Black Lives Matter Launches 6th Annual ‘Black Xmas’ Campaign To ‘Divest From White Capitalism’
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Black Lives Matter Launches 6th Annual ‘Black Xmas’ Campaign To ‘Divest From White Capitalism’

Black Lives Matter launched its sixth annual ‘Black Xmas’ drive over the extended Thanksgiving weekend, encouraging allies and people of color to “divest from White capitalism” and “invest in Black community.”

Canvassers began targeting shoppers in the Los Angeles area on Black Friday, calling for “no spending with White companies” through New Year’s Day.

“Part of the Black Xmas campaign is to educate black folks about what we’re doing, about the importance of holding back our dollars during this holiday season,” said Jan Williams, an SEIU member who heads BLM’s Black Xmas shopper education outreach program.

Dr. Melina Abdullah, lead organizer of BLM’s L.A. chapter (BLM-LA), recently described Christmastime as a “frenzy of consumerism that’s rooted in white capitalism,” claiming America’s capitalist economic system was designed to oppress black people. BLM established Black Xmas in 2014 to promote more collectivist approaches to economic liberty for communities of color.

On her weekly radio show heard on KPFK 90.7 FM, Abdullah explained that the yearly effort urges people to donate to black-led liberation organizations in the name of loved ones as holiday gifts; move their money from “white corporate” financial institutions to black-owned community banks; and patronize black-owned businesses “that represent our interests and collectively benefit us.”

According to BLM’s Black Xmas website, the seasonal exercise “is not a call to replace White capitalism with Black capitalism, but to engage in ‘cooperative economics’ (the Kwanzaa principle of Ujamaa).”

“It is meant to spark the development of a larger Black economic agenda,” the website continues, promoting concepts of “mutual aid organizations” and “Black cooperatives.”

Blackxmas.org goes on to state: “Donald Trump embodies White capitalism. If you are anti-Trump, you should hold back your resources from him and the like.”

In an op-ed published by the L.A. Sentinel, Dr. Abdullah blamed alleged police misconduct on capitalism, writing:

In addition to investing in our own communities, #BlackXmas and the emerging economic empowerment work of Black Lives Matter is intended as a divestment from White corporations that contribute to the murder, death, abuse, and exploitation of Black people in real terms. We assert that White capitalism is killing our people in very real terms, most starkly through its utilization of a violent, racist, police force to protect its quest for profit. …

Black people, we must be radical in our approach, daring to get to the root of it all. White capitalism requires racist, violent policing to protect it. In order to eliminate police violence, and the killings of our people at their hands, we must also target the economic systems that built it and rely on it.

Previous Black Xmas publicity stunts include “justice caroling” at an upscale L.A. shopping center, where BLM activists changed the lyrics of classic Christmas songs to reflect anti-capitalism and anti-police sentiments. In 2015, demonstrators blocked traffic near major airports during peak times of the holiday rush, inconveniencing many travelers. About 65 BLM protestors disrupted Christmas Eve brunch at the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, the following year.

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