Monday, October 15, 2007


i went grocery shopping today. as i rounded a corner, some black guy in a do-rag saying 'sista, sista' got my attention. i was naturally reluctant to even give him the time of day, but he immediately started talking. and he kind of inched up in my face. ugh. i hate when people do that. and i'll step back, and then they'll step up to me again.

he started talking about making sure i don't buy stuff, 'cuz we're boycotting'....i was like, WHAT??!! boycotting who, what and why?

so he starts telling me that all black people are having some national "blackout" day on november 2, because of recent events such as jena 6 and some other local portland issues where minorities were not treated right.

um, whatever. i'm just not into that. i don't think it's effective. and black people are so disunited anyway that we could never get all of us to actually stop buying things for a cause.
secondly, although there are many black people in portland who care about making a difference in the world, i honestly believe there are more black people in portland who don't. and thirdly, unless all the black so-called rapper/entertainer/role models are going to pay attention to this thing and can commit to stop bling -blinging for one day (is that possible?), then, the above said unconcerned black people probably wont pay any attention either.


Decontee said...

I agree but like you were saying it won't happen. Like you won't see them boycotting for anything important like education more after school programs or stuff like that.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lisa said...

Well, no, boycotting wouldn't work because of people with
attitudes like yours. I'm not saying it's an effective strategy but damn would it kill you to show some support.

I've been reading your blog for a while now and you really are full of self hate. You seem to be obsessed with showing that you're somehow different/better than other black folks.

Lisa said...

^^I'm not saying it isn't an effective strategy either.

The Letter K said...

I agree with Lisa. You rant and moan about how black people aren't united...but you wouldn't even give the movement the time of day.

Or aren't you still black?

Anonymous said...

what makes you think that boycotting will not work? Blacks have come very far in this country by UNITING! Gathering in Jena made a difference! Helping in new orleans made a difference! Speaking out against Imus made a difference! You refusing to boycott because of your mis-belief that others won't is an excuse to be unsupportive of black people. I am dissappointed in this post. I think you should really reconsider your stance on the matter

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Black Girl! You are so right I am not into that crap either. it seems like blacks want to moan when it is something of this nature, but they dont want to boycott for childrens education, or something more profound like not using the word Nigger! oh excuse me ! I mean Niggah sometimes I feel that blacks can get so "Jery Springer"about exceptions to a rule as oppose to the norm. I would like to see blacks boycott drug dealers in their community! Now that is something to support! Its a joke and I will put my energy to better use to make the black community better as a whole not just todays hot topic of the moment. said...

OMG lol... I think all non-drug users "boycott" drug dealers:-)

" I would like to see blacks boycott drug dealers in their community! Now that is something to support!"

another anon said...

The fact that a subsection of a community screw up is no excuse to fold your hands and decide there is nothing worthwhile to fight for. No matter how small you think your voice is - you still have to get it out there in some form or the other. That is ultimately how change occurs - simple steps, determination, a belief in something honourable. If we pick apart every single person out there who is/is not doing his bit..well it will drive us crazy becuase there is absolutely no faultless system.
I try to imagine what the world will be like in say...30 years. And I like to think that it will be hopefully a more tolerant place for my kid's because there IS progress. Slow I know but it's there.

another anon said... more thing. I KNOW it can be frustrating - the thing is - change IS slow and frustrating, you feel like you are standing still. You may not neccessarily see results in your lifetime - and that shouldn't matter because change WILL happen. It is inevitable now. hilarious that guy not realising he was invading your personal space..haha! I get that too at times.

Sparkle said...

Just because you think some black people don't care doesn't mean you should throw up your hands in despair. It wouldn't kill you just to try. The boycott probably would not work because of people with attitudes like yours. You fail to support the black community and their issues and yet you turn your nose at people who are interested in helping our people.

jazzi said...

Oh...there's so much I could say...

You had no idea who he was and what he stood for - all you knew is that he's black and dressed a certain way and called you a sista (are you not one?). People like you are the ones who further "disunite" our people because you're prejudiced.

You're not "into" making change if you could? It's not effective because of naysayers like yourself who don't care.

When I first began reading your blog, I could UNFORTUNATELY relate to a lot of the things you were saying. But since entering my freshman year at Howard University, I find myself disagreeing with you now more than ever before.

I'm only 18 and I have had those same perceptions and, yes, prejudices that you have. But since being on this campus, even though it's only been a short time, I have radically changed and realized that the true ignorant one was ME. Reading your blog is like looking into a mirror of my former ugly self. Hopefully, one day when you look back on past blogs, you'll experience something similar.

Anonymous said...


Well, there's a couple of tangents here...

First is that boycotts aren't usually very effective unless a critical mass of people can boycott something... for example, the bus boycott after the Rosa Parks incident worked because African Americans were a significant percentage of bus riders in that city... and it took quite a while, at that.

Second... you've all received chain e-mails saying you should boycott products made by certain companies because of certain offenses... for racial reasons, animal abuse reasons, labor reasons... the thing is, they're usually a hoax started by some prankster, or the competition... and there's a good chance the boycott being passed along by the man in the grocery store was also something he heard about through a friend, who heard it from a friend, who got it in an e-mail from her cousin, who... back 10 steps in the chain to someone who has nothing better to do with their time than start trouble for no reason at all. I've looked up a few of these on Snopes, etc... and every one I've looked up so far has been a hoax. I'm not saying the man in the grocery store was acting in bad faith... but there's a decent chance there was little or no actual truth behind the boycott.

Third... boycotts by minorities can't really hurt mainstream companies very much... i.e. by the very definition of minority... you're not big enough to hurt them, their market is much, much, much bigger than you... you'd be lucky if half of black (or white, or purple) people agreed to boycott something, and if the word was spread accurately and widely enough, and if the shoppers could remember what to boycott... and after all that, the company only loses 6% of it's sales for a short period of time. The only thing a black boycott can really consistently hurt is specialty black products or businesses... and why would black people want to hurt those products, or those businesses?

But I think the fourth idea is by far the most important...

Back in the closing days of the Beatles, when the Fab Four was touring around on one of their last albums which had a song called "Talkin 'Bout a Revolution"... an arguably "peaceful" song... an anti-war demonstrator approached John Lennon and said something like "Hey, man... come join our protest against the Vietnam War..." Lennon told him no... he didn't want to protest AGAINST the Vietnam War... he wanted to be involved in activities that showed he was FOR peace.

I agree with TBG on this one...

Even if black people were significantly united, they don't have much power to hurt anybody with boycotts... and most of the products or companies they could hurt they wouldn't want to hurt anyway... only situations like Montgomery is where it makes sense to do this. (IN situations like Montgomery, I'm 110% in agreement and support).


The power of deciding what you want and going after it... STRIVING FOR SOMETHING POSITIVE... is MUCH MORE POWERFUL than directing your efforts AGAINST something negative... it might seem like a minor point, but it's really not.

Whether it's "right", or "fair", or "politically correct", or not... demographics are very rarely on the side of black people in this area... and wanting it bad enough, or being united enough very rarely has anything to do with it. It's just simple math. Maybe that's not fair, but it's life.

And if you read between the lines of Martin Luther King Jr's speeches... you'll see over and over again that he always talks about striving for something positive... he focuses on where he wants the world to go... he never focused primarily on the negative. He focused on what positive thing he wanted to accomplish... the negative thing he was fighting against was secondary.

Anonymous said...

That was a good one!!

Aly Cat 121 said...

The reason boycotts and "hoe"tests don't work are not because folks involved are truly sincere and desire real change. And not even because of folks like "That Black Girl" who really is trying to identify with other Africans. It's because of folks . . ummm I mean AGENTS like Mr(s) Anonymous and CardioWhore who spew "information" under the guise of some "innocent" blog identify. AGENTS are everywhere, THEY are the reason grass roots sh*t don't work.

Identify yourself.

another anon said...

Thank you Aly cat 121, you have put it so well. It is called critical thinking and part of this process is to analyse the initial gut feeling or instinct you have about a certain issue/paper/whatever. And MY instincts were screaming "whoah"! No way!..while reading the long post up there by anonymous despite attempts to create a smokescreen using pseudo-intellectual babble. This is because at the heart of the matter lies a divise, destructive message and the overarching impression that leaps out at me is - "Do not fight for what you beleive in or for what will ultimately be of benefit". "You are valueless, you possess no power, you create no impact, you are of no merit.
Let us not be deceievd - no company or organisation wishes to lose ANY customer - the individual and collective value of what any group of people purchase is worth a LOT. Any successful organisation knows this which is why customer relations is always of importance to any business worth it's salt. But I digress. The truth of the matter is - do not be disillusioned; examine history, small things CAN bring about change. Every human has power, do not let anyone tell you otherwise, do not allow anyone to encourage you to devalue or disregard the most vital and powerful assets you own - YOURSELF, YOUR VOICE.

another anon said...

..^^divisive. Not divise.

Anonymous said...

Also anon has his facts very wrong. Blacks spend way more money than whites and have a huge impact on products usage. He talks about speciality products but these so called specialty products are not owned or run by blacks so why should we care about harming them??? He doesn't know what he's talking about.

D said...

"Do not fight for what you believe in..."??? No, the point that was made was that trying to do something positive is much more effective (and noble) than trying to hurt somebody with a boycott. DO SOMETHING POSITIVE, NOT SOMETHING NEGATIVE! This is not brain surgery.

I think boycotts are sometimes appropriate (for black people and white people alike)... but usually they don't work. Cuba is a great example... almost fifty years, and that boycott isn't working... and it's a TOTAL boycott by the United States. We would do much better by exposing them to our culture and tourist dollars... if there had never been a boycott, Castro would not still be in power, guaranteed. Yet still we continue the boycott, even though it is having the exact opposite effect that we desire.

It was said grass roots stuff doesn't work... that's not true... sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't. The Montgomery bus boycott worked. And it resulted in positive change, and a ripple effect which gave a huge boost to the whole movement. But there were specific demographic factors in that situation which favored the desired outcome... a large percentage of the Montgomery bus company's paying customers were black, and by carpooling and not paying bus fares, that hurt the bus company... specifically the company that was doing wrong by allowing and reinforcing discrimination. The punishment VERY DIRECTLY fit the crime.

Now, let's compare that to the man in the grocery store... the provocation was the Jena situation, and so the parties that did something wrong are the High School Principal, who should have given more than a three day suspension for the nooses, and the police, who filed charges too severe for what took place later. Now that we know who should be "sanctioned"... is there any way the the right people (the Jena Principal and/or Police) would feel the sting from that man's boycott?

NO. Not even close. The punishment should fit the crime, and in this case it didn't even come close. It's delusional to think the moral justification for the two boycotts and the intended targets are on the same footing. We're talking two different planets. Wrong was done, but it's nothing that can be addressed with a boycott. It simply just doesn't make sense.

Racism exists... and it should be aggressively confronted wherever it exists. There is absolutely no question about that. But that doesn't mean that every boycott is a good one.

The Montgomery bus boycott was a boycott directly against the party that did something wrong... the Montgomery bus company. If there's going to be a boycott, that's the way to do it.

I never participate in those "don't buy gas this Tuesday" boycotts either... HELLO!!! no matter how many people don't buy gas on Tuesday, they'll make up for it and buy the exact same amount of gas for the week, either on Monday or Wednesday, and it doesn't hurt the oil companies one tiny little bit. It's a total exercise in futility.

It doesn't make sense to waste our energy doing something on principle which has absolutely no positive effect... we should direct that energy in a way that can make a difference.

Sometimes that might be a boycott... but not this time. : )

When I do something to try to change the world for the better (I've got my own little pet causes I work toward, and fighting racism is one of them, I have others...) when I do something, I want it to actually have a postive effect.

A tenet of Zen Buddhism says that it's pointless (and painful) to have strong convictions about the way you want things to be if you have a misunderstanding of the dynamics or reality of a situation. As it applies to this situation... if you have forty units of energy to expend to get something done... you'll get much better results in the end if you direct that energy in a way that achieves a goal... and avoid trying to accomplish things that just don't make sense.

You have MUCH more power to be a positive force in the world with this approach. And wishful thinking, as it relates to end results, is more like beating your head up against a wall. And that hurts. : (

I don't always agree with TBG... but this time she's right.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if some black folks boycotted expensive sneakers, $5000 rims on the 1995 buick, $500 handbag on single-mom's of 5 kids arm, making babies without marriage, then that might be effective. Clean your own house first before cleaning the neighborhood.

Afrodite said...

I wholeheartedly agree! I wore all black in support of the Jena 6 about a few weeks ago but no one made mention of it...or perhaps even cared.

Lol @ being bumrushed in the grocery store!

: JustaDog said...

For the life of me I don't understand why anyone supports violent criminals that are guilty of physical assault, and I don't care what color they are.

Instead of taking a stance against crime this thread has turned into just another racist rant. Shame on you all.

All of us should be against crime and violence, not glorify it. We should be against those that assault others physically, not turn them into heroes.

black girl said...

I think stepping back and evaluating where you're standing on this disunited propaganda would reveal the real issue sis.

In my experience, Black people love black people but there is more propaganda out there that we dont so when we attempt to pull together for a boycott there is this "whatever, we're disunited and I need my vitamin water to function anyway so imma get it" attitude.

Lest we forget we demonstrated in the U.S., the power of the boycott years ago.

New mantra for all of us: Black people love Black people no matter what the white media says. (i.e. Black on Black crime as an "epidemic")

black girl said...

Oh and white girl who made no mention of the hate crime perpetrated against the young black men you just dehumanized: sdfu.


Anonymous said...

Fun with math:

Heres a fun idea. This boycott is worthless. Let’s think about it. First off, you can’t measure it. So how is anyone gonna know if they are even hurt by it. Now, for the sake of argument, lets assume that we can measure it. Lets also assume that every black person in the US chooses to boycott. Lets also assume that all money not spent today will not at some point this year be pumped back into the economy anyway. Now: at $800 Billion dollars a year, blacks are spending around $2.19 billion per day (if you do the math that is about $55 per black person per day). Lets also consider that the amount of money spent by consumers (inclusive of blacks) was around $9.27 Trillion dollars in 2006. By depriving our economy of $2.19 Billion today, you effect the bottom line of this country for the year by about 0.02%. Let’s put that in perspective. If you made $400 a week, and you took a pay hit to the tune of 0.02%, you would be makin about $399.91. $400 a week is about $20,800. After that pay hit it would be: $20,795.10. Ouch.
Whats worse is that this boycott is not even directed, so this 0.02% per annum loss is distributed to every retailer or servicer which blacks do business with. Imagine it like this. If you owned a store that took in $1 Million a year in revenue, after the boycott, you would take in about $250 less each year.

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