This year’s Black Friday will hopefully be Brown. The Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition and its supporters are asking for a national boycott of this year’s Black Friday, the post-Thanksgiving shopping holiday beloved by many Americans, following a St. Louis County grand jury’s decision not to charge officer Darren Wilson for the death of Mike Brown on Monday. Brown, an unarmed black teenager, died after Wilson hit him with at least six shots. Monday’s decision means Wilson will never face trial.
The economic protest’s agenda is simple: do not say one word and do not spend one dollar. Participants will either avoid the mall all together on Friday or take to shopping centers to silently march. The call to action is spreading through social media. Popular hashtags include: #BoycottBlackFriday, #BlackoutBlackFriday, #HandsUpDontSpend, #BrownFriday, and #DontRiotDontSpend.
According to many community organizers, #BrownFriday isn’t just about Brown. It’s designed to draw attention to the rampant police brutality and the overall lack of value given to black lives in this country. Another popular hashtag on Twitter is #Every28Hours–a reminder that one black person is shot every 28 hours by a police officer, security guard, or member of the neighborhood vigilante in America.
With African Americans’ collective purchasing power estimated at one trillion dollars alone, there’s potential for the black community and its allies to make a major statement this Friday by refraining from spending. Unfortunately, all people seem to love to save even more than we do shop, which should make experiencing whatever effects this very viral campaign actually elicits very interesting. Will you spend a dollar this Black Friday?