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Monday, April 18, 2005


I've read a lot about boycotts, but I wonder if anyone is taking them to heart? I know that money really does talk and it makes a lot of BS walk. So why aren't we doing more of them to get what we want from our government?

For example: If we know that Fox News is really Faux News, why aren't more of us contacting Fox's sponsors and saying, "I won't buy your product/service/equipment anymore until you pull your advertising from that network".

Or stop patronizing Wal-Mart, because the money they get from you goes to issues, think tanks, political organizations, and politicians which do not have your best interest in mind. In fact, the Bradley Foundation is notorious for getting people of color to shill for right-wing policies. Additionally, how can you shop at a place with such poor labor practices, that they actually have an employee's manual that advises an employee how to apply for social service benefits (which Bush continues to cut on a daily basis, mind you) because they are telling their employees up front, "we're not going to pay you what you're worth"? Not to mention they are constantly going to court to defend themselves against charges of discrimination against women and people of color in their employment practices.

Dear people, the power of speaking with your money is strong, awesome, powerful. And it cannot be denied - because those who are taking your money under these schemes, can't survive without your money.

I've worked in the field of Civil Rights and EEO for almost sixteen years. I could never effect any changes in the workplace until I started issuing violations to offenders that cost them money, and a good deal of it, with compounded interest. When an offender has to pay out of pocket, with no other sources of revenue coming in, he or she thinks twice about hurling abuse, discriminating, or oppressing anyone else. He/she remembers that hit they took in the wallet because of their bigotry, their ignorance, their greed and their need to feel superior to others.

So, the same concept is in play at this point in time. Do you have to shop at Wal-Mart? Because everytime you do, your money goes towards the facilitation of school vouchers, the supporting of right-wing think tanks paid to formulate ways of keeping minorities and women in varying states of oppression, the facilitation of class warfare, and the rise of the religious whack jobs like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson. You can best believe that if the money train were cut off, Robertson, Dobson and Falwell would be banging on the White House door and protesting every social injustice they could think of. Every dollar you give them allows them to continue with labor practices not tolerated anywhere else in this country, not to mention the busting of labor unions who fight for the rights of the average worker.

Do you have to watch Faux News Network? Every time you switch on to watch Hannity, you probably spend money on products from ads you've seen on that channel, and allow Rupert Murdoch to complete his monopolization of American Media. How did we allow an Austrailian to monopolize the American Media. Do you think Time Warner can go to England and monopolize the BBC without a fight?

Do you have to listen to Rush Limbaugh, Vannity or Colmes, or Michael Savage? Does Bill O'Reilly need you as a supportive audience? Most of us with any sense of intelligence, don't waste our time listening to any of these, ahem, "impartial journalists" {sarcasm}.

I had the privalege of attending a conference where Rev. Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was the keynote speaker. Before you bash on her about protesting gay marriage, please hear me out.

Rev. King spoke about substituting the word "opportunity" as in 'equal opportunity' for the word "exchange" - as in 'equal exchange'. So much is being done in Washington to keep America divided, rather than engaging one another in "equal exchange" because the opportunity is not being allowed. There are a few people in America that loves the fact that she is divided, polarized and has no common ground, and keeps us at one another's throats while they rape, pillage and decimate the nation under the radar, because we're not paying attention. We're consistently being taken out by weapons of mass "distraction" and lose focus on where we're spending our money, and where we have our power. The Theocrats know this - if we start paying attention to their actions and start cutting off the money, we get back our country and restore to her honor, respect and dignity.

There are those who want America to point her finger at other countries for sins, she herself is guilty of. You know, like selling WMDs to the dictator our government created. Trying to impose democracy on another country while eliminating it in our own back yard. Appointing an individual as U. N. Ambassador, while he has consistently howled at how "useless" the United Nations is. Telling other countries to treat its citizens better while America has starvation, homelessness and no universal health care for her citizens, who are divided by race, gender, sexual orientation and economic class. The world sees this and think "How dare YOU!"

And until such sins are exposed and repented, and we humble ourselves to remember that every human being on this earth, despite their actions, and despite the fact that it only takes one incident to make us just like those we despise, the world will continue to hate our country. There is no "equal exchange" among us. We should not be content while someone else is suffering. Lord knows, we shouldn't be so eager to profit off someone's plight. Some time ago, someone thought they were superior and those of us of color or different gender, were branded as "inferior" when the truth is, God created all equally.

So where does this fit in with "Speaking with your money"? It fits in where you start identifying who is for social justice, protecting the environment, providing a quality public education, affordable housing in a decent neighborhood, universal health care and honoring our senior citizens, widows and orphans by protecting and improving the safety net they have that ensures their survival (Social Security). We speak with our money when we refuse to spend it in any store, corporation or institution that supports policies that are designed to make the rich richer at the expense of the poor.

We speak with our dollars when the MNBA sends you a credit card offer (after they paid Congress to make sure they will bleed you dry on the credit cards you already have) and you return the offer with a "Return to Sender: Why should I help you become more profitable while you send me to the Poor House?" (or stronger language). I've actually done this, and the credit card companies are emailing me like crazy, begging me to accept their credit card. Not when I know I'm being set up for a trap.

We speak with our money during election time, when that member of Congress or the Senate, who voted on legislation designed to increase the economically hard time for all (like the Bankruptcy Bill) comes a'knockin'. You know your incumbent Congress person is going to come knocking at your door, looking for a campaign contribution. In fact, if you go to DC to see your Congress representative, don't be surprised if they don't have time to see your behind, unless you gave them a boatload of money for their last election. But, just in case they decide to give you some face time, you should be armed with their voting record when they do. Tell them to justify your giving them another nickel by explaining their votes on the Bankruptcy Bill, Medicare and the Terri Schiavo issue.

Speak with your money. When you start to feel helpless, remember you can always speak with your money. Hold out for "Equal Exchange" for all. Those are the principles upon which America was built and those are the principles for which we fight. It may get inconvenient or even difficult, but honestly, do you think we can get anymore inconvenienced than paying $3 a gallon for gas? When you can't hardly buy groceries to feed your family because the utilities are going to get cut off, or you can't take your sick relative to the doctor because you have no health care?

Can you be anymore inconvenienced when your job is outsourced overseas, and you have nothing when the credit card companies come knocking on your door demanding you pay up, and damn the fact you lost your job?

We have to remember the power of the boycott and speaking with our dollars. We can protest, write letters to Congress (who have shown how arrogantly they will ignore the demands of the people and vote however they please, ususally selling their vote to the highest bidder) but you will get noticed when these individuals notice the money trail drying up.

Take back your power. You can rant and wail, blog even - but speak with your DOLLARS. You've worked too hard, and have gone through too much to be told that no one gives a damn about you, or your family. I do. That's why I wrote this. Speak with your dollars. And in a time where the actions of common criminals is being touted as being a PATRIOT or a BELIEVER, the most Christian thing you can do in the face of such BLASPHEMY, is to speak with your money.


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