Holiday Shopping Boycotts Condemn State Violence Against Blacks and Promote Black Economic Power

By Sameer Rao Nov 27, 2015

For a second year the #NotOneDime online campaign is urging people to skip "non-essential" shopping from Black Friday (November 27) through Cyber Monday (November 30). The seasonal boycott was initiated last year by Urban Cusp Magazine founder Rahiel Tesfamariam to protest the non-indictment of Darren Wilson, the White police officer who fatally shot unarmed Black 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. This year’s campaign, backed by Urban Cusp, Hands Up United and the faith-based PICO Network, compels supporters to use Black Friday as a day of resistance and service to racial justice. On its website,, organizers note that Black people in the United States have an annual buying power of $1.1 trillion and urge individuals to commit to "divestment from oppressive systems, as we strategically invest in our collective uplift." The site also lists demands for corporations including:

  • Divest from the private prison industry and reinvest a percentage of earnings and profit in supporting organizations that are doing racial justice work. 
  • Develop and release an annual corporate racial justice report disclosing any/all prison and law enforcement related investments, percentage breakdowns of employee wages and promotions, hiring practices related to minorities, racial makeup of executive leadership, healthcare access provided by the company and employee turnover. 
  • Hire 25-40% local residents and returning citizens to ensure a fair racial representation of the local community and a commitment to “banning the box” in the company’s hiring practices. 

Those using the #NotOneDime hashtag on Twitter are pushing for a full boycott but urge those who still plan to shop to spend their dollars with Black-owned businesses. A sampling:

A similar hashtag, #Not1dime, has emerged on Twitter but does not appear to be formally connected to #NotOneDime.

Supporters of a separate holiday shopping boycott are using the hashtags #RedistributeThePain and #JusticeOrElse on Twitter. Both hashtags stem from declarations Minister Louis Farrakhan made in connection with the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March. #RedistributeThePain appears on the Nation of Islam leader’s own social media page. #JusticeOrElse repurposes the 2015 Million Man March slogan.

"You’re either going to treat us right, or we’re going to withdraw from you our economic support," NewsOne quotes Farrakhan as saying in a September interview with Roland Martin on affiliate TVOne. 

This week, amid reports of Minneapolis White supremacists shooting people protesting the police killing of Black 24-year-old Jamar Clark and the release of a video that shows White Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shooting Black 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times, Farrakhan and MC/activist Jasiri X tweeted:

Last year, Black Friday sales decreased by 11 percent. At the time, Walmart workers were striking and boycotts by #NotOneDime and the Black-Hollywood-based Blackout for Human Rights were in effect,