Black Dem. lawmaker says Florida boycott could hurt blacks

Calls by professional race-baiters Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to boycott Florida as an “apartheid state” could only end up hurting black business owners and workers who depend on tourism to make a living, a black congresswoman said Sunday.

And she’s not even from Florida.

donnaedwardsAccording to the Washington Times, Donna F. Edwards, D-Md., is among America’s black leaders who are split on their views of a potential boycott. Edwards said black leaders should be cautious before organizing boycotts that could backfire on the people they are supposed to be helping.

“I think that many of us understand that sometimes when we call for those kind of economic boycotts, the impact on some of our communities can be really tremendous, and so I want to examine that first,” Edwards said on “Fox News Sunday.”

The boycott calls came after a jury acquitted Sanford, Fla., resident George Zimmerman of murder in the shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin in February 2011.

Led by musician Stevie Wonder, who announced his personal boycott of Florida venues on July 14, the day after Zimmerman was acquitted, the activists followed, with Jackson appearing on CNN on Thursday to brand the Sunshine State an “apartheid state.”

On Friday, three members of the Congressional Black Caucus (otherwise known — since the defeat of Republican Allen West in November — as Black Democrats in Congress) told The Hill they supported the boycott: Rep. Lacy Clay, D-Mo., Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif.

Edwards sees things differently.

“I don’t think there’s been a unanimous call within the Congressional Black Caucus,” she told “Fox News Sunday.” “In fact, we haven’t even discussed that in the Congressional Black Caucus to my knowledge.”

Florida’s own members of the Congressional Black Caucus haven’t been as solicitous of Florida’s blacks as Edwards.

Rep. Alcee Hastings, for instance, told The Hill last week that a boycott of Florida would do little to sway the state’s Republican Legislature but did not mention any possible impact on state residents. His chief of staff was not available Monday.

Reps. Frederica Wilson and Corrine Brown, meanwhile, have released statements critical of the Zimmerman acquittal but nothing regarding the proposed boycott. Their spokesmen could not be reached Monday.


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