By Dr. Boyce Watkins
I figured something out today that I’ve been processing for a while. It has to do with the anti-Black business mentality and what this does to the Black economy.
Part of what slows down the growth of the Black economy are people who demand Black businesses give every thing away for free while they gladly spend money with White businesses without questioning a thing.
We give other people of color a hard time even when they sell a quality product, but those same questions are rarely aimed at those we know don’t care about us one bit.
Do you ever ask Walmart, “What are you doing with your profits to help the black community?” No, you just go buy your $12 t-shirts and keep it moving.
Do you ever tell your local grocery store “You’re scamming Black people by charging us money for food!” Nope. You just make sure you have enough on your bank card to cover the transaction.
Do you ever rally outside of Popeye’s Chicken and say, “You’re feeding us unhealthy food that’s killing us and charging us $9.99 to eat it!” No, you do not. Insteasd, we quietly line up and wait for our 3-piece meal with extra hot sauce.
Did you try to burn down that White-owned university you attended that charged you $140,000 for a college degree and left you $60,000 in debt? No, you were appreciative that they invited you to attend and gave you the chance to give them all of your family wealth.
Do you go to Disney studios and say, “You and a bunch of white and Asian marketing experts got together and studied our spending habits to use advanced marketing techniques to get us to give you half a billion dollars to see The Black Panther!”
No, you did not. You will gladly buy your movie ticket and thank Marvel for the opportunity.
So, while we are ultra appreciative toward white businesses that take our money, we give black business owners the hardest time in the world.
“Negro, why did you charge me $20 for that book!”
“If you really care about the black community, your product would be free!”
“I ain’t giving that n***a my money so he can buy another Mercedes! Did you see that car he was driving? I heard he spends that money on his side chicks.”
At the same time, the White men at Marvel Studios will have two extra Benzes in the driveway after we blow up their bank accounts this weekend. Popeye’s Chicken executives can afford to buy anything they want and will never sit down and say, “What can we do for the Black community to thank them for giving us billions of dollars in revenue?”
The point is that Black businesses CANNOT grow if these anti-Black business attitudes do not change.
Black businesses are the ones MOST likely to put money back into black communities, while white businesses put money into their own communities.
Black businesses are most likely to create jobs for Black people.
Black businesses are most likely to feed Black children.
If that’s the case, then why do we spend so much energy to be determined to absolutely hate our own? We give about a trillion dollars a year to White businesses. Do you think they REALLY care more about your community than local Black businesses do?
Black businesses can’t grow if they are being boycotted by both White people and Black people. This anti-Black business environment is one of the leading culprits behind the lack of growth in Black-owned companies.
We can’t love a stranger and hate our own. If that attitude continues, we’ll never be able to build much of anything.