Black Lives Matter has started a campaign to get all the black people in America to boycott all the stores run by white people in America, and shop only those outlets owned and operated by black people.
But don’t worry — that’s not racist. After all, the same people advocating for “BlackXmas” would be quite OK with a “WhiteXmas.” Right?
“We’re dreaming of a #BlackXmas,” tweeted #BlackLivesMatter-LA. @BLMA, as the Daily Caller noted.
So what’s that mean?
Well, the tweet goes on and explains: “…where folks withhold dollars from White capitalism and use resources to #BuildBlackCommunity. Instead of spending, DONATE to a Black organization as a holiday gift for your loved ones or #BuyBlack. Go to BlackXmas.org for more.”
Honestly, the proper American reaction to this ought to be a shoulder shrug.
It’s good to use one’s First Amendment right to protest — even when that protest takes a turn toward deciding where to spend money. After all, Americans are free to spend how they want, free to exercise their personal purchasing powers as they see fit, free to determine whether or not to buy something — oh, wait, except for Obamacare, of course.
But for Christmas shopping?
Well, that’s all personal choice, all individual determination.
So it’s quite fitting that Black Lives Matter might want its members and supporters to put a little money where their mouths are, and stay far away from businesses they believe are counter to their messages and principles. That’s the American way; that’s the capitalistic approach; that’s the constitutional-like manner of living.
The problem comes into the picture when those of other races wouldn’t be as free to live that same freedom dream, absent criticism and cries of outrage.
“This season, more than others, Black Lives Matter is asking people to wake up, to be conscious of our own economic power and to protest — not just in the streets — but in the malls,” wrote Melina Abdullah, a Black Lives Matter organizer, in a 2016 opinion piece for the Los Angeles Sentinel, the Daily Caller noted. “Black Lives Matter is dreaming of and building for a #BlackXMas, where we divest from White corporations and invest in building Black community. Rather than lining the pockets of Trump and other White-supremacist capitalists, donate to Black-led organizations that are building new, liberatory [sic] structures in our communities.”
Well and good. First Amendment freedoms, and so forth and so on.
But by the same token, so should be a #WhiteXmas.
What’s good for a #BlackXmas gander is good for a #WhiteXmas goose. What’s racist or not racist for #BlackXmas is similarly racist or not racist for #WhiteXmas. And sadly, that’s where the breakdown occurs.