Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Right Tool for the Job

Cartoon satirizing the outstanding effectiveness of the
Black Economic Boycott, a potent weapon mysteriously
abandoned by the struggling Black community.

Cynthia He - Do you think nonviolent resistance is an effective form of protest?

Muhammad Rasheed - Based on how the nonviolent protest model is being used today, it forces me to read into the question the assumption that the OP is specifically referring to the ‘pacifist’ aspect of the resistance form. Other than the national (or even international) attention on the cause and the making fun of your political foes on Twitter, there has to be some kind of “sting” involved that will pressure the opponent to take your demands seriously in a timely manner, otherwise the protest effort will be impotent.

For example, within anti-racism activism, the pacifist stance all by itself means nothing at all against a bullying, murderous foe who gleefully hung Black people from trees as “peculiar fruit” for over a century as the originator of the modern era’s domestic terrorism. A stoic-faced pacifist protest that was 100% all words with no bite would do nothing but encourage more sadistic, hate-fueled violence against the protesters. Fortunately, the early Civil Rights Movement DID have that bite to go along with their commitment to nonviolence, and it was very effective at that. Two communities in Alabama used the power of the Black Economic Boycott to force their enemies to cave to their demands:
Without raising a single hand, both of these Alabama Black communities caused their political foes to panic and weaken far more efficiently than even the deadliest fire arm by striking them in their savage, wealth-hoarding pockets. By its nature, racism is an anti-Black economic system and the Black communities merely "fought fire with fire" by withdrawing their dollar. Tellingly, the white racist aggressors believed themselves naturally entitled to Black wealth as some kind of “superior master race” privilege perk while they oppressed by law and by rope, and yet, in the end, it all came down to the power that money affords.

This is the lesson in how to conduct a successful nonviolent resistance movement — make sure the compromised ‘crony capitalist’ political leaders you hope to influence receive the sting where they fear it the most.

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