There is a big chance that you have seen the phrase “Not being a racist is not enough; we need to be anti-racist” floating around these days. It is a phrase that was popularized by Ibran Kendi, the founding director and author of Anti-racist Research and Policy Center. According to Kendi, there are a lot of faces to this concept.
It is about tearing down the idea of racism and the policies that protect these ideas. It has been stymying the growth of Black America throughout the United States’ history. In his best-selling book, he writes, “When a racist idea resounds, denials that these ideas are pretty racist will follow.”
Part of tearing down these policies, especially if we are talking about economic sense, is putting the money where the mouth is. Instead of getting the goods through online retail stores like Amazon or eBay, people need to try spending their money at businesses with owned by people of color, especially local businesses.
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The importance of supporting businesses owned by black entrepreneurs
Supporting these companies means that you support the community since they are more than just places that offer services and goods. They are a community space for connection and meeting. These businesses are platforms and cultural hubs for local artists. They also provide resources and programs that the community needs.
Given these roles, strengthening these businesses can help strengthen the community. In reality, Black Americans do not have the same opportunities that white people have, especially when it comes to career opportunities and economic success.
According to a February report from Business Insider, only four of the Fortune500 Chief Executive Officer are African Americans. None of these CEOs are black women, which has more challenges in the workplace compared to their white male counterparts. For instance, in 2018, it was reported that women of color earned only 60 cents for every dollar earned by their white male counterparts.
It amounts to at least $20,000 less in total income that year. Not only that, but women of color are also more likely to experience harassment in the workplace than any other group, according to surveys of large companies in the United States.
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Most of these women have difficulty getting loans from banks because if the color of their skin. It is another way that they are gatekept from success. They have been struggling to get money from banks. It is known that they get denied way more than other racial groups when it comes to business ventures.
Opportunities are not equal
White people are usually given a lot of opportunities to hole more economic capital and more jobs in general. They also hold the ability to enjoy wealth where a lot of Black Americans do not get. According to a survey from the Federal Reserve, African-American families have only ten cents for every dollar from typical white families.
Another study concluded that more or less 50% of Black Americans experienced some kind of discrimination at least once when applying for a job. More or less 60% experienced discrimination when being considered for promotions or getting equal pay. There is also an ongoing issue of the gentrification of African-American neighborhoods, which usually includes pushing out people of color from communities or their homes, culture, or business.
Businesses held by people of color usually need more support. For instance, we live in a world with an active pandemic, which has affected small companies owned by Black Americans. You can read an article about black owned companies to find out more about these companies – companies that thrive despite the pandemic.
According to recent research, the number of businesses owned by people of color nosedived from 1.1 million in February to 650,000 in April. It translates to about 40% of companies owned by African-Americans in the United States going under in the wake of the Corona Virus pandemic.
By diverting the buying power to these businesses, we are not only helping them strengthen the local Black economy, but also contribute to the shrinking of the racial wealth gap, create more jobs for people of color, as well as help to hold more prominent companies accountable when it comes to diversity representation. But make no mistake, it will only happen if these companies are supported by most people, not