I wrote The Myth and Propaganda of Black Buying Power (#MOBP) because as an activist I had been hearing for years the claim of this untapped economic potential and because as an academic inspired by the tradition of Black/Africana Studies as intellectual supplement to political struggle I wanted in some small way to think I could help inform, or prepare, or aid what I’ve always understood would be, will be, necessary political struggle if the Black lives now up for reconsideration are ever to attain legitimate, lived, experienced material improvement. The sad reality is that no student of or, better yet, participant in political movements, and organization was shocked by the police killing of George Floyd, or even the uprisings which emerged after. Quite to the contrary. Many of us knew this would occur, have known it would, and know it will again, and have only wanted to find ways of contributing at least to the parallel struggles over interpretation and response.
At its core the #MOBP is an attempt to provide readers – current, future and potential activists included – with an alternate reading of economic and political mythology and the ways in which our media environment shape or impact our decision-making ultimately in an attempt to prevent the questions now being raised and certainly to manipulate the forms of answer or response. A combination of capitalism, cops, and Covid have people in the streets demanding an end to the violence of anti-Black public policy, social, and economic structures those police are, as an institution, here to protect. At the same time, however, the very economic and political elite in charge of the design and function of those structures are working feverishly to manage the response, shape its outcome and, as fast as possible, return us to a norm which, as the #MOBP details, was already unsustainable, worsening, and leading those in power to already be in preparation social unrest. Well before 2020 or the outbreak of any pandemic those in powerful circles were already ringing alarm bells and preparing responses. We already knew from the uprising following the police killing in Baltimore of Freddie Gray that Homeland Security / FBI Fusion Centers were being developed and deployed to measure and manage those outbursts. In 2018 Pentagon “war games” developers were preparing for a “Zbellion” of Generation Z already fed up with wars, poverty, and debt. And as I document in the #MOBP, venture capitalists were warning that inequality was pushing society to the breaking point and that without greater redistribution of the wealth we all create there were already legitimate fears that people would storm the gates of the rich demanding justice.