Writer Kim Moore Says Boycotting Florida Won’t Work: Do You Agree?
by Kim Moore
Saturday, July 13, 2013 is a day that will forever be etched in the minds of those who long for justice in the United States of America. It is the day that a jury, comprised of six women (five of whom were white and one who is racially ambiguous) found George Zimmerman not guilty in the killing of then 17 year old Trayvon Martin.
The response from the community was filled with anger, confusion, hurt, pain, uncertainty and outrage; and rightfully so. Now people in communities all over the world have awaken and decided that they have had enough. Since Saturday, many have taken to the streets, to peacefully protest the verdict in the Zimmerman case, express their disgust for how the justice system works and the ever prevalent, ‘Stand Your Ground’ law. In the midst of all this, there has been much talk about boycotting the state of Florida, specifically tourism, and while I agree that boycotts should take place and they do work, I don’t agree with boycotting the state in its entirety. There are a couple of things we need to consider if we want to effectively change the Stand Your Ground law.
Stand Your Ground laws exist in other states as well, about 30 others states to be exact. California, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Texas, West Virginia and more, have all adopted laws similar to Stand Your Ground. So, if we boycott Florida, what do we do about these other states where Stand Your Ground is enforced?
The intention is right, a boycott needs to happen, it’s our execution that could use a little work. Don’t boycott the state because of Stand Your Ground, boycott the actual law and the corporations (like ALEC and the NRA) and individuals who backed it financially and in congress, that way it gets amended/abolished in every state it exists in. Dream Defenders is an excellent example of how we can use our power to seek out the change we want as they occupy the Florida Capitol and demand that the Governor repeal Stand Your Ground.
If we boycott the state of Florida, we could essentially do damage to the very people we’re trying to protect and help. Jobs will be lost, unemployment will go up, and people who look like us could end up in financial distress. There are tons of urban communities in Florida and many black owned businesses. If you boycott Florida, you will be boycotting them too.
Remember, it costs money to get laws passed so it’s imperative that we follow the money trail to see who is financially supporting these bills. While many injustices have taken place in the state of Florida, there are other states that speak injustice fluently as well. Florida is not the end-all be-all of injustice and for that reason we shouldn’t go after Florida alone. We need to narrow our focus, be more specific and dig a little deeper.
We have the right idea; we just need to change our target so we can hit the bulls-eye.
Kim Moore is an award winning activist and public speaker who works to raise the collective consciousness of the people. Kim serves as a consultant to various non-profits teaching them how to start grass-roots movements and works to empower the next generation of leaders.