Typically I like to set the scene for where I am mentally and physically when the topics I write about enter my mind. Today I’m just going to rip the bandaid off.
Unpopular Opinion. BOYCOTTING DOES NOT WORK!
When I woke up this morning, I picked up my phone and went straight to TikTok. The first video I saw was a young woman pleading with the black community to boycott because the algorithm was punishing blacks and black allies for pointing out racism. This same algorithm was allowing racist and prejudiced content makers to continuously post under the “freedom of speech” clause. She was right, the algorithm was quite white. But Just as quickly as I agreed with her, I grew angry over Boycotting for equal and fair treatment AGAIN!!!
As far back as I can remember, Boycotting was always the peaceful answer to change. But as far as I can remember, we have been boycotting for the exact same things. In just the little minute that the young lady asked for solidarity in order to loudly voice our desire to be treated equally, she also brought about my angry epiphany. We, the black people of the United States, are in a domestically abusive relationship with the world and the cycle that exists as a result of this abusive relationship is why Boycotting is not work.
Right now you are probably squinting at my words and reading with a side eye. We are able to ride the bus in the front without giving up our seats. We are able to go to any school that we want to. We are able to live anywhere, eat anywhere. Those things must mean that boycotting has worked! Right???? Ask yourself this one question, when we boycotted, was it only to sit down or was is for absolute equality and inclusion? Why are we having to boycott one civil rights issue at a time? Why was the one time we boycotted not enough to insure Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness? The Simple answer is that America has been and continues to be abusive.
In an abusive relationship there is the batterer (America), and the victim (the black/POC community). Illawarra Committee Against Domestic Violence suggests that there is a cycle of abuse that occurs. The cycle consists of Tension Building, Acute Explosion, and then the Honeymoon phase inevitably leading back to the Tension building phase.
In the Tension building phase, the Batterer exhibits behavior such as property destruction (ie. Tulsa Race Massacre), Put-Downs (ie. The use of “N” word and other words to degrade), threats (ie. The Capital storming), criticizing (ie. “they should’ve complied or dressed this way”), and nitpicking. The Victim’s response includes agreeing (ie. submissiveness and taking on new names and religion), Reasoning (ie. countless movies and stories in which we paint a picture that we hope they can understand), and General feeling of walking on eggshells (ie. not visiting certain areas, taking on the burden of not agitating the abuser).
The next stage in the cycle of abuse is Acute Explosion. The batterer hits, humiliates, imprisons/traps, rapes, beats, and destroys more property; while the victim continues to try to reason, protects self any way they can and fight back (riots), or the most common in history is that the victim will leave and remove themselves in order to teach a lesson (boycott). All of this is followed by the Honeymoon phase. This is where America apologizes, Promises reform/change, gives in to the current demand (changing laws little by little) , even Cries about not being racist. The victims (POC) accept the apology, feel happy and hopeful because of the promise of change and reform, and return back into the relationship with America, hopeful accepting the small change as a big step in the right direction. Then the process starts over again.
Somehow, abusers always find another way to abuse. Somehow, America re-invents the racist wheel. Somehow the world continues to deny us equality and acceptance. There was slavery, then Jimcrow, then red lining. The abuse goes on and on. we as POCs boycott and remove ourselves and then go right back to the people/group/system hurting us because we have no choice.. 60 years plus of boycotting and we are still boycotting the same thing. This is why I say Boycotting doesn’t work. While Boycotting is a very harsh reminder that the world needs us, it doesn’t address the bigger issue. Assuring Equality and fairness is not the victim’s responsibility, it’s the responsibility of the abusers. The burden to assure that the right to life, liberty and justice prevails is in the hand of those in power. Those in power have continuously perpetuated this cycle of abuse and because we as POC have no place to turn, we accept the bare minimum and take America back.
We are caught in a vicious cycle and all the statistics point to the inevitable of the abused/victim losing their life at the hands of the batterer. POC are losing their lives at the hands of america, and temporarily holding our services and resources aren’t working. Boycotting isn’t working. The asian community started a hashtag against asian hate and within months anti asian hate laws were passed. The Black community has been Hash tagging since the underground railroad and it seems that the only changes that have been made have been incentives written into bills and laws that reward and encourage inclusion, without necessarily providing a safe space to thrive independently.
New unpopular opinion. Boycotting ALONE, does not work…. But what other options do we have? Although my thoughts weigh heavy on my mental, I will continue to black out whenever it is called for. But I will always be thinking, “what’s next?”
Thank you for allowing me to vent. Sending every one love, hugs, and purple hues.
#Nowlisteningto James Brown : Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud