The holidays, racism and inappropriate behavior

BOB LAW | 11/28/2013, 6 a.m.
Recently in New York, two young Black shoppers were arrested while shopping at the upscale Barneys clothing store
Activist Bob Law tells the Brooklyn community to redirect the money they spend at fast food restaurants to Black schools and businesses.

None of these businesses will close up shop and disappear. Instead, they will clean up shop and make policy adjustments that benefit the Black community, as they will be compelled to look for ways to get their hands on Black consumer dollars again.

You and your dollars are taken so much for granted that Burger King announced that as of August 2010, it was no longer necessary to actually appeal directly to Black and Hispanic consumers, so they fired the Black and Latino ad agencies and instead gave the advertising accounts previously handled by those agencies to white agencies.

Not only did they give the responsibility of marketing to Blacks to white ad agencies, Burger King executives reportedly also said that when the shift was being made, they would increase the amount of money going to those white agencies by “more than 30 percent.” It’s a classic move: First, fire the Blacks, and then pay the whites even more money to do the same job. Once again, Blacks come face-to-face with the devious hand of entrenched American racism. It will require much more than ostentatious spending to change the political and economic status of Blacks in this society.

The Rev. Buster Soaries has described the attitude of Blacks as a state of “financial slavery.” Soaries pointed out, “The idea that we would be voluntary slaves is offensive to all of our sensibilities, but when we continue to spend what we don’t have, charge what we don’t need and borrow more than we can repay, then we must call the problem what it is—slavery.

“To break free from financial slavery, and at the same time force the corporations to be much more responsive to Blacks, would be a significant political achievement that would actual begin to reshape the economy in ways that would benefit the Black community overall.”

Let’s do it!