Well, now. Here’s a fascinating thing. And, by fascinating, I mean totally ridiculous.
Actor Isaiah Washington is calling on African-Americans to protest the recent killings of black men by police in a very different way.
Washington took to Facebook on Tuesday to suggest that African-Americans across the United States boycott showing up for work on Monday to show that black lives matter in the wake of recent police brutality [sic].
“Imagine if every single African American in the United States that was really fed up with being angry, sad and disgusted, would pick ONE DAY to simply ‘stay at home’ from every single job, work site, sports arena and government office in the United States of America,” he wrote to his thousands of followers.
“I’m very sure that within 72 hours from Wall Street to the NFL…Black Lives Would Matter. September 26, 2016 is THE DAY,” the former “Grey’s Anatomy” star continued.
Or, more likely, the black unemployment would rise, while other people would waltz in and take their jobs. And why wouldn’t that happen? I know that, if I were an employer, I would fire anyone who did this and hire someone more reliable and who had the moral clarity to not make me pay for his beef with someone/something not me.
Actors are usually contracted to work for a certain time period and the well-compensated among them can afford to have down-time. Monday-to-Friday, 40 hours per week sorts cannot, of course, and have little spare cash. But Mr. Washington probably hasn’t considered that. One wonders if he is contracted to work for someone else September 26th. I would guess not.
Probably the most important thing to understand about privately owned businesses: their owners do not owe jobs to anyone. In a capitalist economy, a business exists for one reason and that is to make money for its shareholder(s). Businesses hire employees for that very same reason and they pay employees so that the latter will allow themselves to be hired. In other words, the hiring is a means to a goal and not the goal itself. Anyone who has thought about this for a few seconds will understand why minimum wage laws harm the people they are intended to help (sic).
The notion that a business exists for any other reason than enriching its owners is one of the many long-running deceptions deposited into our collective consciousness.
The flip side of that deception is another one: that the only way to make any money is to be hired by a business owner, a corporation, or a government agency. Mr. Washington’s suggestion is based on both faulty foundations.
He does mention government offices, however. Police departments are government offices, are they not? It would be interesting to see the outcome should every single Blue American in the United States decide to take a day off.
And, by interesting, I mean funny…if one doesn’t live in a large city, that is.
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.
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