Bitcoin & Black America author Isaiah Jackson says that people invoking Bitcoin during the protests over the police killing of George Floyd have identified the “real enemy” – a legacy financial system that shuts out African-Americans.
Jackson spoke to Cointelegraph on June 4, saying he welcomed pictures on social media of protesters holding up signs promoting the cryptocurrency.
He said the result of black people being shut out of the economic system was a tragedy. “When the economic system is broken … no matter how hard you try, you get pushed to areas where police oversight is very heavy. You get these clashes and police start killing black men and it’s all just a domino effect,” he said. “So I think them holding signs is them saying, ‘Hey once this is over, remember who the real enemy is’.”
Jackson cited economic factors including the Federal Reserve printing money and 40 million people unemployed. “What is the strategy we could leverage for our community in the future?” he said. “I think they just realize Bitcoin could be that, so [I’m] glad to see it.”
Calls for a crypto solution
The murder of George Floyd has thrown the country into turmoil, with protesters calling for police reform and equal access to justice. A few are even pushing Bitcoin as a solution, with Jackson’s name and book title appearing on signs at protests in North Carolina, New Jersey, and even London.
He’s supportive of protesters on the streets worldwide, but Jackson also sees buying Bitcoin as an alternative solution. He’s been telling audiences on his tour for the book – which was published mid-2019 – that Bitcoin is “a peaceful protest,” long before Binance CEO Changpang Zhao expressed the thought in a Tweet on June 1.
He says, “I usually say that that the most peaceful protest you can do is simply buying Bitcoin on a regular basis, because you’re just moving your money out of this system into what I believe is a better and hard money system that can be used in the future.”
Hurdles to Bitcoin adoption
Despite the benefits Jackson talked about, cryptocurrency adoption isn’t mainstream among the African-American community yet. The author estimated that within the black community “maybe less than 10%” use Bitcoin and “less than 1% actually use it regularly.”
He also drew a parallel between the way some in the media reported on black communities, and how some reported on Bitcoin.
“Honestly, the perception of Bitcoin in the media has been eerily close to how black people have been perceived,” said Jackson, which includes “a lot of lies” and “projection based on misinformation.”