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Sharpton, Radio Host Want Nov 2 “Blackout”

From those advocates for a colorblind society at CNN:

Radio host rallies blacks for Friday boycott

(CNN) — Black Americans are being urged to keep their money in their wallets Friday to protest injustice and racism.

Radio host and organizer Warren Ballentine hopes a “national blackout” of businesses will send Washington a message and he rejects criticism that his campaign is un-American.

“The history of our country is about what I’m calling for,” Ballentine said. “If the federal government is not doing what it’s supposed to do, we protest. There’s nothing more American than what I’m calling for.”

The inspirations for the boycott are many: a flurry of nooses hung in public places; the case of six teens charged as adults with attempted murder in Jena, Louisiana, after a racially charged school fight; the conviction of Genarlow Wilson, a black teen charged with child molestation after having consensual oral sex with another teen; and the rape and torture of Megan Williams, a West Virginia woman forced to eat animal feces by six whites who berated her with racial slurs.

Ballentine’s hope is that if elected officials aren’t hearing the voice of black America, maybe they’ll listen when money talks. His efforts have drawn the support of several heavy hitters in the civil rights movement, the Rev. Al Sharpton among them.

By some estimates, the U.S. economy could lose millions of dollars if the more than 40 million African-Americans keep their wallets in their purses and pockets Friday. But it’s difficult to pin down the boycott’s impact because it depends on who takes part and to what extent…

Dr. Claud Anderson, president of the Harvest Institute, a Washington-based think devoted to black empowerment, applauds the idea of “group economics.”

Though the potential impact is uncertain, several civil rights icons and organizations are backing the blackout – including Martin Luther King III and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference — all of whom say “the system” is failing the U.S. The groups also are trying to rally protesters for a November 16 march on the Justice Department in Washington

Ballentine, who goes by the radio handle “the people’s attorney,” said he also is dismayed by issues like shoddy imports from China, the outsourcing of jobs overseas, the housing market’s flood of foreclosures and President Bush’s request for $196 billion in war spending and his veto of a children’s health insurance bill.

The latter two issues are particularly disappointing, Ballentine said, because they send a message that the U.S. doesn’t care about its next generation.

“I think it’s almost embarrassing that Congress puts together a bill that’s already funded and [Bush] says, ‘No, that’s too much for our children,’ ” Ballentine said. “In the same breath, you ask for $190 billion for a war?”

Though the endeavor predominantly targets the black community, Ballentine said injustice is colorblind and he is “appealing to anybody who’s humanitarian, anyone who believes in justice.” …

If injustice is colorblind, then why only ask blacks to observe the boycott. Still, it has a great tradition.

From the United States Holocaust Museum:

Boycott Of Jewish Businesses

After the Nazis came to power in Germany on January 30, 1933, the Nazi leadership decided to stage an economic boycott against the Jews of Germany…

On April 1, 1933, the Nazis carried out the first nationwide, planned action against Jews: a boycott targeting Jewish businesses and professionals. The boycott was both a reprisal and an act of revenge against Gruelpropaganda (atrocity stories) that German and foreign Jews, assisted by foreign journalists, were allegedly circulating in the international press to damage Nazi Germany’s reputation.

On the day of the boycott, the SA stood menacingly in front of Jewish-owned department stores and retail establishments, and the offices of professionals such as doctors and lawyers. The Star of David was painted in yellow and black across thousands of doors and windows, with accompanying antisemitic slogans. Signs were posted saying “Don’t Buy from Jews” and “The Jews Are Our Misfortune.” Throughout Germany, acts of violence against individual Jews and Jewish property occurred; the police intervened only rarely.

Although the national boycott operation, organized by local Nazi party chiefs, lasted only one day and was ignored by many individual Germans who continued to shop in Jewish-owned stores, it marked the beginning of a nationwide campaign by the Nazi party against the entire German Jewish population. A week later, the government passed a law restricting employment in the civil service to “Aryans.” Jewish government workers, including teachers in public schools and universities, were fired.

Wouldn’t Martin Luther King, Jr be proud?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, November 1st, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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