Book Excerpt Of The Week: “All God’s Children: The Bosket Family and the American Tradition of Violence.” By: Fox Butterfield

“With the legal system in the hands of whites, the distinction between law an lawlessness became so fuzzy as to be meaningless to many African-Americans. B.O. Townsend noticed this as early as 1877. ‘So often were the slaves whipped and humiliated before each other, often for no cause, that punishment came to be looked on as no disgrace. This sentiment, I am sorry to perceive, has survived the fall of slavery.’

The editor of the Saluda Standard saw it, too. ‘It is no unusual thing, indeed it is almost always the case, that when a Negro is accused of a crime the whole race immediately sides with him. And after a Negro has served his time in the penitentiary and returned to his old haunts, he is received on a footing of equality by his former associates and regarded by some of them as a sort of martyr.’

W.E.B. DuBois detected the process from the black perspective. ‘There can be no doubt that crime among Negroes has sensibly increased in the last 30 years,’ DuBois acknowledged in 1903. But black criminality was not the result of black bestiality and poverty, he insisted. It was the outcome of a history in which whites had made critical errors.

The southern police system had developed in slave times ‘to deal with blacks alone, and tacitly assumed that every white man was ipso facto a member of that police. Thus grew a double system of justice which erred on the white side by undue leniency…and erred on the black side by undue severity, and injustice.’ After the Civil War, whites had tried to use the legal system to reenslave blacks, DuBois added. ‘It was not then a question of crime, but rather one of color, that settled a man’s conviction…Thus Negroes came to look upon courts as instruments of injustice and oppression, and upon those convicted in them as martyrs and victims.'” -From, “All God’s Children: The Bosket Family and the American Tradition of Violence.” By: Fox Butterfield

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The 2008 not guilty verdict in the Sean Bell case evoked outrage, emotion, and debate. It is not an anomaly that the police officers involved in the Sean Bell slaying were acquitted of all charges on all counts in State Supreme Court. I could run out of ink printing the names of people who have been victimized by the inaptly named justice system.

The American justice system has been especially terroristic towards the African American community. Many community members can cite historic and personal accounts to prove this. Therefore, it would be foolhardy (at the least) to turn to a system that has methodically oppressed us, and request that they free us. We can only free ourselves through extreme discipline and intelligent planning.

As a community we have been too compliant with leaders who organize ineffective, delayed reactions. The only strategy that can save us in this last hour is one that calls for a collective code of conduct that will be conducive to improving the conditions of our community, and shifting the paradigm of how we are treated by outside entities. The first step of this code of conduct should be based on economics.

The old adage of “money talks,” still reigns true in the new millennium. Any political scientist worth his or her library card will tell you that: “Economic powerlessness equals political powerlessness,” and conversely “economic power equals political power.” This means that if we continue to allow our wealth to be extracted from our community, we will remain impotent.

The power of the collective “Black Dollar” is often discussed. However, that power has been left unchanneled. Today is the day to change that. A one-time boycott is not going to bring long-term change and respect to our community. Our community has launched boycotts before. Our success and ascension will be based on what we consistently do. For this reason, we should initiate “BUY BLACK FRIDAYS.”

BUY BLACK FRIDAYS is a small step towards our community acquiring power via controlling our economics. Every Friday, people who acknowledge the injustice and oppression that the African American community has been consistently subjected to should do one of the following:

Option #1: Spend $0 on Friday
Option #2: Spend no more than $10 on Friday
Option #3: Only Shop at Black Businesses on Friday
[PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ABOVE OPTIONS CAN & SHOULD BE EXERCISED ON A DAILY BASIS. However, we can all at the very least focus on Fridays. This way we can take a collective stand and build our collective discipline. Please remember that this is only Phase 1!].

To the people who are tempted to label “BUY BLACK FRIDAYS” as racist, I say this: In the big scheme of things, this is about right & wrong, justice & injustice. The African American community is a strong, proud community that has endured the brunt of America’s iron fist. We must stop the pounding. I feel that any fair-minded individual will concur, and join in.

ANY business that is privileged to enjoy the support of the African American community MUST return that support.

I thank you in advance for your effort and dedication.

-Elsie Law AKA Starface

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Quote Of The Day

“Every day out in the street now, I remind myself that Black people in America are oppressed. It’s necessary that I do that. People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while people think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.” -Assata Shakur

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The Fly Or Die Commerce Report: What Americans Spend Their Money On

According to Money magazine, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that Americans currently spend most of their money on housing and transportation.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks down the average percentage of annual spending as follows:
33% on housing
17% on transportation
13% on food
10% on retirement
10% on miscellaneous
7% on health care
5% on clothing and personal care
5% on entertainment

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