Empowerment Experiment

Am I oblivious to what is going on in the world? I read yesterday that there are a group of African-Americans who have signed on to an experiment (Empowerment Experiment) vowing to patronize only black owned businesses for a year.  A participant states “It’s like my people have been here 400 years and we don’t even have a Walgreens to show for it”. Another quotes “We have to believe that black businesses are just as good as everybody else’s”.

Here is where I feel ignorant. I never knew this was a problem in this day and age. I had to check the date of my newspaper when I read this article thinking it was left over from the 50’s (or even later). Are African Americans turned down for business loans? All I know is when I go into a business it is because I like the merchandise or their pricing. I have NO IDEA what race the owner is.  I live in the San Diego area…they mentioned Chicago and Atlanta in this article. Maybe things are different there? Was this article saying that white people are less apt to go into a business owned by an African American or was it saying there are not enough businesses owned by African Americans because of discrimination? Maybe both? Another quote-“We’ve still got that ‘the white man’s water is colder’ mentality” (referring to restaurants).

Is this experiment one step forward or two steps back? I thought electing our first African American was a huge step in the right direction. For some reason I’m not sure about this experiment… but I am not an African American. What’s that old saying… Until you walk a mile in my shoes…

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