|Photo Credit: Olu Oleto|
One path that many people feel strongly about is the boycotting process, and many people bring up the Montgomery bus boycott to prove that this kind of protest is effective.
According to History.com
The Montgomery Bus Boycott, in which African Americans refused to ride city buses in Montgomery, Alabama, to protest segregated seating, took place from December 5, 1955, to December 20, 1956, and is regarded as the first large-scale demonstration against segregation in the U.S. On December 1, 1955, four days before the boycott began, Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, refused to yield her seat to a white man on a Montgomery bus. She was arrested and fined. The boycott of public buses by blacks in Montgomery began on the day of Parks’
This boycott is a staple in Black U.S history, yet many don't take into account the planning that goes into a boycott or understand how a sudden call for a boycott can exclude people and without intention exhibit classism. To assume people have the finances to suddenly change where they spend their money is a bit egregious. What if they buy a certain product because it's all they can afford? Or a call to boycott huge chain store, what if that store is their only means to shop?
One Ms. Vixen reader states in response to a boycott of target
I would love to be apart of the Target boycott, I want to be active in helping change, but I am disabled and to change my shopping routine isn't easy for me. Many stores in my neighborhood don't have aisles big enough for my wheel chair. I'm sure I could ask someone to shop for me, but at such short notice, with no way for me to plan, it makes everything incredibly hard.More strategic planning has to be put into place to make boycotts more inclusive, also consider the length in time it takes for a boycott to work. As stated above the Montgomery boycott took 381 days to succeed, are people prepared to omit something from their life for a year or more?
Our intentions are noble but with a reactionary approach not everyone can be included, and boycott efforts won't last. The first steps should be finding alternatives, then divesting money from companies that will soon lead to change. So before we start huge boycotts lets first buy Black, and create more Black options, then all that want to may be included in revolution process.