Radio Hosts Call for an Anti-Racism Economic 'Blackout'

Radio Hosts Call for an Anti-Racism Economic 'Blackout'

Published February 11, 2008

Posted Oct. 31, 2007 – Could African Americans put a dent in racism by agreeing not to spend a single nickel on the same day of the week?

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A group of Black radio talk-show hosts believe that Black folks – with an estimated purchasing power near $1 trillion – could force the U.S. government to take a more aggressive stand against the seeming deluge of racial injustices, from the flurry of nooses and hurry to jail Black youths, to racial profiling and predatory mortgage lenders.

Raleigh, N.C., Attorney and radio show host Warren Ballentine, pictured above, says that if African Americans keep their money in their pockets on Friday, they will send a clear message that the Black community is nothing to mess with. He says he got the idea after joining numerous protest marches this year.

"After Jena, [the Louisiana march that drew tens of thousands of people] I decided there's so many things going on in this country as far as [injustices within] the justice system," Ballentine, who calls himself "The People's Attorney," told The Atlanta Journal Constitution

Among other radio personalities who have joined his crusade are Michael Baisden and the Rev. Al Sharpton.

"I'm a lawyer and I'm seeing a lot of people across the board suffer from the mortgage crisis," he said. "I'm asking all Americans to participate, not just Blacks. I'm asking people — if you can — don't spend any money."

With more than 36 million Blacks in the United States, Ballentine says an anti-racism economic boycott can be powerful.

"It's showing togetherness and unity, and it's one thing we haven't shown the federal government in a long time," Ballentine said. "I know this is working because I'm getting death threats and advertisers are starting to worry that they're going to lose money on this day."

Do you think this is a good idea? Will you participate in the economic boycott on Nov. 2? Click "Discuss Now" to post your comment.

Written by BET-Staff

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