By Dr. John E. Warren
San Diego Voice & Viewpoint Newspaper Publisher
First, let’s remind everyone that “Black Friday” has nothing to do with Black people. “Black” represents the color of money when profits are up, just as “red” represents the color of loss when profits are down. The irony is the degree of participation “Black people” spend their dollars on Black Friday with no benefit other than what appears to be personal bargains.
Let’s be reminded that Black people spend over 3 trillion dollars a year on just about everything. However, our spending is not focused, in spite of efforts from a number of our young people using the internet to talk about economics and wealth building.
Well, let’s just start where we are. Do we really need to jump into Black Friday spending? Do we need the “stuff” many of us are buying?
Could those dollars be used to help with our needs or to help the needs of someone else? Did you know that over 99 percent of the advertising dollars for Black Friday do not go to Black newspapers or Black media outlets?
Why these questions? Let us remember the Montgomery Bus Boycott which lasted for more than 300 days. Because Rosa Parks would not give up her seat on the bus and all Black people were affected by the same problem, Black people made a decision to walk and not ride the buses. Many were fired from their menial jobs which were bread and life support to a people who already were living on less than enough. Those people created such an economic impact by “focusing” their collective efforts, that they won. Question when will we remember and put to use the lessons of the past since some among us are trying to turn back the clock on civil rights, voting rights, Social Security, and everything else that means life and death to so many of us.
We, the collective, need to move toward creating our own real “Black Fridays” by how we spend dollars every day. Do we need that fast food stop, the junk foods, alcohol, and cigarettes? Those who smoke would give themselves a pay raise just by quitting. Are we watching the growing trend to reduce all corporate dollars being directed to non-profits which becomes a “write-off” rather than spending corporate “marketing” dollars with us as they do with other consumers?
Now that we know that “Black Lives Matter” and that “Black Votes Matter”, let’s really make “Black Fridays Matter’’ by looking at and rethinking how we spend our trillions of dollars. Let us remember that there are three things that Corporate America understands: (1) lost profits, (2) bad publicity, and (3) votes cast against their interest. By influencing the last two we can move the needle once again on public policies like voting rights, healthcare, and who sits in the U.S. Congress and the U.S. The Senate is affecting our lives. Let us hear from you on this matter.