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Boycott Florida: An idea whose time has come

RON D ANIELS | 8/5/2013, 1:47 p.m.

Fighting to change this flawed law is about justice for Martin, but it is also about all of the Martins in the state of Florida and across the nation who are victims of criminalization and racial profiling. It is about Black people consciously and collectively standing our ground against the attacks on the gains of the civil rights/human rights/Black Power movements, the abandonment and disinvestment in distressed Black communities and the daily indignities we have quietly suffered for far too long.

The major component of the campaign should be to shut off tourism to Florida. This means Black organizations should not schedule conferences/conventions in that state until the law is changed. Groups that have already scheduled conferences six months to a year out should seek to cancel the agreements and notify the venues that Black people no longer feel safe to travel to Florida, particularly with their sons. An option is to hold conferences/conventions at a Black College/University or Black-owned retreat centers. In the event that your conference is already scheduled in the next few months, resolve to spend as little money/cash in the state as possible. This campaign requires that kind of discipline.

Do not schedule a vacation in Florida until victory is won. Do not travel to an amusement park in the “tragic kingdom” or golf tournament until victory is won. And don’t purchase or drink any Florida orange juice.

IBW has posted a petition on http://www.ibw21.org where organizations, leaders and individuals can sign a pledge to boycott Florida. Finally, while this campaign is spearheaded by Black people, we obviously appeal to and welcome the support of our friends and allies of all races and ethnicities who believe that “an injury to one is an injury to all,” that “an injustice anywhere to anyone is an injustice to everyone everywhere.”

Ron Daniels is president of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century and distinguished lecturer at York College City University of New York. To send a message, arrange media interviews or speaking engagements, he can be reached via email at info@ibw21.org.