Reversing the 460-Year White “Boycott”
By Dr. Ridgely Abdul Mu’min Muhammad
Dr. Ridgely Mu’min Muhammad Interviewed on Christmas Boycott 2015, called by The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan; on radio station WUTU 88.3 FM Sasser, Ga Nov. 13, 2015; Up with Jesus, Down with Santa. Reversing the 460-year White Boycott against Black progress.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on 10-10-15 at the “Justice or Else” rally in DC asked us to stage a nationwide boycott against unnecessary Christmas spending this year. To mount a successful boycott campaign we should take the advice of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who taught us as part of the Muhammad Economic Blueprint, that we should “Observe the operations of the white man. He is successful.”
The white world has conducted a most effective and successful boycott against Black economic advancement that has been sustained for 460 years. By definition “boycott” as a verb means “withdraw from commercial or social relations with (a country, organization, or person) as a punishment or protest.” As a noun boycott means “a punitive ban that forbids relations with certain groups, cooperation with a policy, or the handling of goods.”
For the first 310 years (1555 to 1865) the white race boycotted the humanity of Black people by stealing them from their homeland and placing them in perpetual slavery in the West. Whites worked them to death without paying them a dime, as though they were being punished for some crime. The white man did this all in the name of “Jesus” through Papal Bulls (decrees) laid down by the Pope, who claimed to be the “Vicar of Christ” and branded Black people “enemies of Christ.”
In the Papal Bull of 1452, Pope Nicholas V directed King Alfonso V of Portugal to “capture, vanquish, and subdue the Saracens, pagans, and other enemies of Christ,” “put them into perpetual slavery,” and “take all their possessions and property.” Acting on this papal privilege, Portugal continued to traffic in African slaves, and expanded its royal dominions by making “discoveries” along the western coast of Africa, claiming those lands as Portuguese territory.
When the Americas were “discovered” by Christopher Columbus in 1492, another pope, Alexander VI, issued a papal document, the bull Inter Cetera of May 3, 1493, “granting” to Spain the right to conquer the lands that Columbus had already found, as well as any lands that Spain might “discover” in the future. This laid the spiritual groundwork to support the elimination of the human rights of Africans and Native Americans, all “in the name of Jesus.”
In 1865 open slavery was abolished and the physical chains of slavery were broken only to be replaced with a form of economic slavery, where whites decided that they would underpay us for our labor, but never buy products or services from us at a fair price. Since we had to give our money back to them to receive goods, they could and did jack the prices up so they would get all the money back. Further, when we tried to do business with each other, they made laws—included in the so-called Black Codes (or Jim Crow Laws)—against such entrepreneurial efforts.
Nine of these Black Codes were presented in the book The Secret Relationship Between Black and Jews, Volume II:
- Blacks could not be employed in any jobs other than plantation labor without a specific license granted by a judge, and the employer had to be white.
- All Blacks had to make binding one-year contracts with planters within the first ten days of January, after which written permission was required if Blacks wanted to leave the property.
- Blacks were prohibited from buying or renting farmland except in designated all-Black (but white controlled) areas. Blacks could be barred from entering whole towns, or allowed entry only at designated times with a pass stipulating specific activities.
- So-called vagrancy and “idle” laws were established specifically to ensnare any Black man who was not on a plantation or headed to one. Blacks in the process of seeking work could be assailed, incarcerated, whipped, and then auctioned off into peonage to any white man who paid their fines.
- Every contract required at least one party be a white man for it to be valid.
- Black testimony was prohibited in court, so a contract made by a Black person could not be enforced if a white man chose to dishonor it.
- Blacks were not allowed to bear arms for their own use, so hunting (with guns) was off-limits, as was basic self-defense.
- South Carolina required that any Black man entering the state had to, within twenty days, have two white men post a bond guaranteeing his good behavior.
- Blacks were forbidden to sell farm products like flour, cotton, hay, rice, peas, wheat, etc., without the written permission from a white man, thus disallowing Black agri-business and eliminating Black competition.
These Black Codes were enacted after the 1877 Compromise, which removed Union troops from the South and allowed white people to do whatever they wanted to Black people. A new method of control was established where the former slave masters got the general body of whites to double as “Jim Crow deputies” and act under a set of customs to undermine Black development. In essence, the plantation fence was extended to include the whole country.
So today white lawmakers, law enforcement agencies, lawyers, judges, and common snitches continue their undercover roles as “Jim Crow deputies” to enforce the economic boycott. When the common snitches see Black folk trying to use some means of escaping their economic status or caste, the lawmakers get together and outlaw certain activities that the Blacks may be using to break out and they put in place a plan to shut them down (boycott). Of course as written, these laws and ordinances seem to apply to all citizens, but in reality they are only or mostly applied to Blacks. (Think Eric Garner, who was targeted and killed for “illegally” selling cigarettes.) The white law enforcement agents simply do not see any white offenders, but are on the hunt for any Blacks that seem to violate the statute.
For instance, there may be a health code on the books that should be applied to all restaurants; however, a white restaurant may be given an “A” rating, while a Black restaurant is given a “B” rating—and only the white inspector can tell the difference.
Even with the various Jim Crow laws and regulations, by 1910 Blacks owned 16 million acres of land, established 60+ all Black towns, and under segregation made the all-Black sections of predominantly white towns thriving and prosperous. One such community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was called “Black Wall Street,” where 600 Black-owned businesses thrived until they were bombed and destroyed by American military aircraft in 1920 (boycott enforcement).
Then came the 1960s, where Civil Rights Laws were put in place to outlaw discrimination in certain spheres of society. No longer could whites not hire you because you were Black or not allow you to shop in any store because of your race. However, there are no laws on the books that require white people to purchase at Black stores. The result of this “integration” is that Black dollars were gladly accepted in white stores, but white people refused to return the economic favor and purchase goods at Black-owned business, i.e. whites boycotted Black businesses.
Under segregation Black communities like North Baton Rouge, La., had 16 Black-owned grocery stores, 6 restaurants, 3 ice cream stands, 5 service stations, 6 auto repair/parts stores, 2 motels, 4 dry cleaners, 4 cab companies, 1 bus company, 2 drug stores, 2 upholstery shops, 4 medical doctors/dentists, 2 realtors, 2 funeral homes, a movie theater, insurance company, shoe repair shop, photo shop, bank, printing press, and lumber yard. Now all of these businesses are gone. The white boycott was effective.
So now, without the prosecutions of the murderers of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, and others, the cry is “Black Lives Matter.” Yes, Black lives matter, but Black dollars count. Since white folk seem to not understand equal justice under the law, maybe they will understand what to do when we withhold our dollars. If Black people institute an effective boycott of white businesses this Christmas season, white people will not only understand the need for “justice under the law” but also see what it feels like to be broke. Let us “redistribute the pain,” as Dr. Martin Luther King said, through economic withdrawal.
In the Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm gave us a glimpse into this “hidden” boycott. When he was the only Black student in his 8th grade English class, he told his white teacher that one day he wanted to be a lawyer. His teacher said: “Malcolm, one of life’s first needs is for us to be realistic. Don’t misunderstand me, now. We all here like you, you know that. But you’ve got to be realistic about being a nigger. A lawyer—that’s no realistic goal for a nigger. You need to think about something you can do. You’re good with your hands—making things. Everybody admires your carpentry shop work. Why don’t you plan on carpentry?”
Reverse this white boycott against Black businesses and economic development. If white folk can boycott us from generation to generation since 1555, we can surely return the favor from November 26th to January 2nd.
(Ridgely A. Mu’min Muhammad, Ph.D., is an Agricultural Economist, and member of the Nation of Islam Research Group. Visit them online at https://noirg.org and join the conversation on FaceBook.com/NOIResearch and Twitter @ NOIResearch)