankrupt and confronted the politicians about their financial losses to themselves and the city. That particular Jim Crow law was reversed. (That was only one of many Jim Crow policies). Black people were finally able to ride in the front of the bus. The key to their success? Keeping their money from the corporate entity and using it to take cabs, have their own livery services and a plethora of other services that enhanced their communities.
In Georgia, there is an "economic boycott" designed to take revenue from some corporations who refuse to speak up about the voter suppression laws passed by their Republican legislature. The Black Dollar Days Initiative takes financial protest to a higher more efficient level.
When we withhold our money from the corporations who donate to the legislators that make and pass laws which allow continued suppression of our rights and murders of people of color, we will have the leverage necessary to make changes. And change we must have! On Black Dollar Days we will spend NO MONEY, except with Black owned and affiliate businesses. What do you think will happen when we have a whole week of Black Dollar Days? Or a whole month? Hmmm...
The Black Dollar Days Initiative welcomes everyone who wishes to join us in our fight, and it's free. Neither do you have to leave the comfort of your home. It's time to stop these thieves. Let's get it, Let's go!