The name “Figgers” isn’t the problem — it’s your inner Uncle Tom that is bothered. Last week on #Day1 of of our 28 Days of We Buy Black campaign, we featured a piece on a dynamic, Black owned communications company founded by Freddie Figgers. Hundreds responded enthusiastically and switched their service but hundreds could only trash the name. Somehow the same people who gladly support Hulu, Amazon, Google, Heineken and Smucker’s find Figgers — a family name — to be so egregious. It’s not the name, it’s simply that far too many of us are looking for any reason to discount Blackness. You need not be a conservative to have some Uncle Tom in you. A little Uncle Tom lives in all of us. We have been so indoctrinated by White supremacy that it’s simply inevitable. The part of us that actively or passively undermines Black self determination is the Uncle Tom. The voice telling us that Smuckers is fine but Figgers isn’t is the Tom in us. Tom tells us any number of things to hinder Black self determination. For example, I read a comment on Instagram by a brother who earnestly swore that he wanted to make the switch to Figgers but the name wouldn’t allow him to — that was Tom talking. The name was never a hindrance — he was never going to switch anyway. Tom was simply providing him a convenient excuse. Jay Z brands himself “Jigga” and that sounds awfully close to…you know what. But that doesn’t bother us. Wix (website creation site) sounds awfully close to “Spics” but that doesn’t bother us. Hennessy is worthy of our dollar. Anheuser is worthy of our dollar. Most of us went to universities that were literally built by slaves but we never batted an eye. But now I’m being asked to believe that the rhyming scheme between Figgers and “niggers” turns you away and forgive me but I just can’t. Not switching your wireless service over to Figgers doesn’t mean you’re an Uncle Tom. Not at all. You might be locked into a contract with your current wireless provider. Your current phone may not be compatible with their network. You might honestly look at their plans and support offerings and conclude that you actually need to pay more to stay with another company, based on your family’s unique needs. All of the above are valid reasons to stay with your current provider. What we can’t allow to go unchallenged, however, is the notion that the family name of a brilliant Black entrepreneur is unworthy.