Some protesters in opposition to the Ferguson grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson following the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown are now threatening to boycott businesses nationwide on Black Friday “unless they are black-owned.”
“I don’t plan on shopping at all. I don’t plan on supporting any of the businesses unless they are black-owned in light of Ferguson. I believe that we have to come together during this time and support one another. Unless you are black-business owned, I won’t be supporting you on Black Friday at all,” one woman told WPIX-TV.
“It’s time for us to support each other – our heritage, our culture. We need to stand firm together at this point,” another woman said.
So why boycott the businesses on the busiest shopping day of the year? Some have suggested the day can be traced back to the days of slavery in which traders sold slaves at a discounted price to plantation owners preparing for the winter.
But the first use of the phrase “Black Friday” was not actually used until nearly 100 years after the abolition of slavery in the U.S., according to the fact-checking website Snopes. The name originated in 1951 and referred to the mass number of workers calling into work sick, hoping to score a four-day weekend.
A decade later, police in Philadelphia began using the name to describe the overwhelming number of shoppers who would descend on the city the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. The Army-Navy football game was also held in the City of Brotherly Love that weekend, adding thousands more to the masses. Philadelphia reporters covering those events used the name liberally to describe the busy weekend and from there spread to the rest of the country.
But political analyst Basil Smikle warned consumers planning to boycott that what they perceive to be a good cause could cause harm instead.
“It’s difficult for folks to sort of take a step back and understand that there is good but also some harm that they could be doing as they’re expressing their outrage. In terms of a specific type of boycott, particularly on Black Friday, again I think there is an historical connection there but we also want to make sure that with respect to black businesses and black workers we’re also not hurting them.”
Others have taken to social media to express their frustration. On Twitter, Black Friday boycott proponents are using “#BoycottBlackFriday,” “#BlackoutBlackFriday”
Despite calls for a nationwide boycott, the National Retail Federation still estimates more than 140.1 million Americans (about 61 percent) will take to the stores either Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
Courtesy of the Blaze