Tuesday, August 26, 2014


My friend Charlene recently posted the following piece on Facebook:

This is just me, but I don't give my money, or my husband's hard-earned money to any establishment that I KNOW does not hire African-Americans, has a prejudice/stereotype view of African-Americans, or have shown me personally that they're not capable of treating me with respect or dignity. Now saying this, I know people can put on fake smiles while serving me, and that's alright as long as they smile while taking my money. But I have been in establishments where:
  1. the clerk refused to touch my hand while giving me change.
  2. where my husband and I had to wait for service for an unusually long time (we left and never returned.)
  3. filled out a job application at a place, was not given a "call-back", only to have the regional manager call a month later (after I was employed at another woman's retail establishment), and she had found my application balled-up in the back of a filing cabinet. She apologized profusely, asked me to work for them, at double the rate I was currently being paid, which I kindly refused. I never spent a dime at that establishment, and they eventually closed down.
I have worked in retail where white sales women purposely ran the other way when an African-American or Indian person came into the store, which only helped my sales to SKYROCKET! I have seen ignorance, and fear on every level.

What's the point in sharing this with you? ECONOMIC POWER SPEAKS! That old saying "Hit them where it hurts." works. I KNOW that the African-American community has great wealth and wealth potential. Maybe, just maybe, we should use our economic power to cause change. Money "talks" and maybe now is the time to start "TALKING"!


Reading Charlene's message, I was reminded of a time when three other women and I went to Detroit to inspect product which had been recalled. Two of the women were Caucasian and one was African-American. One day, after work, we went to a local WalMart because we needed supplies for work and the women wanted to pick up some personal items.

I had the Company credit card and as I finished the transaction I noticed that one of the women was in a heated discussion at a check-out. The other two women were standing waiting at the end of the aisle. I asked, "What is the problem?" and I learned that the clerk was asking for identification from the woman in line--the African American--but had not asked for identification from the other two.

 Of course I had not been asked for identification and I had made a large purchase. I asked to see the Manager and when I did not receive what I considered a satisfactory response, the two women and I went to customer service and returned our purchases. I demanded the Regional Manager's name and when we returned to the motel, I called to complain and I wrote a complaint letter which all four of us signed. We went to K-Mart where we were treated correctly.

That occurred in the 1990s; see my BLOG article INTENTIONAL/UNINTENTIONAL RACISM which shows more recent incidents which proves the old adage "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

There are so many documented cases of unfair treatment from law enforcement toward African-American drivers--especially males--that there is an acronym for it: DWB (DRIVING WHILE BLACK). Eric Holder, our Attorney General, recently shared humiliating experiences he'd had. See the link to The Huffington Post which features an article from a mother who states that all parents must teach their children--especially sons--"The Lesson" of how to act when confronted by law enforcement.

Read a brilliant article written in 2011 by Sharon Thomas for the Record-Herald which also addresses SHOPPING WHILE BLACK!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is Sharon back in town? ML