By Ronda Watson Barber
I have been reading with great interest corporate declarations that Black Lives Matter. Every organization that has my email address has forward their sentiments acknowledging that America hasn’t been kind, fair or just to Black folks. We see the rallying cry in commercials and on social media. Will those same entities change their hiring practices to include the ancestors of enslaved Africans? Will they set up meaningful purchasing inclusion programs to include Black-owned businesses? If America was found on white supremacy, are folks willing to give up some of their power and privilege for the sake of fairness and justice to Black folks? How will this change in attitude be accomplished? What does the government owe Black folks who have been denied life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness since 1619?
Black businesses matter! In my last column, I commented that I believe that strong vibrant Black businesses are vital to our community. Most Black business owners hire other Black people. Black businesses support Black community charities and issues. It is important that Black-owned businesses thrive and succeed. Our children need positive role models. Our children need to see Black businesses that are self-sufficient and empowering our society. As the survivors of 401 years of racism and systemic oppression, Black-owned business ownership is even more important. We need to support and take care of ourselves.
Many Black leaders are campaigning and complaining to the Columbus Dispatch their adamant displeasure with an editorial spewing out racist stereotypes. Again. Who cares what the Columbus Dispatch thinks about Black businesses. Are those same leaders doing business with Black-owned businesses? Are their law firms, construction companies, social service agencies, and churches buying goods and services from Black folks? We need to support and take care of ourselves during the Covid-19 and Racism pandemics.
What are YOU doing to promote and uplift Black businesses in our community? Does your Black business buy products or services from other Black businesses? Are you encouraging your employer to purchase goods and services from Black-owned businesses? Does your church buy products or services from Black businesses? Does your sorority or fraternity buy products or services from Black businesses? If the answer is no. Why?
Black business matters! Our dollars and votes have power.
Just my thoughts…rwb
To the litigious: The First Amendment protects several basic freedoms in the United States including freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assemble, and the right to petition the government. It was part of the Bill of Rights that was added to the Constitution on December 15, 1791. The Constitution applies to Black people too. The views expressed in OhioMBE and the media outlets of The 912 Group are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views/opinions of The 912 Group, the editor, publisher, our staff or our advertisers.
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