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NubianFellow

Black Businesses- Why The Concept Of Group Economics Is Not The Forefront Of The Black Agenda

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Black businesses are a complete waste of time. I used to wonder why Black people weren't supporting Black businesses, then I noticed something myself... black people still crave inclusion. Though many will not understand this about themselves or admit it, but it's true. Black people like to be included with others.

 

Think about most of the recent protesting you have witnessed on mass media. It's usually black people upset about not being included. Black people want mainstream businesses to cater to them which shows that they are not interested in only patronizing black businesses. Some will claim it is impossible, however, other races and cultures of people will O N L Y buy from themselves in very high percentages. Take China for instance... a large number of Chinese people will not even use Facebook or Twitter. They have their own social networks and they could care less who is there or isn't there. I have even noticed this behavior with Indians as well. These groups of people have no problem practicing group economics.

 

I did a post on a popular social network some time ago asking Black people why they would never support Black businesses and the feedback was abundant and alarming. I heard very many different reasons of why black businesses are inferior to non-black owned businesses. Here is some of the comments I received:

 

This is the question I asked: "Would you invest in a Black business and do you think Black people support Black businesses enough?"

Here are some of the responses to that question.

  1. Black businesses don't have good customer service.
  2. Black businesses charge too much.
  3. Black businesses don't support the community and give back.
  4. Black businesses can't compete with other businesses.
  5. Black entrepreneurs lack entrepreneur spirit.
  6. Doesn’t matter! If it’s successful, they’ll buy you out or kill you! Facts! ( Unless you take the oath)
  7. Black businesses exploit black people.
  8. Can't trust them.
  9. Not professional enough.
  10. Too many negative experiences.

 

The list can go on for quite a while but these were the top concerns about patronizing a black business. And get this, these were comments made by other black users.

There appears to be so many reasons not to support black businesses. This is a behavioral problem. Yet, if these same people are not choosing to support black businesses, it must mean that they are comfortable spending their money with non-black people!

 

I once heard of a case where black folk were protesting because they experienced bad service from a non-black restaurant. They mentioned boycotting but that is temporary. A boycott means that once the business fixes whatever the problem is, then they will be patronized again. But think about it (and this is the reason I won't eat out anymore, especially from non-black establishments), if someone is in control of your food then they have the ability to spit in it, wipe themselves in it, pluck whatever they choose into the food, or even poison it! Why would Black people make it part of black culture to eat at Chinese food restaurants or any other restaurant that doesn't even serve native black food? And I say that because in every ghetto or urban area there are tons of Chinese food restaurants and corner stores that black people patronize willingly every single day without batting an eyelash.

 

And what about fashion? It's strange to me that if there is one fashion label that is owned by a black owned company, then it would make sense to buy only that particular brand with an understanding that a certain percentage of the profits will go back to the black community and they use black owned banks. If we have the chance to buy black at reasonable prices and high quality, why ever buy anything else? Because we have been socially programmed to want to be included in with everyone else. If we are not included, then it appears as though we are missing out, regardless of the repercussions of this behavior.

 

And because of our desire to be included, it appears that all black owned businesses with the exception of entertainment, will fall short of supplying black people with an unmet need. This is the fundamental goal of all businesses which includes websites.

 

I have found from further search and experimentation that (from my own observation of data that I have personally collected) though there is a demand for black businesses to thrive, the desire to patronize these businesses just isn't there. Black people are more likely to support a non-black owned business than one they are certain is black owned. This speaks volumes about so many social issues that black people undergo on a daily basis but the behavior speaks for itself.

 

There seems to be something that is locked in the subconscious of black people that makes them feel black businesses are primarily inefficient and not good enough to serve their needs. I believe this thinking may go back to as far as slavery. Admitting, I am no psychologist so I must state that these are only my personal observations.

 

Another problem in the black community concerning black businesses is the common fact that black people do not practice group economics. People from other races and cultures are quick to put their money into a pot and go into a family operated business together. It's far less common with black people. Historically, black people just haven't been able to practice group economics except for when it became necessary to do so like with black wall street.

 

To sum it all up, black people are still not willing to support black businesses because on the surface they feel that there is no need for it as long as everyone else is willing to sell to them. If black people could only buy products from other black people and exclude outsiders, then there would be rioting, marching and protesting involved... factor in tears, fainting and hyperventilating. The reality of the matter is that if this was the case, the circumstances of Black people would change relatively overnight and these circumstances would change for the better.

 

Until black people are willing to change cultural behavior that has been pushed on us by mass media, radio, news, magazine, Hollywood, Broadway, and the likes, things are not going to change anytime soon. In order for black businesses to get supported by the black community, our entire culture has to change. It's simply a requirement.

 

Black Americans and other Diaspora blacks don't have to feel left out. As it appears, Africa seems to exhibit symptoms of the same non-progressive behavior.

 

 

 

 

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@NubianFellow I feel you man.  The very first lesson I learned when I started this business over 21 years ago is that Black people will NOT support you just because you are Black.  Sure, there are some people who will but it is not very many -- certainly not enough to guarantee the success of a business.

 

One Brother I'm working with actively supports Black businesses.  he does not go around proclaiming it, but I observe how he operates and it is what he does.  I even used him as an example in a a#readingblack video:

 

 

 

I agree in that it seems like Black people often define success by the level of white validation.  You have to be covered in their media, win their awards, have credentials from their companies and schools. If you are not validated by white folks Black folks will not recognize you as a success.  This mentality feeds on itself because it increases our dependence on white folks for financial success.  I'd argue in most cases you can not be successful without the white cosign.

 

You mention social networks, I remember how excited I was to learn about the popularity of "Black Twitter."  I read hearing about it all over the media and remember thinking, finally Black folks have gotten together and have built a social platform -- even earning the elusive white cosign.  When I discovered it was just Black folks on Twitter -- I just shook my head.

 

But there is hope.  Think segregation, when we were forced to patronize our own business because we had no choice.  Today as corporations screw us over, people are seeking alternatives.  This will benefit all indie businesses including Black owned ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I hate to compare the way the majority of black people think today with slavery, but I think that requiring validation from the very people you oppose is definitely a slave characteristic. It's this slave mentality that has always worked against us as far back as our ancestors first selling us into slavery or being kidnapped into it and may even go back beyond then, which would explain why slavery existed in the first place and why they were feeding our black babies to the alligators.

 

The thinking of black people has not advanced enough to allow black businesses to prosper yet. Instead of dealing with our own, it appears that far too many blacks would rather deal with outsiders first, unless we are talking about entertainment. And even then, there is a great level of buffoonery. As far as I know, black people have much success in entertainment, however, not one black owned record label that is not under a white record label. Not one television station outside of Oprah that is doing anything of major importance. We are behind and I blame the thinking of black people over the suspected white supremacy.

 

If black consciousnesses evolved overnight, then the circumstances of black people would also change overnight.

 

 

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Black people have been relegated to the consumer class and this is compatible with the materialistic nature which is not entirely unnatural to them.  Their lives are hard enough as it is, and having ready access to the luxurious goods and services that bring satisfaction to their existence is what neutralizes their ambition to nation build.  The black mystique is the asset they capitalize on.  White people envy their swag and cool essence. Finding this amusing is what bolsters black self esteem.  In America, role playing is what all ethnics settle into. That's life.  

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Based on my experiences and observations, TRUST and DEPENDABILITY tend to be the biggest issues when trying to support and cater to most Black businesses.
The paricular PRODUCT that the Black business may be selling (food, hair cuts, clothing, braiding, ect...) is usually superior to what Caucasians have to offer, but the SERVICE is often shitty.

Too many excuses are made for ROUTINELY not having what the customer wants when they want it.
Too many excuses are made for why the establishment isn't open on time or even open at all, again...not just sometimes but ROUTINELY.
And while some Black customers expect to get an unreasonable deal, or the same product at a ridiculously lower cost from a Black business ------- on the flip side of the coin some Black businesses expect for their Black customers to patronize them unconditionally, give them bigger tips for less service, or overlook their lack of professionalism simply because they're Black as a way of showing support.

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@Cynique White people have definitely capitalized off our swag in every way imaginable. Whoever thought that battle rap, which was the most street and urban thing you could do as a black child in my era, would be turned into a multi billion dollar franchise that is ran fully by white people? I would find that amusing if I wasn't a black child who grew up in that era. But for some reason, I feel like black people gravitate towards non-black, which very well could be for the reasons that @Pioneer1 stated.

 

There are many noticeable shortcomings when dealing with many black businesses. I have had my share of negative experiences though I must say, most of my experiences where not that bad. The environments in some black owned businesses does appear to be more relaxed at times.

 

I believe that it is still important to patronize black businesses and this is not an emotional decision but an intellectual one. Too much money leaves our hands and never returns. This is something that needs to be corrected.

 

I once saw a movie with Italians going to have a pizza. I can't remember the name of the movie but the Italian gangsters were talking about killing the owner of the restaurant. One of them asked why they were still eating the pizza from his shop if he was such a creep and the Italian gangster replied, "We always support our own no matter what!" Deep.

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Don't get me wrong, MOST of my dealing with Black businesses have been positive also.
Infact the VAST majority were. But in a society like the United States where you have so much variety and opportunity, the issue of supporting ANY business is more than whether or not you simply have a positive experience but also COMPARISON to other businesses and COMPETITION comes into play. Most consumers of any race are less concerned about who owns the business and more concerned with how much they will save and the quality of goods or services they will receive. Black businesses can't rely on getting support from the community simply because they exist....they must figure out a way to either have lower prices and/or superior production to the competition.

A good example of this are Chinese restaurants.  Not only is Chinese food relatively cheap and tasty but Chinese restaurants are found in almost every community in the United States and are open everyday despite holidays, weather, or economic downturns. They are sucessful because they cater to not just Chinese people but to everybody....including in the ghetto....and they make sure they have all you want anytime you want it! You've never seen a Chinese restaurant closed during daylight hours...lol.

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