Besides the fact there is absolutely no historical evidence that Jesus was born in December, this consistent societal pressure to spend money that most people not only don't have, but will never have, results in the majority of suicides occurring during this so called merry time of the year. The unavoidable alienation and feelings of inadequacy that are bound to result from such a materialistic indoctrination should provide all the evidence necessary to understand why so many people find it necessary to end their lives in the month of December each year.
I have had a couple of great opportunities to spend December 25th in Africa and each time was eye opening. People who have more Christianity in their pinky nails than most people in industrialized capitalism have combined, commemorate December 25th without the consumerism. Not a single gift is exchanged. Instead, the day is a reflection of spending time with those you love. Sharing food. Sharing life. There is no expectation of gifts, even among the children. Those experiences are extremely healthy ones, but we recognize that in the belly of this capitalist society, the chances of this approach becoming dominant are much less likely. The pressure to participate, and to do so in a very high and expensive level, are too intimately connected to our value as human beings because everything in these so-called industrial capitalist societies is based on a profit over people model.
Many people within the African (Black) consciousness communities, in a sincere attempt to address this soulless pursuit of materialism, have been making a push for a number of years to offer up what they believe to be an alternative to this madness. Their solution is to propose a Black Friday, or support for African owned business entities, instead of our people continuing to pour more and more money into the white hole of multi-national capitalist consumerism. On the surface, this approach seems logical. This is of course a racist system all the way to its core. As a result, we know discrimination in job hiring is the norm in this society. In other words, despite the common racist perception that African people don't want to work, we know there is unlimited data that confirms we apply for and attempt to work as often if not more often than anyone else in these industrialized countries. We just don't get hired because of racism. So, its understandable that our people, ever creative and determined, would develop our own alternatives to provide resources for us to find gainful employment to support our families. For this conscious crowd, this employment is small business opportunities. And, one of tools they use to publicize their efforts is this "Black Friday" campaign. Come shop with them on the Friday after the thankstaking "holiday." Don't spend your money with the multi-national capitalist corporations.
As a means of providing a limited number of our people with employment opportunities, this strategy is a fair solution, but beyond that, it has serious and ill-refutable shortcomings. The fundamental foundation of the capitalist system is in exploiting labor. As a result, the very structure of business in any capitalist society is in taking advantage of the people who perform the labor because that is how the owners of the business make their profits. Its the only way they make their profits. There is no way around this except abandoning this capitalist business model and moving to a socialist model, but that isn't what these people are proposing. They are operating under a scaled down version of capitalism e.g. selling products and services for an objective of profit.
The belief is that by exercising this model, we will be able to pull ourselves as a community out of poverty. Of course, the premise of this is we will do so by imitating the capitalist system. Or, doing capitalism with Black nationalism sprinkled on top of it. Our contention is that for those of us who study the capitalist system, there is no evidence that this model will help the collective masses of African people. No evidence at all beyond the visual incentive of seeing African people working for themselves. This isn't to discount that visual, but the severe limitations e.g. its inability to correct the core problem - the fact this system was built, and is maintained on our collective exploitation - has to be acknowledged and addressed. Capitalism 101: These small businesses can sell anything. You choose the product. Clothes, jewelry, food, etc. The product has to sell for a price. If the business owner sells clothes, they have to get the clothes from somewhere. They have to order them and have them delivered to them to sell. If they make the clothes they have to order the materials to sew. Either way, the cost of the products and/or materials will depend upon the volume of materials meaning if you are a sole business owner, its going to cost you much more to order what you need than Walmart because Walmart has the benefit of having what they need delivered to thousands of stores which means to distributor makes a pretty penny just by landing a contract with them. With the small business, there is no incentive to do business with them besides charging enough to make bringing them what they need worthwhile. This means that small business owner is forced to pass that increased cost onto you the consumer. And the myth that we create our own jobs is unfortunately not true as well. Look at any African business and show me where they can afford to hire workers in our communities and pay them more than minimum wage? Show me where Asian businesses, the model our people usually always bring up, show me where they are providing livable wage jobs for their people? The Asian nail salons, restaurants, massage parlors, etc., are well documented as functioning by depending upon using undocumented Asian labor. Just Google Asian businesses and undocumented labor and uncountable documentation will be provided of those businesses exploiting their own people to make a profit. The myth that they are sharing money through lending circles to build up their businesses is understandable. Its also not hard to see why we want to emulate this model as we wish to see it, but even if they or we could save $100,000.00 USD and walk in to buy a building, etc., the Internal Revenue Service would step right in and demand to know where that $100,000.00 came from. Since they are not structured to just accept our answer that we saved that money, they are automatically going to tax it so that the $100,000.00 will instantly become about $40,000.00, thus destroying the ability to accomplish the initial business objective. If you don't believe this, try conducting any type of financial transaction anywhere with over $10,000.00 cash and then count off the seconds before the Internal Revenue Service is breathing down your neck. The concept sounds good. It even makes us feel good, but it isn't based in reality.
Even the multi-national corporations don't work that way. Huge corporations like Amazon, Walmart, Koch Industries, etc., pay their workers peanuts when they rake in billions every year so why and how could it be possible for small businesses, with extremely thin margins of profit, to pay anyone more than minimum wage, if that. Most of these places are forced to employ their children and family members because of the inability to pay anyone else.
So, as you venture out to spend money on this Friday or any other day, please understand that we are not discouraging you from spending money with our people. I regularly do because as I previously stated, I recognize that this process is a way for us to provide at least some level of jobs at a subsistence level to our people. This is necessary. This is survival. We have to do this right now, but we cannot be confused into thinking this model is going to liberate our people. There is only one way we will have liberation and that won't be by operating on any level inside of this vicious capitalist system.
So, those of you who mean well and will promote this Black Friday/Black capitalism theme, take a minute to think critically about this. Its survival. Stop acting like its liberation. Stop telling people to just go shop with African people or give us business or money. You may think you are giving us support, but what you are actually doing is telling someone who has a fatal gunshot wound who is bleeding out to just hang on until they feel better. You are just comforting them until they die. If you really want to help us, start telling people to figure out how to organize to support efforts to create a new society free from capitalist exploitation where their business skills can be utilized to build up capacity to build a socialist economy. Help us understand how we can build such an economy because it is a thing. And make sure to add that while we do that, this capitalist black business model is survival. Nothing else, except momentary and temporary survival.