(New York)—The Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW), a prominent human rights and racial justice organization, is calling today for the immediate formation of a “National Coalition of Conscience” to declare an economic boycott of Florida as one means of seeking justice for slain Trayvon Martin.
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Responding to the travesty of the George Zimmerman verdict, Dr. Ron Daniels, President of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW), said that his group “is strongly urging civil rights and human rights organizations, national faith groups, fraternities, sororities, black professional organizations, organized labor, community-based organizations and people of conscience everywhere to join in a massive, sustained campaign to boycott tourism in Florida until that state’s ‘Stand Your Ground law’ is changed.”
The idea of economic sanctions is gaining traction. Music legend Stevie Wonder has already announced his intention to boycott Florida, saying two days ago in Canada that “until the Stand Your Ground Law is abolished, I will never perform there again.” IBW hopes other artists and entertainers will follow Stevie Wonder’s example.
Daniels notes that Florida is a prime convention location for national organizations like the NAACP, which is holding its annual convention in Orlando this week. The National Newspaper Publisher’s Association (NNPA) held their Mid-Winter Conference in Fort Lauderdale earlier this year and Black Enterprise is slated to host the annual Pepsi Golf and Tennis Challenge in Palm Beach Gardens over the Labor Day Weekend.
In addition, the nationally famous Disney World amusement complex is a favorite destination of African Americans. “There is no doubt that Black people spend billions of dollars in Florida every year,” said Daniels. “Perhaps, we should abstain from having ‘fun in the sun’ with Minnie and Mickey until we achieve justice for Trayvon Martin and all the Trayvons across this nation. It will be a teachable moment for our children.”
Dr. Daniels indicated that IBW will be reaching out to hip hop activist Jasiri X and the 100 Young Black Activists organization in hopes that they might launch a “message from the grassroots” dimension of the economic sanctions campaign to galvanize the engagement of young people of all races and ethnicities across the country.”
He noted that Dr. Martin Luther King’s instructions to Black people in a rarely referenced part of the speech delivered the night before he was killed should serve as a guide for the Justice for Trayvon Martin Economic Sanctions Campaign. In discussing the injustices suffered by the sanitation workers in Memphis, Dr. King said, “now we must kind of redistribute the pain.”
In a similar vein, Dr. Daniels advocates that “Blacks and all people of conscience and good will should inflict some non-violent pain on the state of Florida and keep inflicting it until business leaders and the politicians scream for help and plead for the economic sanctions to be lifted.”
IBW believes that the upcoming 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, is an ideal occasion to invoke this aspect of Martin Luther King’s spirit.
“We fervently encourage the ‘beloved community’ that King gave his life for to utilize economic sanctions to demand a change in the Stand Your Ground Law in Florida,” said Daniels.