Boycott Black Friday? To many diehard shoppers, the concept is downright crazy. In past years, some have elected to stay away from sales out of a desire to pressure large retailers into taking better care of their employees and encourage shoppers to support local businesses on Small Business Saturday. Now, in the wake of a grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, a nationwide movement to boycott the Black Friday sales that traditionally begin on midnight the day after Thanksgiving is taking hold. Amazing deals or not, some are taking the message #HandsUpDontSpend to heart.
According to the Washington Post, there are two hashtags gaining traction on social media outlets, #BoycottBlackFriday and #BlackoutBlackFriday.
— Occupy Mainstreet (@OccupyM) November 15, 2011
— jamalbryant (@jamalhbryant) November 25, 2014
The rallying cry of “No justice, no profits” is being heard in cities across America, with civil rights activists focusing on an audience primarily made up of African Americans. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Reverend Markel Hutchins and other leaders gathered outside the King Center to announce plans to boycott Black Friday sales as well as next week’s popular Cyber Monday online shopping campaign. The wider “No Justice, No Profit” boycott is being organized by the Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition and a group of Missouri religious leaders. The coalition is asking people to show their support for Michael Brown by not shopping throughout the weekend and by silently walking through shopping malls while praying and not spending money.
Reverend Timothy McDonald told the crowd that gathered in Atlanta that boycotting Black Friday and Cyber Monday would send a message that Americans are tired of violence.
“If you have a conscience in America, and if you’re tired of just Americans being shot down in the street, if you’re tired of this militarization that is occurring among our police force, then you need to spend no money this coming Friday, and don’t go on the internet on Cyber Monday. Let’s send a message loud and clear that we are tired of this violence, we are tired of the blood of our children running in our streets.”
— The Root (@TheRoot) November 25, 2014
Even some retailers are planning to take part in Black Friday boycott plans. What do you think? Whether to promote local businesses or to make a point about racial justice, will withholding money by taking part in widespread boycott Black Friday plans may make a difference?
I don’t see how #BoycottBlackFriday is supposed to hurt businesses if we’re only postponing our spending to a later date.
— MAX.ML (@m__little) November 26, 2014
— Renee (@paix120) November 26, 2014
Image courtesy of All Saints Church, Pasadena