The Trayvon Martin travesty and moving forward

By Bob LAW | 8/1/2013, 11:08 a.m.
Trayvon Martin

All recent studies point out that Black consumer spending is at an all-time high, while Black communities suffer the highest unemployment, the lowest median family income and the highest debt. African-Americans still outspend all other ethnic groups in all categories. Black people spend more than a trillion dollars annually with American corporations that do not reinvest in Black communities in a meaningful way, nor do they support any of our legitimate struggles for social justice.

Perhaps it is time that we “Stand Our Ground.” What if we used our own money strategically? We can turn Black consumer spending into real power if we target our spending. Let’s make where we spend our money a political decision. Let’s begin cutting back on spending in industries and at local businesses that receive so many Black dollars while giving so little back.

As an example, consider the fast-food industry, where we spend billions every year. What if we stop spending so freely and redirected some of those dollars into the valuable independent Black institutions throughout the nation that are struggling with insufficient funds to save our future generations? Sadly, in order to not offend others in this “post-racial” America, our totally-owned leadership has agreed not to put the needs and interests of Black people first. Wherever possible, they avoid Black concerns.

Langston Hughes was right when he urged us not to run from our own Blackness. What if, without apology, we “Stand Our Ground” and begin to turn more of the trillion dollars already in our hands away from indifferent corporations and back into to the Black community? African-Americans can begin to demand respect by taking control of our own spending. Keep in mind that the politics of renewal have always been driven by the movement of Black folks. What if we collectively “Stand Our Ground”?!