Supporting Black Businesses, Not A Plan B
By Olivia Green, CEO/Black San Diego
Two weeks ago had I been asked that very same question, what would I have said? What would we all have said? For me, it would have been, after my Grande hot chai tea latté that Starbucks makes me feel like I can maneuver through the craziness of my work life. My latte was my little secret treat to myself. As for my view of the company, it has been a company that has been customer cautious and thrives on diversity. A place where everyone is welcome no matter what your social class is. I feel welcome in the hustle and bustle of the business that comes with entering each of their establishments. Welcomed by a smile and a question of “What Can I get for you today?”
Starbucks has always been just Starbucks. No negative thoughts in a general sense. Only that they’re everywhere and you can count on that for sure. Since the existence of Starbucks, it has been a place to meet, to study or to simply enjoy one of their signature drinks. During Grad school, I spent endless hours there until it was time to close and I closed with them. The only place I felt I could go to entrench myself in my studies. Fast forward to now, Today. My opinion has not really changed. To be honest, nothing has changed. Only that, In my personal opinion, I am disappointed in their approach because to me it was a management issue, not a company cultural issue.
Though I do feel that they are working hard to resolve the issues that can come from the unlawful arrest of two innocent black young males. As the world watched on April 12th when the video went viral with the arrest of 2 black men for simply waiting inside of a Starbucks for a business meeting and arrested for not purchasing anything and were not allowed to use the restroom. With everyone calling for a boycott, I pose the question is that the right form of action to take? Why would I say or think that? We can boycott and jump on all types of social media outlets. Screaming that we are outraged and upset but tomorrow we will be mad and outrage at another business or company. We hold the largest buying power yet our money only stays with us a mere 6 hours. Instead of boycotting, why not pull together in order to solve the real problem “Us!”
Now I know it is easier said then done but we are our solution to our problems. If we take the time to pause, become silent and refrain from commentary on Social media we then can think this out clearly. Yes, there are many of us working independently but wouldn’t you think that collectively we are stronger. If we can be real with ourselves for a quick second, next month or even six months if I ask you about Starbucks and how they make you feel! What are you really going to say. “ Oh, I was there yesterday or You know it’s Frappuccino Happy Hour this month?”
What happened last week will be a thing of the past. I challenge myself along with everyone to pull our resources together and have a meeting of the minds. That consists of real progressive conversation and not this back and forth dialogue of the injustice of this world we live in. We are all aware of the world we have been living in and currently living through. The question that we all need to reflect on is “ What are we going to do to rebuild our black communities?” We have all the resources and wealth. We can no longer make our black-owned businesses our Plan B when companies make us mad and discriminate against us and in return we boycott for a week. So my question to you is How does Starbucks really make you feel?
Black San Diego Empowering Our Community 619-957-4818
The San Diego Monitor-News has been serving Black San Diego since 1986