African-Americans urged to close wallets

Nov. 1, 2007 at 4:12 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- The Rev. Al Sharpton has endorsed a call by a U.S. black radio talk-show host for a national economic boycott Friday to protest racism and economic injustice.

The "National Blackout," is the brainchild of Raleigh, N.C., attorney and syndicated talk-show host Warren Ballentine, who is urging black Americans and others of goodwill not to spend any money on Friday. He said a national economic boycott will send an unmistakable message to U.S. business and Washington.

"If the federal government is not doing what its supposed to do, we protest," Ballentine told CNN. "There's nothing more American than what I'm calling for."

Ballentine, billed as "The People's Attorney" and radio "Truth Fighter," said the more than 36 million African-Americans spend an estimated $800 billion a year -- more than $2 billion a day.

The "National Boycott," was prompted by the Jena 6 case in which six black teens were charged as adults with attempted murder in Jena, La., after a white high school student was beaten when nooses were placed in a campus tree.

"Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network have taken the lead in spearheading the movement to spark the kind of action necessary to bring about the kind of changes necessary. After all there can be no peace if there is no justice," Sharpton's National Action Network said in a statement.

Martin Luther King III and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference also back the boycott, CNN said.

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