Black Americans spent more than $1 trillion
on consumer goods in 2018 alone, according to Nielsen.
Martyr has likened the initiative to the year-long Montgomery bus boycott
of 1955, when Black Alabamans who were legally required to sit at the back of city buses refused to pay to ride them until they were allowed to sit wherever they wanted.
“The only way we’re going to get change is when they fear hurting us like we fear hurting them,” Martyr said in a May video introducing the idea.
The #BlackOutDay2020 campaign started in early May following the February 23 vigilante killing of Ahmaud Arbery
in Brunswick, Georgia, and the March 13 police shooting death of Breonna Taylor
in Louisville. It was introduced about a month before the George Floyd tragedy
that sparked a wave of civic, political, and economic action addressing anti-Black institutional racism.
Since then, city government officials in Minneapolis
, New York
and Los Angeles
, among others, have introduced proposals to defund or restructure the police departments
. President Trump has signed a controversial executive order
on police reform measures. And major corporations
have set aside billions of dollars
for social justice causes
in addition to changing some of their own systemically racist practices
Still, on Friday, Martyr suggested many of the actions politicians and companies have taken in the wake of Floyd’s death don’t go far enough.
“I don’t care about BLM painted across streets
, I don’t care about syrup
,” Martyr wrote on his Facebook page
Friday. “What I DO CARE ABOUT: #JUSTICE for BREONNA TAYLOR; #JUSTICE for VANESSA GUILLEN; #JUSTICE for Elijah McClain
; Tearing down systemic strongholds built to maintain privilege for some and keep others in bondage (mass incarceration, poverty, redlining wage gaps, education, healthy food options etc) … Y’all can have all that other stuff.”