Local, Holiday, and National Boycotts no longer work, they have worked in the past, and that’s why the White power structure reorganized their economy to undermine the (outdated and ineffective) tactic of Local, National, and Holiday Boycotts since the 1960s.
Don’t get me wrong, I do admire the unity, disciple, and consciousness that boycotts display, and I always join the legitimate ones, but most often, I’ve dun stopped doing the shit the boycotts are calling for years before we collectively get the notion to stage a boycott.
Black folks fell in love with the notion of a boycott after the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. It was a magnificent display of Black unity and power. Unfortunately, that struggle also created a tendency to hold to boycotts even though they have proven to be an obsolete tactic.
Remember the boycott of Florida after the Zimmerman verdict? Remember the boycott of Georgia after the state murdered Troy Davis? We’ve attempted boycotts against BET, Nike, the Democratic Party, Wal-Mart, Denny’s, Whole Foods, IBM, etc, etc, etc; over the last couple of decades, all of them have failed or only secured superficial concessions as those companies and organizations have grown and grown.
Now we are attempting to BOYCOTT BLACK FRIDAY for this weekend, (now I don’t know why we don’t’ just shut down Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas, and and New Years parties, but that’s another discussion). I’ve never been in on the Black Friday scramble, and I’m glad more of us will reject it, but I don’t see any real justice coming as a result. Hell, there have been unsuccessful attempts to Boycott Black Friday for years, just look it up.
Here’s why the boycotts no longer work:
The Economy and the Businesses have Globalized; Globalization means that businesses and economies are no longer dependent on local communities, regional economies, or even national consumers to generate profit. The money they lose here on Black Friday can be made up in the Asian Markets, the South American Markets, the European Markets, etc. If we don’t spend during Christmas, they have the revenues (held in overseas accounts) to hold out til the next Whole-Lie-Day provokes then next shopping frenzy. The shit we refuse to buy here will end up in Dubi, or anywhere else they have established markets for mass consumption!
Just as the multinational corporations have shipped jobs oversees, manufacturing overseas, and even intellectual and creative work overseas, they also expanded mass consumption overseas and they are less dependent on the US consumer market than ever before. That’s the entire US consumer market, so just imagine the status the Black community holds.
The first segment of the US population to get a taste of this are those in Labor Unions, they tried to hold back their labor, to strike, which is a form of boycott, and they got buried because overseas workers were willing to work for pennies and didn’t have the right to unionize. We didn’t do or say shit when Reagan gutted the Unions, and Bill Clinton allowed for NAFTA and GATT to deal the final death blow to Unions.
Now the entire US populace is in the same position. We can’t successfully boycott states because their revenues are in overseas investments, and they are no longer beholden to their citizens, they are beholden to the corporations within their borders. We can’t successfully boycott corporations because they have a global market and only Global Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions can truly undermine them or force them to make real concessions.
So we have to internationalize our struggle (aka Pan-Africanize) or find a new tactic. Also, internationalizing your struggle means you gotta rep for those in other nations too. You can’t ignore the drones dropping bombs and the corporate exploitation of Africa, South America, Asia, etc., but expect them to unite when we suffer Atrocities.
So, I will join you in this Black Friday boycott, shit, I wasn’t gon be out spending even if they indicted Officer Wilson and hung him on the court house steps anyway; but I implore the community to research and implement more effective responses and solutions.
We need to do more than send a message, we need to dismantle all of the Systems and Institutions of White Domination and Capitalism or we will not reverse this Omnicide that is engulfing all living systems.
One more thing: it’s more important to direct where our dollars go than to simply hold them back. I’m not talking that “support Black businesses” BS, I’m talking about building Black Institutions, Infrastructure, and Independent Economic Enclaves (again, that’s a whole nutha discussion).