Enough is Enough
If you truly believe a picture is worth a thousand words, then the recent posts on social media regarding the treatment of African Americans at various places of business are worth millions of words. And that is a good thing, because this is not the time to be speechless.
Two African Americans were arrested for arriving early and waiting for a business meeting at Starbucks. A different Starbucks told an African American customer that he had to purchase an item before he could use the restroom, but a white customer came out of the restroom and expressed that he was not required to purchase an item to receive a bathroom pass. An African American man was beaten by an African American security guard at Wal-Mart after being accused of robbery. The security guard never asked for or checked a receipt. A Waffle House had a white man come in wearing nothing but a green jacket kill four people, and he was eventually apprehended without harm. He had a history of having assault weapons. An African American woman had a disagreement with Waffle House staff, asked for a number to contact corporate, the staff called the police. Video captured her expressing to the officers that she only wanted the number to corporate, but she was eventually manhandled and arrested. A young African American man escorted his sister to the prom. They eventually arrive at a Waffle House with several other prom attendees. A disagreement between the young man and the staff eventually involved law enforcement choking and slamming the young man to the hard concrete. Three black teens were accused of shoplifting at Nordstrom Rack, as they shopped for prom. And finally, a black graduate student at Yale fell asleep in the commons area of her dorm, only to awake to a white student calling the police on her.
I am a true believer in the fact that the only actions that we can control are our own actions. If this is indeed a true fact, then as African Americans, we need to stop spending our resources in businesses and stop living in communities that treat us like common criminals and second-class citizens. Build up strong black businesses and communities that leverage our economic potential and invest in our families’ quality of life. If a business respects the African American community, our struggles, and our dreams, then we will gladly support that business. If a business deems the African American presence contrary to their corporate mission, then we organize and create our own businesses to secure the same products and services attached with respect and true customer service. We did it before with Rosewood and Black Wall Street. We can do it again. If you don’t want our services and our money, keep you coffee, waffles, and all other goods and services. Our money is powerful with or without Harriet Tubman on the cover. Enough is enough!
(Steven Evans is a minister in Clinton)