The images of racist assaults, both physical and verbal taking over every nook and cranny of America are evident every day. Unfortunately more and more, those who are supposed to protect the people are indeed the worst transgressors against the very people they are sworn to protect and serve.
Yet my response to some of the instances where these incidents occur is not alarmist as some other folks might be. I certainly would not encourage anyone to approach me with any form of racism.
Nevertheless. in every tragedy there are opportunities. As I said in a recent article negative things forces us to adjust and adapt to changes and events for our own survival.
Those of all species which refuses to adapt to the ever-changing dynamics of our planet eventually become extinct.
The disrespect of black folk continues. And it continues to be captured on video. A black woman in Oregon was allegedly called out of her name and assaulted by a food truck owner, all because she tried to pay for her food with change. According to Willamette Week, Carlotta Washington says she was called a “nigger” by Islam Elmasry after she tried to pay for her lunch with quarters (not pennies, mind you).
In a short video provided to the outlet by a bystander, Elmasry can be seen telling Washington to “get the fuck out from here” and calling her a “stupid bitch,” after throwing a Gatorade bottle at her for confronting him.
In a portion not captured on video, Washington says Elmasry sprayed her with sriracha chili sauce, which was confirmed to the news outlet by witness Rachel Good, who said she found Washington’s shirt, face, and shoulders covered with the Thai hot sauce. “It was in my eyes and all on my skin. It was burning terribly,” Washington says. After Washington asked that police be called, Elmasry was booked into Multnomah County jail on charges of misdemeanor harassment and assault. Bail is set at $4,000.
Adverse situations are supposed to force us to make changes in our lives. We are supposed to learn new ways of doing things, “when one door is closed many more is opened“[Robert Nesta Marley]
Those doors, however, generally gets opened when we go knocking because you can bet your bottom dollar that the doors will not come looking for you.
The process of adaptation of which I speak requires a paradigm shift in the way we see ourselves deserving of respect and dignity.
Once we have arrived at the point where we recognize that we are the masters of our own destiny, we begin to recognize that if we are to survive we must take on the responsibilities which guarantee not just our wellbeing but our very survival.
We will not have full autonomy over all aspects of our lives, particularly in a country in which we are a minority but we darn sure can begin the educational process of self-preservation through self-empowerment, That self-empowerment begins with education for our children, saving our money, starting and supporting black businesses, and ensuring that we teach our youngsters the value and importance of good monetary stewardship.
The harsh treatment meted out to black people at Starbucks coffee shops, waffle-houses, food trucks and other places in which blacks struggle to be treated respectfully should be a motivating factor for all of us to get our house in order. What is stopping African Americans from having their own coffee shops and waffle houses?
In the video above the man in the food truck clearly came to this country and has learned not to respect blacks. From the sound of his accent, he clearly is not too long off the boat but he already has a business going. And what do you know blacks are there bleeding their money.
Look, it is your money spend it where you want to, but understand that when you do that what you are doing is handing over your power. Is it laziness, lack of ambition, or is it ignorance, Could it be all of the above? What would happen if Blacks retained some of the 1.2 trillion dollars we spent last year. Better yet where would we be if we spent a small portion of that money on new startups, or even sending our children to college.
Look around you Black America, in your closets, in your garage, around your necks, on your fingers, on your feet, on your backs and generally around that apartment you are renting did you really need that new pair of expensive over-priced sneakers?
Did you need all of that junk you spent your paychecks on, or do you think that maybe, just maybe you could have saved a few hundred of those dollars you squandered?
The few dollars blacks spend at black barbershops and at black hairdressing salons is mere peanuts compared to the over one trillion spent last year. The sad truth is that those monies are generally spent as part of the preparation so that black people may go out to clubs, restaurants, hotels, and other places which are generally not black-owned.
I love all people, nevertheless, we have to look after ourselves first, empower ourselves instead of begging others to accept us and treat us well.
Seventy-eight (78) years after they kicked Marcus Garvey out of this country for teaching this message the need is just as great, and the task just as urgent.
The question is whether or not this message will seep through to Black Americans and in a collective way they will begin to digest it?. Only time will tell.