"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."
- James Baldwin
The world has been roused to action as we watch in terror as genocide of the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank is broadcast real-time over social media. Veils of Western Imperialism are being lifted, and what's underneath has many of us in states of shock and horror.
As resounding calls for ceasefire in Palestine are actively rejected by our government officials in Canada and the United States, the illusions of the role of elected governments, our faith in the validity of information peddled by mass media, and the shape of what we thought was democracy are being shaken. Freedom-fighters and truth-tellers have been trying to wake us up to these realities since the beginning and for those who haven't listened to their calls, now is the time that we have no choice but to hear.
Since they won't listen to our demands, maybe they'll listen to our money.
This year more than ever, we're asking Melanin Rising supporters to disrupt the system by refusing to participate in consumerism this Friday, September 24 and stand in solidarity with Palestinians. This is a global call to resist being complicity with genocide, apartheid and state-sponsored human rights violations.
"In South Africa, we could not have achieved our democracy without the help of people around the world, who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the apartheid regime... The same issues of inequality and injustice today motivate the divestment movement trying to end Israel's decades-long occupation of Palestinian territory and the unfair and prejudicial treatment of the Palestinian people by the Israeli government ruling over them."
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu
This November 24 is widely known as Black Friday, an annual American ritual of consumerism marked by discounted sales and frenzied buying in advance of the Christmas season. Popularized in the 1980s and constructed to boost retail sales so their books would show a profit, or be "in the black" (as opposed to deficit, or "in the red"), Black Friday generally benefits larger corporations.
Although Black Friday was originally observed in the US the day after American Thanksgiving, it has spread to Canada and has extended from one day to a 4-day period through what is now being called "cyber monday".
There is a long history of Black liberationists speaking up in solidarity with Palestinians. From Angela Davis to Malcolm X to Nelson Mandela, there has been a widespread recognition that the fight for liberation for Black people is inextricably bound to the liberation of Palestinians and all oppressed peoples around the world.
As a values-based, artist-owned small business, there is risk in asking people not to spend their money with Melanin Rising this Friday, but there is more at risk if I don't operate according to these values. Solidarity is crucial to collective liberation and there have been resounding calls for a global consumer boycott this year.
In solidarity with the BDS movement and a call for global resistance to the genocides happening in Palestine and the Congo which are directly linked to Western Imperialism and corporate greed, I encourage you to join us in exercising our purchasing power to resist complicity in these crimes against humanity.
By collectively refusing to spend money on Friday the 24th, we temporarily disrupt global capitalism.
While the main goals of #boycottblackfriday and Buy Nothing Day are to refrain from making any purchases, many small businesses and independent artists rely on revenue generated this time of year to support them through the leaner times. Revenue from small businesses goes directly to supporting living expenses for the owners, and profits are put back into local communities more so than multinational corporate entities. Ideally, it would be great to support small businesses consistently year-round, but it's important to still take into account our current economic reality.