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By: Mark Spivey, M.Ed. - Author of column series “Before I lay it down”
By: Mark Spivey, M.Ed. – Author of column series “Before I lay it down”

“Jim Crow” was a bad mother “shutcho mouth” back in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s.  That whole institution of racism, intimidation, and often death held African-Americans hostage for an additional 100 years after Reconstruction, the period following the advent of the Civil War.  Historians would have millions of primary and secondary students believe that the “War Between the States” ended on the morning of April 9, 1865 on the steps of Appomattox Court House in Virginia when in fact it ended on November 4th 2008.  Google that date.  It’s all a matter of perspective…

With a corrupt legal system in the South and de facto segregation in the North, Black people had little recourse in trying to overcome these obstacles through conventional means.  Consequently, UN-conventional means would be the standard that would shake up the good ole white folk’s grip on African-American society where it hurts them most, that is, in their wallets.

The Women’s Political Council was a group of professionals who were tired of how Black locals were being treated by the Montgomery (Alabama) transit system.  This was in 1946, nine years prior to Rosa Parks’ subsequent arrest for refusing to surrender her seat to a white passenger thus “officially” birthing the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the modern Civil Rights Movement.  Up to 50,000 African-American residents took part in this segregation-ending event. It crippled the city costing the bus company millions of dollars in revenue by today’s standards.  It also sent shockwaves throughout the South as major cities witnessed how effective it was in “changing the minds” of business owners who relied on that “mean green” the Mighty Ojays would later sing about.  By comparison, imagine 40,000 to 50,000 customers deciding to stop shopping at Walmart for 381 days in a row.  What type of economic impact would it have on that mega franchise as a whole?

Over the years we have watched brave people march across bridges and on the White House lawn.  We’ve witnessed the “Million Man March”, “Million Woman March”, and “A Day without an Immigrant March”.  Conscientious people have been “pick’n them up and put’n them down” for years.  But, if you really think about it, how much change has really occurred in race relations because of it?  Think about it for a minute…

The only real way to change a population built on division and segregation is to stop buying their shit.  Amazon, Walmart, Sears, Uber, Hobby Lobby and other companies support Donald Trump through sales and other commodities. This is according to the online magazine U.S. Uncut.  In doing so they finance his impartial rhetoric, stoke his fiery temperament, bankroll his plans to build a wall, and paves the way for white supremacy to continue its “Manifest Destiny” that started way back in the 18th century.  Nothing changes a man more than money or the absence of it.

If we want to change the climate and culture of what’s going on in the United States, marching ain’t gonna do it alone.  You gotta hit them where it hurts and that’s in their pocketbooks.  1946 should have taught us that, but it’s obvious that we weren’t/aren’t paying attention…

God bless, good night, and keep yo families together.

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