Pastors, Business Leaders And Activists Call For Boycott Of St. Louis Businesses Following Smith Protests
Major stores like Target are on the list of companies that will be part of the boycott.
November 02, 2017 at 6:10 pm
Civil rights leaders in St. Louis are taking a stand against the racism and discrimination they believe to be prevalent in their city, and have announcing a boycott against major retailers, according to The St. Louis Dispatch.
The announcement comes in the wake of massive protests that involved controversial police behavior following the announcement of the acquittal of white former St. Louis Police officer Jason Stockley.
Stockley stood accused of the murder of Anthony Lamar Smith, and of planting a gun at the scene of Smith's death. Prior to killing Smith, Stockley was heard to say he was "going to kill this motherf*cker, don't you know it."
During protests over the verdict, protesters complained of St. Louis police officers being overly violent, and of arresting innocent bystanders. The ACLU and others have filed cases against the department and the city.
The activists, pastors and business leaders behind the new boycott say that the Stockley verdict, is just one of many reasons behind their new protest.
The leaders also cited multiple events of police misconduct, widespread discrimination against black consumers, redlining, redistricting the city in a manner that has diluted black political activism and unequal bank loan practices as reasons for the boycott.
"We pay taxes . . . We spend our dollars in other communities, other venues, and we have not received an equitable return for those monies that we have invested," said Reverend Dinah Tatman, who is one of the organizers. "We're now taking our money and investing in ourselves."
Those calling for the boycott hope that it will bring about real change, and that it will inspire people to invest their hard-earned money in the black community.
A with similar objectives organized by the Universal African Peoples Organization will launch at the same time, according to activist Zaki Baruti.
"It's a history of racism and racial lawsuits against those particular companies, as well as we need to send a message to the powers that be of America," Bakuti told KMOV 4.
The boycott, called No Justice, No Profit, targets local businesses and several major national retailers, such as Target and Schnucks.
The Galleria, the site of a mass arrest during the Smith protests, is also included on the list.
In response to the possible financial implications of a boycott, Schnucks released a statement:
"Schnucks is both surprised and disappointed at being included in this boycott. We are one of the biggest employers in the region, with a mainly union workforce, and operate the most grocery stores in the city. We take pride in serving customers and employing teammates from across the demographic spectrum."