The Crawl Kicks Off on Black Friday Weekend!
When: November 23rd - January 1st
Where: Many Locations Across Northside Minneapolis
What: Retail Boutiques, Pop Ups, Galleries, Holiday Parties, Food, Music and more!
Black Friday on Broadway successfully promoted investment in Black-owned Northside businesses and divestment from malls and chains in 2016 and 2017. That success leads us here: Black Friday on Broadway is now the Northside Holiday Crawl!
Blexit, along with many valued community partners, met, planned and collaborated to program six-weeks of holiday experiences spanning all of Northside of Minneapolis. This year, we've taken out all-of-the-stops to add the inaugural Northside Holiday Parade, happening Saturday, November 24th at 6PM!
For those of you in Minneapolis, we hope to see you at one of the fun and festive events happening during The Crawl. For those outside Minneapolis, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for ways to engage Black-owned businesses near you during this holiday season - we'll get you connected!
Wishing you love and peace this holiday season,
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
“Minneapolis Based Organization, BLEXIT, Threatens Trademark Infringement Legal Action Against Candace Owens”
Contact: Me’Lea Connelly, Blexit
Number: +1 (651)-472-4392
On Saturday, October 27th, Candace Owens, a conservative pundit, launched a “Blexit” campaign where she calls for Black people to leave the Democratic party. Owens, who’s been an avid-Trump supporter, has collaborated with right-wing conservatives in their efforts to support fascist ideology masked as ‘free-thinking’. Her approach is antithetical to the real Blexit organization; the Minneapolis based non-profit formed in 2016 served Ms. Owens with a cease and desist letter on Thursday morning.
The true #Blexit is a national movement addressing racial disparity and oppression through economic activism. It was galvanized by the leadership of Minneapolis based non-profit organization Blexit, who have led the charge in deploying economic campaigns resulting in community owned financial institutions, equitable lending and an increase of investment in Black owned banks and credit unions in 2016. This movement is crucial to the future of Black Americans who are expected to have a net worth of $0 by 2053 and we must not let it be disrupted by diminutive political posturing and partisan stunts.
The attempt to co-opt the name, “Blexit”, by political right-wing activists is a direct attack against the hard work being done to combat economic injustices in the state with the 2nd worst racial disparities in the nation. #ReclaimBlexit is a direct response to the attempted co-opting of the true Blexit movement. It confronts the false narrative of Black political conversion and asserts Black economic power as the foundation of the Blexit creed. Blexit in its nature is not a political agenda that upholds division but a theory of change to collectively build new systems that benefit Black Americans.
Since its formation after the murder of Philando Castile, Blexit’s national reach has shown up through work like the Black Transfer Challenge (2016), participation the 50th Anniversary of Southern Cooperatives (2017), and navigating the credit union chartering process for Village Financial Cooperative (2018) - a proposed Black-led credit union that helps cultivate and sustain Black wealth with an aim at creating a cooperative economy on the Northside of Minneapolis. Blexit has a membership that spans the United States, with members in almost every state - some international members too.
See past coverage of Blexit in the following publications:
Blexit is a non-profit organization based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota operating nationally since July, 2016, organizing economic resistance towards financial renaissance in response to systems of oppression. A political organization, not affiliated with Blexit, has recently started using the name "Blexit" without our permission. Unfortunately, this is causing confusion we are working to promptly resolve.
To clear up the confusion:
1. Blexit is not affiliated with MAGA or political organizations intending to sway Black voters to right-wing ideology. Blexit in its nature is not a political agenda but a theory of change to collectively build institutional economic agency that benefits Black Americans (learn more about our credit union project here).
2. Some may have inadvertently signed up as Blexit members, or donated money to Blexit recently. If this is you, please use the opt-out link at the end of this message or request a refund within 30 days by emailing email@example.com. Refunds may take 7 days to process.
We are truly thankful for our members and how you supported Black liberation through economic renaissance. Right now, we kindly ask for your patience as we dispel the confusion caused by infringement on our name and work. There is more to come soon, including information on what you can do to help dispel misinformation.
Blexit, Established 2016
Minneapolis/St. Paul fit the Injustice Boycott's criteria for cities to be targeted early in the action.
Image Credit: University of Minnesota
Journalist/Activist Shaun King addressed Facebook Live viewers on the morning of Thursday, December 1, 2016, preparing them for the launch of the Injustice Boycott (IB) on Monday, December 5th. During his address, King made it clear that the organizers of the Injustice Boycott are keeping their cards close, disclosing very few details about the boycott until its launch. Just two days from the action, there are still many unknowns. It is unknown which cities and companies are being targeted, who all the boycott organizers are, and it is not known how supporters of this boycott will be asked to show up. What is known is that:
The Injustice Boycott will place demands on 3 cities at a time and boycott those cities until the demands are met. When one city meets its demands, its boycott will end, then a new city will be targeted.
“Progressive” cities with well-known track records of police brutality and racial inequities will be targeted first.
The boycott will find ways to support POC-owned businesses, even if they reside in a city that is being targeted.
Supporters will be contacted via email or text on/near December 5th.
All supporters will play a role, whether they live in/near the targeted city, or in another city altogether.
At Blexit, we endorse the tactic of keeping information about boycott actions close, so we support the concept of Injustice Boycott and all boycotting specifically for the benefit of Black people, even though we are not yet privy to the full details of the action. We have also kept silent about the details our own actions because it is an effective way of stifling opposition propaganda that could derail the boycott action and discourage supporters.
We are committed to boldly uplifting women and Black people during all boycott actions we organize or support. We are committed to boycott actions that are Black led, Black women led, and acknowledge that Black people are already targeted by systems of oppression so they should not be the targets of their own actions to rid themselves oppression. If the Injustice Boycott or any other national boycott action centered the Black community upholds these same commitments, we are committed to supporting those actions.
We will not know if the Injustice Boycott is coming to the Twin Cities until December 5th, but we are watching the events as they unfold. There is no doubt that the Twin Cities fits the criteria to be one of the first cities targeted. The region calls itself “progressive”, Minnesota is the second worst state for disparities between Black and white people, the tragic extra-judicial killings of Jamar Clark and Philando Castille were high profile, and Mr. King recently visited Macalester College and North High School. We are confident that the Injustice Boycott will come to the Twin Cities, and we won’t be surprised if it comes here first.
Against Us: Theft of Free Will and Interstate Collaboration of Militarized Police Forces at Standing Rock
Blexit continually promotes exiting the systems that cause our pain. Whether these systems are corporations, government institutions or any other groups who cause pain that is physical or mental, temporary or systemic, Blexit promotes exiting them.
These systems use pain that is traumatic, especially in their deceit and immorality. These systems use pain while at the same time claiming a morality that deceitfully impersonates our own free will, takes actions on our own behalf, and denies responsibility for the trauma they cause. These systems cause pain that is complex and traumatic. While they persecute and assault us, they also vindicate themselves with claims of protecting and defending us.
The need for exiting the systems that cause our pain is being exemplified by the environmental and classical racism violently carried out through the persevering collusion of taxpayer-funded-militarized police forces, and private oil companies at Standing Rock.
They are immorally aggressive and violent.
They are deceitfully veiled by the pretense of public safety.
Their immorality and deceit is directed at our friends and family; it is even directed at many of us who are at Standing Rock now. The pain they are causing moves us to agonize in regret over our actions that have empowered them to impersonate our own free will and take action on our own behalf - against us.
A coalition of multi-state police forces including Hennepin County Sheriff's use violent aggression against the Dakota Access Pipeline Water Protectors.
Photo Credit: City Pages
As militarized police forces from Hennepin County, Minnesota, travel hundreds of miles across state lines to collaborate in violent aggression against Water Protectors in Standing Rock, citizens of Hennepin County agonize in regret of their actions that set the stage for this violence to be carried out on their own behalf. They question themselves:
Was it my vote?
Was it my political affiliation?
Was it my support of taxes and levies meant to improve my own safety?
Perhaps it was all of the above, maybe it was none of the above. However, from the fog of regret emerges the clarity of content in knowing the necessary next step. It’s time to exit the systems that cause us pain.
This exit reclaims our own free will and our own actions for use in pursuit of our own morality. This exit places the responsibility for the aggression, pain and violence squarely on the systems who are responsible.
It’s time ya’ll.
Is the #Blexit #BlackTransferChallenge trading one evil for another?
A response to the AAIHS blog post: "Why #BankBlack Is Betraying The Black Freedom Struggle"
We have received messages and emails regarding the recent blog post by AAIH which flags the #BankBlack movement as controversial, noting the inherent racist and insidious nature of capitalism and its inextricable presence in ALL for profit banks.
First, it’s important to appreciate the fact that this topic is becoming a mainstream conversation within the Black community. This is a good conversation to have.
Now, to keep things simple and to the point, AAIHS's argument, as we understand it, is that whether Black owned Bank or Big Bank, all for profit banks operate within capitalism, which is in its nature, anti Black.
We completely agree.
We at Blexit are anti-capitalism. We do not believe Black capitalism is the golden key to Black liberation. However, we believe capitalism is a powerful tool for economic disruption and Black liberation.
Our action today resulted in close to 80 people pledging to open an account with a Black owned Bank and deposit $100 in that account as an act of social noncooperation and solidarity in opposition to 'Big Banks' who contributed and benefitted off of decades of victimizing Black communities (see our pledge language here: http://www.blexitmn.org/black-transfer-challenge).
The goal of this and future actions is to create a culture of consumer divestment that shifts funds away from the most egregious economic vultures and builds power in numbers of consumers who demand fair and equitable financial systems that rebuild the Black community, i.e. a credit union model of a Black banking (as mentioned in the article), more specifically, the first one of its kind in our state (Minnesota does not have a Black Bank).
While we agree with the article premise, the title of the article may be problematic. To blanket all Black owned banks and the #BankBlack movement as a whole as 'Betrayers of the Black Freedom Struggle' is like blaming your local soul food spot for the diabetes epidemic in the Black community. It's like saying all Black police officers are personally contributing to the state sanctioned murder of unarmed Black people (that may actually have some meat to it but just go with us for a sec here). We know these systems are evil and racist, however, we live in these systems, we contribute to them as consumers and citizens; that experience in participation gives us leverage and power. The more we build that leverage with intention the more power we harness.
Another consideration, Black enterprise has often used capitalism as a starting point for fighting the Black struggle. At some point we must face our propensity to cut down these efforts prematurely, with razor sharp criticism, before we take the time to invest and shape our growing small for-profit businesses into tools for our liberation, no matter how entangled they may seem.
Constructive criticism is healthy and should be welcomed but being publicly divisive when it comes to anything Black gaining influence, power, wealth could derail what may otherwise be shaped into a powerful united front.
The 'Big Banking' industry, largely White, largely male, is and has been a blatant outlier to widespread, real, tangible, generational damage to our community. While there are many Black owned Banks who, while functioning as for-profit, have deep roots in their local communities and pride themselves in being tools for Black liberation, however small. Can we fairly say that by default all Black Bankers are ultimately just looking to pimp the Black community for a jump off into the bliss of Black capitalism?
As we build up Black Banks and add numbers under a united understanding of our goal, we have the opportunity to negotiate with Black banking institutions who have the experience, existing infrastructure and capital to shift the Black economy toward equity and power and away from capitalism. Our goal at Blexit is not to reinvent the Black banking wheel but negotiate with the banks we already have and if our efforts fail, build our vision from the ground up.
In the meantime, we want to send a clear message to the trillion dollar industry of Big Banks who have pillaged our communities for generations: there is power in our dollars and we are preparing to exit their institutions if we don't see sweeping changes in their practices. We expect that message to travel all the way down to Black owned for-profit Banks who we sincerely hope recognize this moment as an opportunity to get on the right side of history.