Once again, we stand at a critical moment in the history of our struggle for racial and social justice in this country.
The National Leadership Coalition has come together conscious of this historical moment and the challenges it poses for us as a people.
We also are aware of the priority need of unity in work and struggle, clarity of vision and effectiveness of programs to meet these challenges. Therefore, we offer this statement as a framework for discussion and continued and expanded action.
The killing of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teen, and the acquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman, who stalked and shot him point blank, have rightly caused widespread moral outrage and protests.
We have risen up not only in righteous anger and resistance against the brutal and senseless killing of Trayvon, but also in realization that this legally permitted and jury sanctioned killing is part of a historical pattern of the legalized killing of Black people, especially Black boys and young men. Indeed, the legalized killing of Black people has long been in effect.
Tragically, Trayvon Martin is simply one of the latest victims.
Therefore, it is important to understand that our struggle is not only for justice for Trayvon and against Stand Your Ground laws and the state of Florida, although these are certainly central concerns. Rather, our real and larger struggle is for justice and security for all
our sons and our people and against the institutions of American racism.
The Zimmerman verdict brought into sharp and painful focus the vulnerability of our sons and ourselves in a racist society that demonstrates time and time again an unequal, reckless and often depraved disregard for Black life and rights. Indeed, not only are we plagued with police and vigilante violence. At this very moment, everything of value to the Black community is under attack.
We are losing voting districts, and voting rights, housing and health care, and our young are facing a future that offers for the most part, poverty and prison.
Given that racism is systemic, it is obvious we must struggle against it and for racial and social justice on every front: As Paul Robeson said, “the battlefront is everywhere; there’s no sheltered rear”.
And as Fannie Lou Hamer said,” We must constantly struggle to bring justice and right where there is injustice and wrong”.
To wage this struggle well and effectively, then, we must join minds, hearts and hands, harness and use our various abilities, energies and power as a community and direct them in disciplined and strategic ways.
Therefore, we support ongoing struggles and calls for continued and increased struggle on every front. However, we believe that one of the most productive ways to struggle for justice and security and to empower the Black community at the same time is to use our consumer spending in a disciplined and effectively directed way.
We are, therefore, calling on African Americans to use their trillion dollar consumer spending power as an economic and political tool in the service of our struggle for justice, security and due respect in this country.
All recent studies point out that Black consumer spending is at an all-time high, while Black communities suffer the highest unemployment, the lowest median family income, and the highest debt. African Americans still out spend all other ethnic groups, in all categories.
Black people spend more than a trillion dollars annually with American corporations that do not reinvest in Black communities in a meaningful way. Nor do they support any of our legitimate struggles for racial and social justice. By their consistent failure to show reciprocal respect for the interests of the Black community, most American corporations tolerate and condone the institutionalized racism that systematically devalues and destroys Black life and diminishes the opportunities for achievement and success of this generation and those which follow.
Therefore, the Coalition is urging Black people to use our own money more strategically, like every other ethnic group. For we can turn Black consumer spending into real political power if we target and control our spending. Therefore, let’s make where we spend our money a political decision. Let’s begin cutting back on spending in industries and local businesses that receive so many Black dollars, while giving so little back.
As an example, consider the fast food industry where we spend billions every year. Yourblackworld.com reports that African Americans consume more fast food than any other race. That is not surprising, since the research consistently shows that the location of fast food restaurants is based on race, not on income.
As a result there are 6 times as many fast food places in Black neighborhoods as there are in White neighborhoods. At the same time the fast food mega corporations reinvest very little of those dollars back into the Black community.
The Coalition is calling on Blacks to stop spending so freely, and begin to redirect some of those dollars into the valuable independent Black institutions throughout the nation that are struggling with insufficient funds to save our future generations. The Coalition feels that corporations like, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC, Popeye’s, and the others who receive so much from Black consumers, ought to do much more on the level of social responsibility in the Black community. Recently, we have heard increasing complaints from the employees of these corporations who charge that they are being underpaid and exploited.
Let’s Stand Our Ground and begin to turn more of the trillion dollars already in our hands, away from indifferent corporations, like the Florida based Burger King corporation, and begin to put more of those dollars back into the Black community. African Americans can start to demand reciprocal respect by a disciplined and effectively directed spending, and no longer allowing ourselves to be taken for granted.
Look for the independent institutions in your community and organize locally to direct more of the money you would use for burgers and fries to aid independent schools, and youth enrichment organizations. As Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. has said, “lets use what’s already in our hands, and do for self!”
And as Mary McLeod Bethune said, we call upon our people and all people of good will to join us in our righteous struggle and “assist in bringing leadership and strong public sentiment to lead us to the high road, where peace, security and justice will be found for all”.
New York, New York
August 6, 2013
The National Leadership Coalition
Bob Law: National Leadership Alliance, NY;
Zaki Baruti: Universal African Peoples
Organization, St Louis, MO;
Leonard G. Dunston: President Emeritus, National Association of
Black Social Workers, NC;
Rev Calvin Butts: Abyssinian Baptist Church, NY;
Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, Jackson, Mississippi;
Rev. Eugene Carson: National Leadership Alliance, Queens,
Viola Plummer: December 12 Movement, NY;
Kwame Kenyatta, Project Sharing, Mississippi;
Dr. Maulana Karenga: African American Cultural Center (Us), Los Angeles;
Dr. Vibert White: Professor, University of Central Florida;
Akbar Muhammad: Nation of Islam, Chicago.
Dr. Ron Daniels: President, Institute Of The Black World 21st Century.
Eddie Ellis: President, Institute For New Leadership, New York.
Tonight on The LanceScurv Show we go in depth with the University of Central Florida’s Dr. Vibert White Ph.D. on the recently circulated Open Letter To The Black Community by The National Leadership Coalition.
DR. White is going to speak on the strategies necessary to command the respect of the big corporations that take our money for granted as they become even more wealthy without giving back to the Black Community.
Be prepared for a very thorough conversation riddled with the historic facts that confirm that the here and now is critical to take the actions necessary to revive an ailing community that is suffering regardless as to how many high paid entertainers and athletes seem to be making it big.
Modern day slavery is returning as an ever increasing amount of prisons are being built as the laws get even tighter to keep Black men filling them indefinitely.
It’s time to hear some common sense and to get ready to utilize all of our resources to make the change that these compromised politicians only mention in their repetitive jingles and slogans to seduce you for your vote!
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear what the mainstream media doesn’t want you to be exposed to!
The battle for your mind and consciousness continues and we will win as we wake up the sleeping giant tonight for sure!
Time: Thursday, August 8, 2013 @ 10:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Place: The LanceScurv Show <—–Click here at showtime to hear the entire program live on your computer or smartphone!
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