“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and “I Can’t Breathe” are among signs and placards black youth are hoisting in streets across the country to express their anger and frustration as they demand change. America needs societal, political and economic change; toward that end, multitudes of blacks are expressing themselves through marches and social media blitzes to demand attention to longstanding economic and power chasms.

Definite inequities exist between blacks and whites, and operations such as Black Lives Matter (BLM) use audacious attention-grabbers to highlight the differences. There is money to be made in the protest industry; a fashionable “Black Lives Matter” sweatshirt retails for $50. Take note: organized operations as BLM don’t just pop up. Operationally BLM requires money for staff, protest signs, bullhorns and transportation to protest sites. The national scope of BLM requires infrastructure that includes regular secure communication among BLM activists.

So who’s funding Black Lives Matter? Who pays for their placards, phone calls, faxes, iPhones, internet and front-line activists’ food, lodging and transportation?

Some of the protesters who looted, rioted, burned buildings and overturned police cars in Ferguson, Missouri, were rumored to be promised payment of up to $5,000 per month. One of the big funders of the Ferguson fiasco was George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, which helped transform a local crime story into a national cause célèbre. Also reportedly giving money to BLM was entertainers Jay Z and Beyoncé.

BLM’s primary purpose is to get the white power structure’s attention. The BLM business was started by three women that were into community organizing and “riling up” activists. They came up with the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag to bring attention to the deaths of young black Americans. Over months, BLM morphed into an umbrella term for a decentralized network of agitators who disrupt political events and individuals. The Democracy Alliance was created in 2005 by donors that include financier Soros and Taco Bell heir Rob McKay, investing to build permanent infrastructure that advances Democratic Party’s establishment ideas and causes.

The Democracy Alliance specializes in support to scrappy groups that utilize confrontational tactics to stridently inject their grievances into political debates. The alliance’s movement includes the Black Civic Engagement Fund funded by Texas oil fortune heir Leah Hunt-Hendrix who has donated $200,000 to BLM. Both Open Society and the Democracy Alliance provide funds to Color of Change, a BLM group that doesn’t pull punches and took on the Republican Party with a petition drive that stopped Coca-Cola from donating to the GOP convention, under the slogan “Share a Coke with the KKK.”

Because of American white supremacy, an insidious strand of racism may well exist among the movement’s donors and their practices. These grants and funded money are typically in the hands of white people who oversee the types of services their nonprofit provides, while selecting token blacks to spearhead conversations with and within the community. Too many blacks refuse to recognize: The first business of America is racism. Modern protests are just ongoing statements and actions expressing disapproval of an enduring American institution. The opposite of protests is what blacks actually need: power and the ability or right to control people, things and situations. In blacks’ war against racism, what benefits have these protests wrought?

When will blacks focus on leadership based on our values and ideals? Protest groups’ premises are good, but don’t their actions have to be more steak than sizzle to lift black communities? Blacks’ activism must involve changing economic and financial practices. No one can save us, but we must turn protests into productive activities – each teach one to coalesce our talents and resources by buying and banking with each other. Substantive and definitive acts by African-Americans within and among ourselves will positively enhance our overall status, gravitas and economics. Black protesters disrupt “mainstream politics” because they feel invisible in American society. What blacks need to make visible are actions of buying and banking with other. Demonstrating against whites gets attention, but helping economically stabilize where we live will empower more of our own.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via Busxchng@his.com.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via Busxchng@his.com.

Did you like this story?
Would you like to receive articles like this in your inbox? Free!

William Reed

William Reed is President and Chief Executive Officer of Black Press International. He has been a Media Entrepreneur for over two decades. A well-trained marketing and communications professional, Reed...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *