Go down Moses way down in Egypt land/Tell old Pharaoh to let my people go/When Israel was in Egypt land/Let my people go/Oppressed so hard they could not stand/Let my people go! — “Go Down Moses”
The Shutdown is the name of a nationwide economic boycott of corporate America of which I’m a participant. Our goal is to force American political leadership to the negotiating table in order to bring about the end of police brutality and to institute true police reform nationwide. They cannot keep killing us!
As a nationwide boycott of corporate America, it is designed to hit the American power structure where it hurts most: its bank account! The boycott allows protesters to continue to buy essentials such as gas, groceries and medical supplies. However, this committee is asking Blacks to purchase any other products from a Black-owned and -operated business or another small business of their choice. A nationwide database of Black-owned and -operated businesses will soon be available on our website (www.economicshutdown.org).
Designed to bring an end to police brutality and racial profiling across the country, the boycott is designed to force all political leaders to end political rhetoric and lip service they’ve given this issue, and institute national legislation to end police brutality and reform all police departments.
We invite everyone — Black, white, Asian, Latino, young and old — to join this protest. We are looking to unite with Black Lives Matter, White People 4 Blacks, the NAACP and others who seek to end police brutality across this nation.
This is NOT a protest against white-owned or non-Black small businesses. This is a protest against major U.S. corporations and is designed to force our political leaders to the negotiating table. It is NOT a protest designed to bring about hurt or to divide our nation but to bring about much-needed change in our society. This protest is NOT designed to replace marching against police brutality; we are supplementing with this nationwide campaign to add a viable alternative to those who chose not to protest, and it is an additional option for those who are marching.
Here is our 10 Point Plan:
1. Push for national legislation outlining legal responsibility of police officers to intervene and report on misconduct under color of authority.
2. Submit legislation on removal of choke and strangle holds as a policing tool (America never approved an anti-lynching bill) this is that moment.
3. Effect state and local government implementation of a balanced workforce plan – a direct correlation between the ethnic and racial make-up of the police force, the demographics of that community. (Reduce policing by occupation).
4. Develop and implement an independent, national review board consisting of grassroots members of the African-American community, including attorneys, and law enforcement officials to monitor police behavior around the country, including a national police complaints database, to collect data, identify the bad actors and locations, seek prosecution of offenders to the fullest extent of the law.
5. Implement ROTC based programs, in every school District, to facilitate recruitment of local minority police cadets.
6. Earmark $2,500 in “Reentry funds” for released inmates for initial housing stability, job obtainment for easier transition back into society.
7. Include Black Lives Matter and other community policing organizations in your contribution campaigns.
8. Develop a candidates’ profile of local council members, judges, attorney generals, police chiefs and mayors to support (Adopt the electoral tactics of Emily’s List).
9. Develop venture capital organizations to fund Black businesses and community-based organizations.
10. Develop a replicable entrepreneurship tool kit that lay out the steps to business formation.
Join TEP Gardner, Shuaib Mitchell, Darryl Wiggins, Lionel Green, Nana Malaya, Partners of Hope/Columbus Ohio, and me, Lyndia Grant, in this protest (www.economicshutdown.org and facebook.com/ECONOMICSHUTDOWN).
Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. To reach Grant, visit her website, www.lyndiagrant.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.