Why Blackout Black Friday Won’t Work
November 28, 2014
The spirit of a boycott is greatly appreciated but awareness without action tied to the specific problem to create positive change will fall flat. Protestors across the U.S. are part of #BlackoutBlackFriday asking shoppers to boycott the busiest shopping day of the year to bring awareness to racism and police brutality stemming from the recent Ferguson Grand Jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson the police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black male, Mike Brown.
In order for a boycott to work it has to be tied to a company who is doing something unethically or illegally and the exposure of that truthful and harmful information damages the company’s image and image is tied to profits. People can force accountability from an unethical or illegally acting company by damaging their profits with the company’s own damaging truth.
The mass boycott of all shopping on Black Friday is bringing about awareness but without the properly tied actions to create specific change to the topic that’s all it’s doing is bringing about awareness. That’s only one half of a successful boycott. Boycotting Macy’s or Dillard’s department stores for example isn’t going to do enough of a long term financial damage and truthfully what would people expect Macy’s or Dillard’s to do to bring about social reform? They weren’t the cause of Mike Brown’s death.
Accountability must be properly applied to all of the guilty parties in order to create positive change: The Ferguson Police Department, Officer Darren Wilson, Attorney General McCullough, Mike Brown and the tax paying citizens of Ferguson.
Who are the vendors that sell to the Ferguson Police Department? Whether it’s Taser or bullet proof vests, the public putting pressure on the vendors who sell to the police department to refrain from selling any new or updated equipment until independent psychological evaluations are given to everyone on the force or until a third party company is brought in to make policy changes including the hiring and termination of police officers (or whatever reform the people of Ferguson want) is what’s necessary to force accountability from a likely corrupt police department.
Another example Community Support: If a local sub shop supports the Ferguson police soft ball team (I have no idea if they have one) but boycotting the sub shop until they cut ties with the police force will trigger the start of forced accountability. This does not mean that the sub shop gets burned down though.
Do not allow Darren Wilson to hold any State for Federal positions. Darren Wilson was not found innocent of charges, which is different than not enough information to bring about a successful indictment. Normally a Grand Jury is convened in secrecy after months or years of a federal investigation done under seal. Meaning the police department would not have known they were being investigated and without doubt there would have been enough to indict at the very least Darren Wilson and likely able to remove the racist, unethical and illegal element on the rest of the force.
Public pressure to convene a Grand Jury prematurely cost the people of Ferguson the indictment they demanded. It doesn’t mean that Darren Wilson should ever hold a position where state or federal tax dollars go to pay his salary.
Attorney General (AG) McCullough without doubt should be sued by the state for malpractice. He didn’t do his job and truthfully the people of Ferguson didn’t do theirs-they voted him in. Next AG election Ferguson better have the highest voter turn-out in the country.
Mike Brown is not blameless in the outcome that left him dead. That’s not the same as saying he deserved to die but accountability must be tied to all in order to create change.
When boycotting, people must ask for very specific changes from the people who can create those changes or put pressure on those who will force accountability, in order to successfully have awareness and action work in concert.
For example if Mike Brown had been killed by a GM car opposed to a Ferguson police officer, boycotting GM could be a very successful campaign on Black Friday but a blanket boycott of all companies does not tie the awareness back properly to those who can force accountability from the Ferguson police department.
Many will become frustrated that they joined the boycott while nothing in Ferguson changed months or ever years later. Together we all can force accountability from the corrupt but we have to target properly (vendors who support the Ferguson police department) and have specific actions items we want in place to create positive change.