The title of this article makes a bold statement. You would assume that the statement is made by racist, narrow minded individuals, but that assumption would be incorrect. It is usually uttered by someone who is Black or of African decent. When hearing that statement there is usually two common statements that follow. Either "I know what you mean" or "There goes another one."
The crazy thing is that I personally have never heard that statement uttered by any other race or group of people other than Blacks. Haven't heard a White, Indian, Asian, Hispanic, Greek, etc utter those combination of words. I also, have never heard any other race or group of people claim that they will not or do not support a business that is owned by a person of the same race or group as themselves besides Black people.
Let's try to understand the underlying foundation for the statement as well as the ramifications of it. Through the merits of slavery, institutional racism, subluminal programming, and ignorance, it has been embedded in our subconscious that we (blacks) are all one. During slavery when one slave was rebellious or disobedient, all slaves were punished. During the fight for desegregation, as Black protesters staged sit-ins in white only establishments many other Blacks not involved were beaten as a result of it. It is through this behavior that Black people themselves have learned the we are all one. As a result we make statements like "He is making all of us look bad" and "This Nigga gonna mess it up for everybody." Though we consciously don't accept that we are all one, we subconsciously blanket our entire race when it comes to something negative.
Black businesses also seem to suffer from the "we are all one" mentality of Black people in the event that a customer is dissatisfied with a product or service being provided by another business. Already being mistrusted and held to a higher standard than any business owned by another race or group, a good business will suffer simply because it is Black owned. The stigma of "That's why I don't support Black businesses" run so deep that I have heard many Black business owners make the statement as well. When that statement is made ask myself "does this Black business owner really understand what he/she just said?" I then proceed to point out that he/she is a Black business owner and then ask "If you feel this way, why should anyone do business with you?" Believe it or not they debate about why no Black owned business other than theirs should be supported. They often believe that their business is different and deserves to stand out above all others. I then ask, "According to you, regardless of the fact that you provide great service, why should anyone support your business if you are suggesting that no-one patronize a Black business?" It usually takes a while for it to sink in, and even then, their view remains the same.
Just as you are an individual, each Black owned business is unique. They are not all the same. They do not all have terrible customer service, nor are they all cutting corners when it comes to operating as a respectable business. You will have some good experiences with Black owned businesses and you will have some bad. When looking for a product or service to be fulfilled by a Black owned business make sure it is a legitimate business. Checking to make sure the business is legit will ensure your rights as a consumer.
Support Black Owned is just one directory of thousands which can help you find a great Black owned business to support. Remember a bad experience with one business should not condemn all Black businesses. And if you feel Black businesses are no good then what are you saying about yourself.
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