As we prepare ourselves for the holiday season, we are bombarded with ads that seek to whip us up into a consumerist frenzy. Black Friday sales are being rolled out weeks in advance of Thanksgiving and, at every turn, white-supremacist-capitalism is telling us to spend our money on things that we don’t need, to reap profits for corporations.
As BLMLA organizer, Jan Williams, reminds us, “Capitalism doesn’t love Black people.” In fact, white-supremacist-capitalism invented policing, initially as chattel-slavery-era “paddy rollers,” in order to protect its interests and put targets on the backs of Black people. Under modern-day policing, those targets have been affixed to the backs of Black people like, #JohnCrawford and #StevenTaylor, who were murdered by police inside Walmart stores; like #YuvetteHenderson and #RedelJones, Black mothers who were accused of petty thefts before their lives were stolen by police; and like #AlbertRamonDorsey and #DennisToddRogers, who were gunned down when 24-Hour-Fitness locations called in police on Black male patrons…twice.
Beginning in 2014, in response to John Crawford’s murder by police in Beavercreek, Ohio, Black Lives Matter has been challenging people to “dream of a #BlackXmas,” to intentionally use our economic resources to disrupt white-supremacist-capitalism and build Black community:
- #BuildBlack: Invest in Black-led, Black-serving organizations by making donations in the names of your loved ones as holiday gifts.
- #BuyBlack: When buying items, spend exclusively with Black-owned businesses from Black Friday through New Year.
- #BankBlack: Move your money from white corporate banks (that finance gentrification, prisons, and environmental degradation) to Black-owned ones.
Wondering where to start? Resources are available at blackxmas.org.
We’re also taking your suggestions! Have a Black organization, business, or bank we should profile? Let us know! You can also demonstrate your support by changing your social media profile picture to the #BlackXmas graphic:
#BlackXmas challenges us to shake off the chains of consumerism and step fully into our own collective power, to build new traditions, and run an offense as well as a defense. Let’s harness our economic power to disrupt white-supremacist-capitalism and build Black community. #BlackXmas is about being self-determined and dismantling existing structures by building new, and more viable, beneficial ones…in the names of our mightiest and most righteous warrior Ancestors, in the names of all those stolen by police violence, in honor of our community, and as a commitment to the generations to come.
Go to blackxmas.org for downloadable #BuildBlack holiday cards, for a listing of #BuildBlack organizations and #BuyBlack resources, and more.