#BlackoutDay2020

 Tuesday, July 7, is designated as #BlackoutDay2020, a campaign in which black people and progressive supporters boycott all businesses as a show of solidarity for the racial justice movement.

The movement’s founder, Texan hip-hop artist and activist Calvin Martyr, posted a YouTube video about holding a blackout day that sparked the movement on May 8, 2020. 

Martyr claimed that black people account for $1.2 trillion in annual spending, so withholding spending for a day will help “break free from the chains of financial servility.” 

Martyr also compared the #BlackoutDay movement to the 1950s Montgomery bus boycotts. Instead of boycotting buses, the campaign aims to boycott business, holding a day where “not one black person in American spends a dollar.” Participants are allowed to spend money at black-owned businesses, though.

This day may not last just a day, as the movement’s website states: “we will organize days, weeks, months, and years if necessary” until “the system is broken and we have risen to power as a people.”

Martyr also remarked that the United States is “still being built on our backs,” after saying that the nation was built on backs of black slaves.

The movement, headed by the Blackout Coalition and promoted by Martyr, revealed exactly what they are fighting for: “Our ASK is that we stop being shot down in the streets. Our ASK is that racist legislation be purged from the books, and the cancerous ideology that this country was founded upon be rooted out.” No specific legislation or policies were cited.

The movement has garnered support from public figures, including Chairman and CEO of OneUnited Bank Kevin Cohee.

“As the largest black owned bank in America,” said Cohee, “we’re compelled to play a leadership role to galvanize our community and allies in support of #BlackOutDay2020 and to fight for social justice.”

Along with Cohee, Rapper T.I. and activist Shaun King have pledged their support of #BlackoutDay2020.

Although the campaign claims to seek racial equality and justice, it calls for supporters to racially discriminate against businesses, deeming only black-owned businesses acceptable. 

The revolutionary calls by the #BlackoutDay2020 campaign to uproot the “cancerous ideology” that founded America, though seemingly acts of racial solidarity, only facilitate what they intend to eradicate: unequal treatment based on race.

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Author: Libby Krieger

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