I’ve had people give me many reasons as to why they choose not to support Black owned business and although I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion, no one has actually given me a reason I can agree with so far. Here are just a few of the comments that I have received.
“I always have such horrible experiences with Black owned businesses”
The reason I have a problem with this statement is that the people who say this are normally the ones who are shopping from Black owned sole proprietor, small home businesses, etsy shops etc. I love small owned businesses and purchasing products that I know are made from love however, it is not fair to compare your experience at keishasaccessories.com with your experience at forever21.com. I’m not saying that you do not deserve a high standard of service; whenever you spend your hard earned money that goes without saying. What I am saying is that forever21.com has a marketing team, an email team, a customer service call centre, and a shipping department with hundreds…(thousands?) of employees. Keisha however is the marketing, email, customer service and shipping department so even while she is providing you the best service possible it will not be the same as the best service from a big box company. The fact of the matter is that you may not necessarily have horrible experiences with Black owned businesses but you may have had horrible experiences with SMALL businesses and choose to focus on race instead.
“I’d like to support Black owned business but they have terrible customer service”
Poor customer service has no race. The problem I have with people using this blanket statement is again the focus on our own people. It bothers me when I hear black people spreading this type of venom when it is in fact simply not true. You can experience poor customer service from anyone, anywhere. The fact that you have experienced poor customer service from a Black owned business does not mean that will be the experience from all Black owned businesses. I often cringe when listening to the news or some broadcast about “Black on Black crime”. There’s no such thing. If a white man murders a white man, it’s a crime but if it happens to be a black man who murders a black man why do we all of a sudden become animals, inhumane beings so heinous that they have to put us in a different category. At the end of the day it’s either a crime or it isn’t. You either received bad customer service or you didn’t. We all have room to grow but if we choose (yes, it is a choice) to focus only on the negative how can we break out of the cycle? The next time you have a poor customer service experience call it that because that is what it is regardless of the race that was dishing it out.
“You don’t deserve my money solely because you are black”
In my opinion, this is not a reason to not support our own people, this is an excuse. No one deserves your money for any reason. Not the white owned business, the asian owned business or the black owned business. It’s about where you choose to spend it.
It’s very easy to deflect onus onto someone else, that way we don’t have to be held accountable but what if we decided to take responsibility ourselves?
What if instead of waiting for a Black owned grocery store to open in our area, we made the 15 minute drive to the next closest one?
What if instead of complaining about how the woman at the Black owned beauty supply store never acknowledges you, you walked in and said hello instead?
What if you could teach your children the value of our people by your actions, instead of perpetuating the detriment through your words?
What if we started the change now, instead of waiting for someone else to start first?