As activists across the state and around the nation move from a strategy of social activism to financial activism, there has been a growing desire to identify which businesses and organizations stand behind the calls for justice and those that choose to stand in the way of progress. In an effort to aid in the work of identifying organizations that are allies and those that are not, the 2020 South Carolina Black Media Coalition (SCBMC) which consists of nine black-owned publications that offer print and digital products and two black-owned radio stations, is introducing the “Eye S.O.R.E” which stands for Stopping Oppressive and Racist Enterprises. Combined, the SCBMC has a total circulation of 708,963 readers, listeners, and subscribers.
The Eye S.O.R.E. is a Do-Not-Buy list that informs minority consumers, and those who stand in solidarity with minority communities, which businesses and organizations across South Carolina have been caught in the act of practicing racist or oppressive behavior towards African American customers.
Beyond its literal meaning, the term “Eye Sore” is a colloquialism used to describe something ugly. It is a phrase one might use to refer to a run-down building or overgrown property or a street that’s been left unkept for an extended period of time. In terms of the current pursuit of economic equality, businesses and organizations that have been allowed to operate with racist attitudes and de facto policies of discrimination are an emotional and mental eyesore in the communities they are supposed to serve. They should be identified as such and efforts should get underway to replace them with something else that would improve the community.
Our mission with the Eye S.O.R.E. is to help support the financial activism that puts pressure on businesses that have historically ignored us and be a part of the work for change. We’re asking consumers from anywhere in the state to help us keep watch on where we’re spending our dollars by submitting names of businesses, organizations, and business owners who exhibited discriminatory behavior towards black communities. Our team will investigate to confirm each incident of raciest action and place that business on the list once verification takes place.
In order for this resource to be a successful tool for activists, we’re asking you to not only submit names of businesses and organizations to be listed but to also share the list with your friends and colleagues through your own social media platforms and personal networks.
Activism by its nature, is most successful when different individuals and organizations lean on their strengths to advance a common cause. Every single person plays a role in evoking change and we’re hoping that the EYE S.O.R.E. can be one more resource that individuals can look to when asking themselves, “How can I help make a difference.”
The Eye S.O.R.E. list will appear in the print publications, on websites, social media platforms, and other digital mediums operated by the members of the 2020 South Carolina Black Media Coalition (SCBMC).