News and Commentary

North Carolina Social Justice Activist: Boycott July 4, Crash Other People’s Cookouts

In Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina, social justice activists are telling their followers to boycott the Fourth of July this year, not to buy hot dogs or fireworks, and even to crash other people’s cookouts. They say they refuse to celebrate until America addresses what they see as endemic racism; one referred to the current climate as “Trump terror.”

Durham minister and activist Paul Scott, who has reiterated his call to boycott the Fourth for weeks, said, “I hope it’s going to start a chain reaction.” On Instagram, he wrote, “People are asking, ‘what can I do as an individual to make things better?’ Well, one thing everybody can do is boycott July Fourth.”

Scott continued, “We are experiencing a rise in racial hatred, we have children of immigrants being torn away from their parents. In this era of ‘Trump terror,’ I don’t think many Americans have too much to celebrate this year.” He added on Instagram, “Don’t buy fireworks, don’t buy franks. Don’t buy none of that. That will send a message to this country that we will no longer tolerate injustice.”

Scott was echoed in Raleigh at a meeting of social justice advocates by community activist Diana Powell, who opined, “This is something that everybody can participate in.” Before the meeting, Powell stated on Facebook Live, “We want to know what your address is — because we’re gonna be crashing cookouts that day.”

ABC 11 asked Powell how she would address those who accused her of being divisive and unpatriotic. She responded, “You look at the gentrification, the homelessness, the struggle, the drugs — it affects us. Do we really feel like we’re included? No.”