Is it fair to say that at this point we’ve exhausted the utility of marching and protesting? Is it fair to say that the gains that can be made from further marching and protesting is minimal? Given our present reality, and the persistent and seemingly uncompromising flow of brutality the white supremacist state of america continues to meter out to black bodies, a flow “traditional” forms of protest has failed to stem, I would like to propose a more radical alternative; Economic Warfare.
The religion of White Supremacy demands the routine, ritual sacrifice of black bodies and it is prepared to pay a notional price for these sacrificial ceremonies in the form of compensatory pay-outs to the families of victims of its executioners. What I wager that it is not so eager to pay would be the price of its economy potential collapsing or facing severe economic pressure if the black community was to withdraw from the mainstream economy in mass numbers. When the white colonialist planters of early america decided that the solution to their labour shortage was to kidnap Africans in mass numbers and import them to the “new world”, they did so for economic reasons. When they discovered that labour solidarity between African and Europeans workers threatened their wealth and manufactured whiteness to destroy the solidarity between both groups, they did it for economic reasons. When elites in the South and North went to war to decide the fate and future direction of the new country, whilst incidentally freeing enslaved Africans in the process, they did it for economic reasons. When the united states government props up dictators and fascist regimes around the world in exchange for unfettered access of US corporations to their country’s resources, it does so for economic reasons. The foundation of empire is economy.
Trade and its dividends greases the wheels of empire. The army, navy, air force, security services, private contractors, police departments, congress, lobbyists. To undermine the economy is to undermine empire itself. The white supremacist media, in its enduring quest to hypnotize the oppressed masses of black folk into docility, regurgitates images of how marching Negros took their punishment peacefully – batons in the face and Alsatian jawlines on the thighs and crotch – before the good white government of white america finally acknowledged their humanity and granted them civil rights and integration. Integration has however also wrought a dependency on the excavation of black wealth to sustain the wealth of american society. On aggregate black Americans can lay claim to be the wealthiest group of Africans in the world at $1.3 trillion, the closest competitor is Nigeria (Nigerian economic ineptitude will be discussed at a later date) at a relatively feeble $500 billion or so, give or take the current exchange rate of the comically volatile naira.
As a group Black americans also share an unfortunate trait with other groups of Africans, a lopsided relationship between consumption and production capacity. An affliction which means that whilst other groups recycle the wealth inside their communities for up to a month, the figure for the black community is a meagre 6 hours. At the present moment the black community globally has become a stepping stone other groups of people use to scale the ladder of wealth. As an oppressed group in america its economy is one of the few but powerful leverages the community has to make its voice heard. That power can only be harnessed however if the community exorcizes its naivety and self defeating thirst for “brotherhood” with other communities. An economic boycott is the first reactive step, followed by building a black integrated economic network that serves its community and starves the predatory dominant society of the black dollars it craves so much whilst treating the patrons behind that dollar with utter disdain.
There’s a reason why none of the mainstream approved civil rights negros recommend a boycott. They are not talking business, finance and how the community can empower itself economically, just more marching and attention seeking. Marching has done its job, it brought visibility to the impunity under which the police operate. Has it stemmed the flow of killings? It hasn’t, bodies continue to drop like dominoes. Each new killing demonstrating a new variety of sociopathy and callousness with which the police regard black lives. Marching has exhausted its usefulness, violence is a last resort so I propose the next best alternative – Economic Warfare. It is not a panacea; it does however represent a critical component of a radical departure from the current endless loop of reactive and ultimately ineffective protests.