By the end of his life, Martin Luther King realized the validity of violence
Hanif Abdurraqib

The experience of denying…

You’ve presented a very thoughtful perspective on a transitional time. I think it’s important for all Americans to be reminded of how great the struggle has been for the past 250 plus years and what can be learned from revisiting history.

You offer insight by quoting King’s speech to psychologists. “Often the Negro does not even want what he takes; he wants the experience of taking” — MLK

And you end your piece by unveiling the irony of non-violent advocacy. “The people who have the most justifiable anger, the most rightful case for rebellion are the ones most frequently told to settle down, to embrace nonviolence” — Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib

I’d like to suggest a way to achieve the “experience of taking” through non-violence, achieved through the experience of denying.

Years ago, on Tony Brown’s Journal, he and guest football player Jim Brown, discussed a way for the black community to keep wealth within the black community and not allow it to be transferred to the “white establishment” (my term).

The idea was for black professionals to create their own wealth aggrandizement, by first buying hotels the community could stay in when they traveled for business or personal reasons. This would keep the monies that needed to be expended for travel within the community.

Further, the hotels could have black owned businesses typically associated with the hospitality industry housed on hotel grounds. Salons, clothing stores, restaurants, and more, could all be geared to the needs of the community, but once again, designed to keep funds from being siphoned off by “others”.

Though the idea was, in my opinion, spot on, it didn’t materialize and it certainly didn’t start a movement. But the core idea is one advocating a non-violent approach to achieving change.

To expand upon the idea, we can look at the history of warfare for examples of non-violent tactics working to win battles. The most effective of all is siege.

If the 13% to 15% of the American population that identifies as black were to stop spending monies at say WalMart, or to move funds out of Wells Fargo into a Federal Credit Union, the absence of funds would have a huge impact on each corporation’s bottom line. If the denial of funds lasted 2, 3, or more quarters, the CEOs and Board members of each would be on the phone to congress so fast, it would make heads turn.

Include in the denial of funds, the denial of supporting for any Disney property, from theme parks, to ABC, to all ESPN channels, and the media would start to pay attention. And it’s the media that you need on your side to win the battle, and ultimately the war.

The approach does not turn the militarized police against people in the streets as there won’t be people in the streets.

The approach won’t cause the overt destruction of property, but will give the establishment a taste of what it feels like to be denied.

So, by keeping wealth in the community and denying, through siege, profits to major corporations you have a chance to wage a non-violent war against oppression while simultaneously experiencing “taking”.

Again, thank you for your post.