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Stop Treating Black Business Like A Plan B


Sometimes, I log-in to Facebook JUST to see what everyone is mad about. It’s like a daily occurrence. Someone or something pisses off one person and that person shares the incident…leading others to share it…and next thing you know you got a new thing to be outraged about. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving. It’s a great way to stay high off of rage: the new emotional crack rock for 2017.

This week’s object of rage is Dove. And while looking at the entirety of the commercial, I have concluded that people are once again reaching for something that isn’t quite there. It’s gotten to a point where people are comparing ads that are literally from 100 years ago to contemporary advertisements. Though I’m not writing to argue the rightness or wrongness of Dove, I gotta say that these proofs you all are pulling are circumstantial as fuck. In the end, all I can wonder is if white people are as upset about the white girl changing into a person of color as Black people are?

And since the screenshots and gifs that are circulating are only showing a portion of the ad, it becomes very clear that the original people who have pounced on this moment of outrage are only interested in making gains off of people’s anger and realize that capitalizing off of that requires them to omit much-needed context. It makes people like this no better than the MFers that chop and butcher news stories on Fox News to serve their agendas.

I just wish people could see through this kind of shit.

But the commercial and people’s outrage is not what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about the reaction that has become typical in these kinds of circumstances. And that reaction always plays out the same way: a white-owned company places an ad that Black folks perceive as insensitive. In retaliation, Black people declare they are no longer buying the said product by the company and look to Black-owned companies for compliments of the same product.

It’s funny. Because this kind of reaction reveals something about your character that you tried to project onto the company you’re boycotting. In this case, that company is Dove. And your anger with them stems from the perception that Black people are inferior to white people (based on the images of the Black woman changing into the white woman).

However. If you’ve waited until now to look into Black skin care companies, then you already view white companies as superior to the Black companies. The Black companies are simply your back up plan. Don’t make that face. It’s true.

It’s not a matter of knowing your options. It’s a matter of seeking those options out. You do it already, so I know that you’re capable of doing it. I mean, you have hair, don’t you?

And when it comes time to get your hair done or haircut, you seek out hair stylists and barbers that specialize in your hair, right?

You don’t go to Supercuts and wait for them to fuck your hair up all the way to be damned before you decide to just let a sista or brotha handle your unique hair. So why do you do that with skincare?

It’s because you’ve thought all this time that Dove or whoever was superior and therefore you spent your money with them. Your #1 excuse? Convenience. Possibly availability. Maybe price. The point is Black companies can’t compete with that in your eyes even though what the product is designed to do is better for your body – so you give your money to the white company.

That’s a cold ass truth, right? Sorry I had to be the one to break it to you.

The point of this is simple: Black companies already make products that suit your specific needs. They’ve tried to sell to you. They’ve tried to reach out to you. But you, for whatever reason, just didn’t buy what they were selling because you subconsciously viewed the white-owned product as better for your money. And now, because of pride…and not because of need…you want to seek out a Black-owned company as a backup plan.

That’s fucked up. Your reaction is saying exactly what you think the commercial is saying.

It’s the reason that many of these Black companies aren’t as successful in the first place.

Hopefully, you’re having ‘aahaa’ moment right now. If so, great! If not, well, dayum. Hopefully you will soon. Either way, the truth remains true: Black business is not a plan B. So don’t treat them that way.

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About Halsted Jones

I’m a #Writer not a fighter ■ Joyously kicking down pillow forts on my quest to do the write thing.

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