Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Modern Day Racism

I twittered a pointer to a story about "Buy Black", and noted that it is just racism under a different label. Twitter is not a very good outlet for really discussing something, though.

I think the key question here is, "should business ownership diversity match the diversity of the population?"

If you answer "yes", then we need to fix these inequities, too:
  • overrepresentation of Mexican ownership of Mexican restaurants
  • too many Chinese-owned Chinese restaurants
  • way too many asian-owned dry cleaners
  • what's with all the Jewish diamond merchants? Get whitey in there!
I could keep going, but I hope you see my point. Why must business ownership match? Aren't you being racist by only buying from a black-owned business?

Now, granted. I can see supporting black ownership if there is something truly keeping them "down". But I would counter that Obama blows apart the notion of blacks being held back by "The Man". Hell... a black guy is The Man.

If you want to fix an inequity, then your time could be used to fight against the glass ceiling endured by women.

(and before anybody comments: yes, I use "black" just like I'm "white"; most Americans were born in the US and have nothing to do with Africa)

4 comments:

adnan. said...

Now, granted. I can see supporting black ownership if there is something truly keeping them "down". But I would counter that Obama blows apart the notion of blacks being held back by "The Man". Hell... a black guy is The Man.So racism and privilege ended the moment Obama got elected? Because Hillary competed in the primaries and got very close to winning, this means that all women are treated equally?

No, it doesn't. The "black guy is The Man" logic simply doesn't apply.

Greg Stein said...

Of course it didn't end, but Obama does demonstrate that any and all opportunities are available.

And as I noted in my post, I believe women have less opportunity. We elected a black man before electing a white woman. Assuming this is symptomatic of the general populace (and all other factors being equal (which they aren't)), then who is lower on the totem pole, hmm?

meat.net said...

Are you seriously arguing that black people don't still face significant barriers to opportunity on the basis of a single data point?

Greg Stein said...

No. I'm saying "must ownership diversity match population diversity?" I think there is no inherent requirement for that.

Thus, going out of your way to frequent black-owned businesses strikes me as racist.

I would totally support a black-owned business if this was 40 years ago. Rampant and methodical racism was prevalent, so supporting black businesses would have helped to fix that.

Today? Well, duh. Of course racism still exists. But it isn't written into law like it used to be. Also, I feel the younger generations have generally moved past the viewpoints held by my parents and grandparents. So I do not believe explicit support for a black-owned business helps. I think it is divisive and racist.

I go into a business and don't care whether it is owned by a white, a black, a Korean, an Hispanic, or whatever. However, what if I did care, and make my selection based on race. Isn't that the very definition of racism?

Look. Sure, barriers exist. But they are being overcome. My major point is that I disagree with the idea that only frequenting black-owned businesses is the solution to those problems. I think it is a step backwards. That is my point.