A few years ago, when my parents and other family members were angered by the actions of a new priest at the church co-founded by my grandparents, they met with the archdiocese of Houston to register their complaint.
They got a polite reception from the number two official. Yet it wasn’t until my mom said they were planning to place fliers on each car in the church parking lot asking the congregation to stop giving their tithes and offerings that he finally sat up and said, “We’ll look into your grievances.”
Whether it’s the Catholic Church or anywhere else in America, money talks.
That’s why when the Rev. Jamal Bryant of Baltimore spoke at the March 10 rally on the Florida state capitol grounds and called for people of conscience to mobilize economically to help defeat the law, it was seized upon by the larger public as a real means of fighting Florida lawmakers.
Ever since the shooting death of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, Floridians and others have shone a light on the controversial law, which was first signed into law in Florida and has now spread to 23 other states.
Second Amendment lovers defend it, saying its necessary for Americans to defend themselves at all times when their life is perceived to be in imminent danger. Yet civil right activists say that when the lives of black kids like Martin and Jordan Davis are taken, the law must be changed.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, along with the Republican-controlled legislature, has resisted all overtures to changing the law, including a variety of protests.
So maybe it’s time to hit the Gunshine state in the pocketbook.
On Monday, Bryant called on two of the state’s major employers, Tropicana orange juice and Disney, to stand up against the “stand your ground” laws or be targeted. In his speech before nearly 2,000 people at the march, he said that he faxed a letter to officials at both corporations to meet with “stand your ground” law opponents by April 4 to discuss the issue. Not only is that one month after the Florida Legislature would be in session for this 90-day term, but also the anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
If Tropicana and Disney do not choose to sit down and discuss joining forces to repeal the “stand your ground” law, an economic mobilization plan would go into effect that may include asking folks nationwide to not use Tropicana or come to Disney World, as well as call on organizations to not hold their conventions in Florida.
Roland S. Martin is senior political analyst for TV One and author of the book “The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House as Originally Reported by Roland S. Martin.” Please visit his website at http://www.RolandSMartin.com. To find out more about Roland S. Martin and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at http://www.creators.com.