The Crusader Newspaper Group

The dollar is a weapon in war against racism

Desperate times require desperate measures. It is incumbent upon Black America to apply every weapon at their disposal to combat the hostile environment that has angrily contaminated the climate of a nation.

No longer can we rely on state legislatures, Congress, executive action, or the Supreme Court when it comes to addressing the needs of Black and brown people.

As a matter of fact, it has become abundantly clear that even in the case of higher court rulings, states like Alabama are willing to defy the law to impose their oppressive will. The refusal to create a second predominantly Black House District defied orders of the Supreme Court in a flagrant act of contempt for the law.

What we are witnessing today is a new level of abstinence our nation is being forced to confront. There is an evil agenda contrived by the extreme right to impose their antagonistic protocols. This level of extremism requires a new and innovative paradigm shift on the part of proponents of democracy.

Through all social transitions, there is one constant. Money talks. We are still a capitalistic country in which the powerful are driven by profit. If it doesn’t make dollars… to them it doesn’t make sense.

The bottom line remains the top priority. Americans hate Blacks enough to tolerate wallowing in the red. Dollars and cents. They don’t hate Blacks enough to settle for languishing in the red. Blacks possess enough buying power to pose a significant threat to corporations and institutions that perpetuate, endorse or ignore violations of fundamental human rights.

We are in a time during which, if we fail to maximize the power of our dollars, there may be few if any similarly viable alternatives. We need to organize and identify products that support the far right, then begin a serious boycott of those goods or services.

We need to stop buying items and using services that enable racists to suppress Blacks and relegate them to the status of second-class citizenship. Perhaps the Urban League, NAACP and similar organizations can compile that list of businesses detrimental to Blacks and help spread it across the nation.

In addition, we need to call on highly-paid Black entertainers, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and professionals to commit to a portion of their riches being diverted to combat gross inequities experienced by Blacks. It will take time to establish a system to execute this process. But it would be time well spent.

For example, what if Blacks and those sympathetic to our plight agreed to redirect only 2 percent of income over $10 million a year to verified causes that enhance the quality of life for Blacks? Physical Fitness. Education. Mental Wellness. Scholarships. Training and Employment. Housing. Childcare. Transportation. Justice.

Our most affluent population cannot simply indulge in opulence, while brothers and sisters at the other end of the spectrum wallow in the mire. The situation in America today is beyond anything imaginable in the past. We must respond with greater intensity and more strategic engagement between the affluent and those working in the trenches for social change. The blessed among us must relentlessly commit to helping the rest of us.

CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: [email protected].

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