You may have noticed by now that we are crowdfunding to build a Black owned grocery store with products produced by Black owned companies — there’s even a chance you’re over it already. We’ve talked about the economic impact of a Black owned grocery store and how it would help recycle the Black dollar but it’s much deeper than that. This store is an opportunity to go beyond complaining about racism and actually dismantling it.
Remember this: no one can oppress you unless you give them the money to do so. Let’s be frank and just admit that in 2019 we are still complaining about racism, protesting racism and yet it persists with no end in sight. The critical question we have to ask ourselves is, “How bad is all this racism, really?” Some could say that it couldn’t be that terrible because Black people willingly give so much money to the same people said to be racist. Starbucks dogs us out and we complain. They apologize and we happily give them more money, keeping them in a position of power to do it all again, if they choose. Wells Fargo gets caught discriminating against Black consumers and we still throw them our deposits so that they can continue to gentrify our neighborhoods. Based on the behavior, it’s not obvious that Black folks think all of this racism is so bad.
It is bad and we shouldn’t continue to empower, feed and nourish it with our dollars. Groceries are the second largest expense for Black households and yet there is plenty of racism in the grocery store aisles. Bottled water companies play on racial stereotypes to push their product and of course, Flint has never been a big concern to any of them. Companies like Uncle Ben’s use the likeness of Black folks to profit — an old trick. Other companies, like Tyson Foods, routinely donate tens of thousands of dollars to politicians who are generally opposed to legislation that would specifically benefit Black people. All of this is happening in the aisles of the grocery store and it harms Black people. All of it, however, we enable and empower daily with each swipe of our debit card.
Racism cannot hold power over us unless we fund it. The second largest expense we have is the grocery bill and we shouldn’t underestimate the damage those purchases have. Uncle Ben may seem harmless but the wealth being created by the company isn’t. Tyson may just seem like a nice chicken company but the big money they invest in anti-Black politicians isn’t nice, at all. We can do more than complain and protest — we can take power and build ourselves, through Soul Food Market. Have you donated yet? Click here to make your contribution today — $10, $20, whatever you can afford actually makes a real impact.