By Chani The Hippie
It seems like everyday on the news we hear about injustice towards black people whether it is police brutality, led poisoned water, discrimination in the workplace, or being called racial slurs. Seldom do I get to log on to my Twitter without seeing a new article or thread detailing a sad story about someone being killed just because they are black. It is hurtful to live in America in 2016 and be plagued with the feeling that you might die because of the color of your skin.
There are many things people are doing in order to erase this injustice: protesting, boycotting, petitioning, running for office, voting and more. Recently I have been doing research on how I can effectively be a part of this fight. I have led protests, been a part of demonstrations, written articles, and so much more, but I still feel helpless. In my research, I found out some very interesting and important things. Black people in the United States make up one of the biggest consumer markets in the world. Black people spend about $1 trillion a year. This is huge. We spend so much money and still are seen as less than human by so many.
Our money has made people rich over and over again. That is power. We have more power than we understand and our dollar is the biggest tool. With such a tremendous spending power we can change the climate of the world towards us if we use it. We need to use our dollars to empower ourselves economically. There are tons and tons of black businesses that we need to funnel our dollars into and support.
We need to stop making other people rich who don't care when little black children are killed by the police in the park and instead make someone who uplift us in our community rich. The more money we have and keep in our community the more we will be able to do. There are black farmers, black owned hair care product lines, black owned restaurants, black owned clothing lines, black owned fitness centers, black owned auto repair shops, black owned banks, etc. Every type of business you can think about, there is one owned by a black person.
Every week I have been showcasing and purchasing from a black owned business and posting it on my instagram. It is important for us to not only buy from these businesses, but to tell people about them. Brag about them. Show people they can switch over to a new place to get their smoothies or blue jeans from. We have to empower each other and the best way to has always been through word of mouth.
What will the results of putting the money into our community be?
The results will be extraordinary. So many companies who use racist practices, whose main consumers are black people, so many people who do not respect us as a people, will lose money and see the shift of where our dollar is going. They will be begging to get us back. They will want to know what they can do to get to get our dollars back. We will demand and tell them we need their support in the fight against injustice. We want police to stop killing us. We want the school to prison pipeline to end. We want to not only be seen as equal in the law, but for those laws to be enforced.
This will result in more money circulating in the black community. Black people will have more money, be able to build up their communities, expand their businesses, and more of us will be able to join the middle and high class in America. This will make us more powerful than before. Economic empowerment has a major role in our fight to show people that Black Lives Matter.
As we continue to face sad injustices our people have fought against since we were first kidnapped, captivated, and forced into slavery we must look at all of our options to stay above water. We must continue to take to the streets, become public officials, educate, spread the word, and we must empower ourselves economically. All of these things will help us achieve what we have always wanted, and that is equality and liberation.