Skip to main content

November 3, 2016, A Day Without Black People: A National Strike & Boycott In Support of Colin Kaepernick & Black Lives Matter

"Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage."
~ Maya Angelou

I will be participating in what I hope will become a nationwide strike and boycott by all black Americans and our supporters on November 3, 2016, Colin Kaepernick's 29th birthday, in support of Colin Kaepernick's protest and Black Lives Matter.  Let's call it "A Day Without Black People."

On November 3, 2016, I will not be going to work.  That's the strike.  I will also not be spending any money.  That's the boycott.    If I had children, I would keep them out of school.  

Clearly the problems of African Americans -- injustice and murder at the hands of the criminal justice system -- are considered aberrations and not AMERICAN problems.  We're told to leave if we don't like America and that Kaepernick's protest is unpatriotic and anti-military.  Clearly America doesn't see African Americans as Americans.  America doesn't see our problems as American problems.  America doesn't see anything wrong with how we are treated in America.

So I think America needs to know what America it looks like without black people, if only for a day.

I understand that not everyone has the luxury of taking a day off work.   Here's what you can do if you can't afford to take the day off:

1) If you can't strike, don't spend any money that day.

2) Take a selfie of yourself taking a knee -- wearing Kaepernick's jersey if you can -- and post it on your social media with one or more of these hashtags:

3) Have a moment of silence  in your workplace or home for all of the black lives lost at the hands of the police and vigilantes like George Zimmerman.  Say their names and pray for them.

4) If you must spend money, write "Black Lives Matter" on your bills when you spend them.

5) Tell everyone on social media that you support A Day Without Black People, even if you aren't black and/or can't take the day off.

6) Have the conversation with co-workers, family and friends about Kaepernick's protest.  Here are some talking points when you hear the usual arguments:

a) Argument;  It's disrespectful to not stand for the national anthem.
Answer:  The NFL only began playing the national anthem consistently when the military started sponsoring military displays at NFL games.  The Supreme Court has upheld as constitutional the right not to salute the flag or engage in shows of patriotism.  When a nation does not live up to its own standards, the people have a right to peacefully protest to hold the nation accountable.  That is what Kaepernick and Black Lives Matter are doing.

b)  Argument: If you don't like America, you should leave.
Answer:  As African Americans, we are a stolen people in a stolen country.  The only people who have the right to tell anyone they should leave American are Native Americans.  Besides, the blood and sweat of our ancestors built this country and the economy on whose backs your people profited.  If anyone should leave, it is the slavers and their ancestors, not the stolen and enslaved and their ancestors.
I believe in my country and the ideas for which it stands, including equal justice under law.  I most certainly will not leave, but will stay and make my country live up to its values.  If everyone left when the country fell short of living up to its values, the country would fall apart.  Right now, my country is not living up to its values.

c) Argument: Kaepernick should do his protest on his own time.
Answer:  What Kaepernick is doing is not illegal, and he is doing it peacefully.  Would you be saying the same thing if you agreed with what he is protesting for?

I'll be the first to admit:  I supported what Colin Kaepernick was protesting for, but I didn't support his method, or the method of Black Lives Matter, for that matter.  I felt that a protest without a clear goal, e.g., the end of a war, the passage of legislation, would be never-ending and ineffective.  Given the backlash against Kaepernick -- calling him unpatriotic, saying that if he doesn't like America he should leave, saying he should just shut up and play -- I believe that the effort to silence Kaepernick is an effort to silence all black people.  It takes a lot for a young black man to be as courageous as Kaepernick is being and take the heat for it.  So here is my individual effort to be as courageous as Colin Kaepernick for all my people.  Instead of being a drum major for justice like Dr. King told us we could be, let's support Colin Kaepernick and be quarterbacks for justice.

See you -- or rather,  I won't be seeing you -- on November 3.



Popular posts from this blog

Retired Man Walking: Too Young to Retire, Too Old to Take Shit

A while back I ran into a friend and fellow professional employed by the State of California, and he offered me his perspective on State employment as a tail-end Baby Boomer like myself -- someone who can't retire because he lacks the requisite age or years of service, but, unlike myself, is tired of taking shit from superiors who don't know what to do with you.

Although my friend gave his permission for me to use his name in this blog entry, I decline to do so because what he does is so specialized that it would not be hard for anyone to identify him as one of the few African American men, if not the only African-American man, in California state civil service who does what he does. For purposes of this blog entry, I will refer to him as he now refers to himself:  Retired Man Walking.

Retired Man Walking, or RMW, has an interesting philosophy he applies to working for the State as a professional who isn't old enough to retire but has been around long enough to know the s…

Hillary Clinton Can Stop Trump -- If She Releases Her Electors

Hillary Clinton isn't going to be President of the United States.  At least not yet.  And not in 2017.

But she can possibly stop Donald Trump from being President by releasing her pledged electors  in the Electoral College to vote for a compromise Republican candidate.

This is part of the strategy of the Hamilton Electors, members of the Electoral College who see that Donald Trump is not qualified to be President.  They argue that the Electoral College's role is not to rubber-stamp the popular vote -- which, in this case, would belong to Clinton -- but to serve as a check on the popular vote to make sure that no one who is unfit assumes the office of President.

According to the Hamilton Electors, named for Founding Father Alexander Hamilton (Yes, he of the very popular musical for which I can't get tickets) Hamilton stated that the Electoral College's test for fitness to be the President was as follows (and I'm quoting):

Election of a Qualified Person: As Hamilton s…

My Prayer and Mantra for 2017 -- Do Not Waste Time on People and Things That Don't Matter

In this era of fake news, fake political candidates, and fake people all around, my prayer and mantra for 2017 is simple:  Do not waste time on people and things that don't matter.

In 2016, I spent too much time and money on things and people who didn't matter.  I allowed myself to become distracted by stuff that, for me and Black Man Not Blogging, didn't really matter for our happiness.  These distractions not only didn't improve the quality of our life together; they decreased it with additional and unnecessary stress.

The good news is that, for the most part, we're okay.  Yeah, Trump and his ilk really suck, but instead of a lot of hand wringing and commiserating, I'm going to do the one thing my late mother She Who  Is Exalted (SWIE) did better than anyone I know:  Play the hand you've been dealt.  My mother was a black female without a college education and with six kids, so playing the hand she was dealt was her survival skill.  Now it will be mine.