How many Black men and women must be murdered under Florida’s infamous “stand your ground law” before Black people across the nation will “stand our ground” by agreeing to “stay away from Florida?” Markeis McGlockton is the most recent Black person to be murdered in the “sunshine state” by a White man, Michael Drejika. This arrogant gun toting White man, a law enforcement wannabe, took the law into his hands and murdered Markeis McGlockton after he verbally assaulted McGlockton’s girlfriend over her right to park in a handicap space. McClockton confronted Drejika and pushed him to the ground. As he was turning away, Drieka pulled his pistol and shot in in the back, “fearing” that he was in danger of “imminent death or great bodily harm,” as stated in Florida’s stand your ground Law. Black people in Clearwater Florida are outraged because no charges were filed against Drieka by the Pinellas County Sheriff.
Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis and now Markeis McClockton, make no mistake about it, stand your ground laws were conceived to protect White people from Black people, especially, the “dangerous Black man!” The infamous Koch brothers poured millions of dollars into the coffers of the American Legislative Exchange Committee (ALEC) to quietly introduce and lobby for the enactment of stand your ground laws in state legislatures across the country, including Florida. According to the USA Today News Network, “more than twenty states have stand your ground laws.” Like the “War on Drugs,” stand your ground laws are targeted at us, Black people!
It’s long overdue for Black people across the country to collectively act to compel the Governor and state legislature of Florida to rescind the stand your ground law. Black folks inject billions of dollars every year into the hospitality industry in Florida. When Trayvon Martin was murdered, IBW called for a boycott, economic sanctions campaign to force the powers that be to repeal the stand your ground law: no Mickey and Minnie/Disneyland, no vacations, no conferences and conventions, no orange juice!
The politicians and corporate interests, including the shadowy Koch brothers, would have trembled and submitted under the onslaught of economic sanctions; a kind of 21st century “David versus Goliath” phenomenon. While a few organizations like Black Psychiatrists of America heeded the call and cancelled their convention, none of the major civil rights leaders or prominent/influential radio disc jockeys would take up the call. The Governor, state legislators and corporate magnates were unphased by the “talk” about a boycott and unscathed by the minuscule effort that was mounted. They survived to be complicit in the murder of more Black men and women under the heinous stand your ground law.
While there was the potential to use “Black dollars” as weapon to achieve justice in Florida, it was never actualized by the collective action of Black America. The recent murder of Markeis McGlockton signals that it is “business as usual” in Florida. Frederick Douglas had it right: “Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.” It’s time for Black people to stand our ground and stay away from Florida.