We are approaching that magical time of year when Americans spend money that they do not have in an effort to shower their loved one’s with gifts. As with most things, African-Americans have a peculiar relationship with Christmas. Many within our community not only embrace the occasion, but also take every opportunity to joyously remind you that “Jesus is the reason for the season”, while others take an oppositional position that would make Ebenezer Scrooge blush.
Those who have politicized the Christmas season propagate their belief that African-Americans participation in the Holiday works against their best interests as it causes them to support the very people and system that has oppressed them for nearly 400 years.
I think that the calls for African-Americans to abstain from Christmas are at their best foolhardy and unrealistic. Those segments of our community making this call are going to find themselves as frustrated this year as they have been in past years and are destined to be in the future. Dare I say that they are slightly crazy because they fail to understand that “If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got.” In their case, they have received failure every year as droves of African-Americans spend their money Christmas shopping.
It is time for the Nationalist community that has repeatedly attempted to get African-Americans to stop supporting those who have not only worked to ensure, but also profited from their marginal politico economic status to abandon their current course that reminds one of Nancy Reagan’s infamous ‘Just Say No’ campaign.
A much more productive tactic is to instruct African-Americans what they should say yes to. Considering that the ultimate goal of Black Nationalists economic plan is to circulate the Black dollar within the African-American community, a much more productive tactic is to propose a 1-to-1 ratio, heck even a 10-to-1 ratio would be an improvement in regards to the monies Blacks spend outside and inside of the community. Put simply, maybe we should consider a campaign prodding those who are bound to extend the tradition of spending truckloads of money this coming Christmas to spend a portion of those dollars within the African-American community. A call could be made that requests that for every $10 African-Americans spend with businesses outside of the community that they voluntarily spend $1 with a black business.
Now I am certain that many are aiming for a total boycott of Christmas and there is no doubt that they have valid points, however, at this moment such a staunch stance is going to result in continual failure. Many African-Americans are either unaware of or paying little attention to their demand. The only way of salvaging the spirit behind the Boycott Christmas movement is to approach it via a milder form that encourages those who are spending their monies this holiday season to make a concerted effort to circulate a few of those dollars among their own.
James Thomas Jones III, Ph. D.
©Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2015.