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Friday, January 24, 2014

Black-Owned Businesses, Double Standards, And The Negro

Some people will complain about my book covers. But when I tell them that they have to support Black-owned businesses current products in order for them to get the money to improve their products or provide better products to them they balk.

However, these same Negroes who impose high standards on Shawn's Black-owned business will settle for far less from nonblack businesses in their own communities.

While Shawn wants to use the dollars he gets from customers to improve the quality of his books, these nonblack businesses who establish themselves as cornerstones in the Negro community could care less about the quality of their business or the products they sell. They continue to sell substandard product to the Negro masses for DECADES but no one in the Black community ever as much ASKS these businesses to improve their products or the quality of them.

Clearly there is a double standard when it comes what Negroes will tolerate from nonblack businesses and Black-owned businesses.

I have watched as the Negro will settle for substandard products from a Lebanese or an Arab owned grocery store for YEARS. They’ll buy spoiled, damaged, and expired grocery items from these merchants, and never once complain about them.

Meanwhile these same Negroes will complain about my hand-drawn book covers saying they’re a turn off.

The Negro will also go on to pay higher prices from these Lebanese and Arab owned stores than at supermarkets for those same spoiled and expired grocery items and never once complain about them.

But these same Negroes will tell me that $2.99 or $3.99 is too much for an eBook and $15 is too much for a paperback. Even though these are the market prices nonblack publishers charge for the same books in the exact same genres. No, the Black owned business has to give the Negro a low price like 99 cents or give it away free to get them to consider taking a look at it.

The Negro will also head into a Hispanic or White-Owned Supermarket established in his own community for DECADES. This will be a market that will INSIST he check his bags at the door out of fear he’ll steal from them. And after checking his bags at the door, This same Negro will be followed around by stock clerks and managers who fill the shelves in his neighborhood with more old product, damaged product, or substandard product all the while charging him more his White counterparts in the suburbs.

And the Negro will not complain about it. In fact, he accepts this abuse as “customer service”.

Now I spent part of my Jury Duty allowance, money I needed to eat with to make sure paperbacks are available on Amazon for readers last year. I’ve made every effort to make sure my books have next to no errors.

 But these same Negroes will tell me that one typo on page 337 is the reason why they can’t recommend my book to a friend. Or that because the cover is hand-drawn they won’t try the book.

On top of it, this same Negro while shopping at that Hispanic or White-owned supermarket chain will endure being disrespected by nonblack cashiers, who roll their eyes and suck their teeth at him, and give him an attitude when they ask a question about an item that scanned at the wrong price. The Negro will also watch as this same nonblack cashier puts their money up to the light or run it through a scanner to ensure it’s not counterfeit.  

These same nonblack cashiers will also tell the Negro that he needs to have a photo ID in order to use his credit card at this store and that there’s a $15 minimum purchase for debit cards.

Even though both of these practices are ILLEGAL. 

And these same Negroes will endure being told products on sale are out of stock ALL WEEK and that there are NO RETURNS on defective product or even if you pick up the wrong product.

But while he ACCEPTS this abuse as business as usual in his very own neighborhood some of these same dusty cheap ass Negroes will make an EFFORT to return one of my 99-cent eBooks on Amazon. 

Now the fixtures in this White or Hispanic owned supermarket just like the Lebanese and Arab owned store will be dated, but The Negro won’t demand they improve the quality of their businesses’ appearance. That dirty vinyl awning or faded sign that’s been up for fifteen to twenty YEARS won’t repulse them and make them think of shopping someplace else. 

But in spite of the poor appearance of these White and Hispanic owned supermarkets, these same Negroes will tell me that they can’t buy my books because they don’t like the cover.

No, they’ll say that poor exterior of that White or Hispanic owned business in their own community and poor quality products they get from that nonblack business is due to where it’s located. If they had more money they’d do better.

All While those Whites and Hispanics takes 97 percent of Black dollars out of the Black community and spend them in their own communities. Never ONCE making an effort to do better by this Negro.  A Negro who just can’t put 2 and 2 together because they lack critical thinking skills.

These same Negroes will also head over to a Korean owned nail salon, vegetable stand, or beauty supply shop in their own communities. Stores that sometimes also sell them substandard import grocery products or in the case of the nail salon make them endure long waits.

These same Negroes will shop there enduring being followed by the Korean shop owners who will ask them what they are looking for, why they are here. Again, these same Korean shop owners will charge the Negro higher prices for products and services than what they’d cost in a comparable White suburb.

The Negro will endure the surly attitude of the Korean business owner. They’ll stand there as this individual scrutinizes their money for authenticity, rolls their eyes, sucks their teeth and throws their change at them and rushes them out. Then after they get all of this bad service, or poor product they’ll accept the fact they can’t get a refund. This will be more good “customer service” in the Negros’ eyes.

Again, in this same Korean-owned store, the fixtures and the awning will be at least ten to fifteen years old. But the Negro won’t be repulsed by these dated fixtures and display cases.

But a hand-drawn book cover from a business that’s barely been publishing five years turns them off.

The Negro will take a bus or drive to a shopping mall or a shopping district like Third Avenue or Fordham Road here in the Bronx or 125th Street in Harlem filled with nonblack businesses to head to a Jeans and Sneaker Store such as Dr. Jays or V.I.M here in the Bronx or the local Foot Locker chain. And in the case of the Dr. Jays or the V.I.M. type store they’ll accept the fact that they’ll be forced to surrender their bags at the door.

And after they surrender their bags at the door, these same Negroes will endure being followed around by salespeople who will be literally breathing down their necks watching their every move to make sure they don’t steal anything.

And as The Negro buys his Air Jordan Sneakers, saggy jeans, baggy T’s and fitted cap, he smiles as he pays prices higher than what are charged in a White Suburb for comparable apparel.

The Negro will continue to smile as another surly nonblack cashier tells him that he needs to have a photo ID in order to use his credit card at this store. He’ll also buck dance and coon like the minstrel he is for these nonblack cashier as he is told that there are no refunds on his purchases.

But the dated fixtures, the unpainted security gates, the chains and alarms around the expensive merchandise he covets in this store won’t turn the Negro off. He won’t complain about the blatant disrespect done to him every day by this foreign-owned business.

But a hand drawn book cover from a struggling Black-owned independent publisher repulses the Negro. They’re so repulsed they don’t want to pay the market price for said book. Some don’t even want to pay 99 cents for it.

The Negro female will while shopping with the Negro will also head into a Boutique store in that same nonblack owned shopping district. A place like the Tick Tock boutique here on Third Avenue in the Bronx, Revolution, on Third Avenue here in the Bronx, or Bon Bini on Fordham Road, or Pretty Girl also here on Fordham Road or 170th Street here in the Bronx.

The Negro Female will be told to surrender her bags at the door, and will smile while doing so.  While she’s in the store shopping for factory third jeans, irregular blouses, skintight club dresses so sheer that you can see their bodies through them, and shoes that fall apart after two or three walks down the block. All at prices far higher than they’re worth.

This same Negro female will smile as she endures being followed around by nonblack salespeople who are doing their very best to make sure they don’t shoplift their substandard merchandise which falls apart after one cycle in a washing machine.

And when the Negro Female buys her merchandise from this store she’ll have her money scrutinized, be told she needs a Photo ID with her credit card and that there are minimums for debit card purchases. They’ll also be told that there are NO REFUNDS on purchases, only EXCHANGES from a surly nonblack Cashier who will scrutinize every dollar they give them.  

Now the fixtures in these boutique stores and the façade of these boutiques will also be over 30 years old in some cases. But the Negro won’t be repulsed by the dated displays, dated fixtures or dated façade.

But these same Negro females are repulsed by a Hand-drawn eBook or paperback cover from an indie publisher in business less than five years won’t be repulsed by the store owner who has made NO EFFORT in 25-30 YEARS to improve the business serving the Negro.


This is the double standard that exists in the Black community. Black people expect the Black-owned business to be PERFECT from DAY ONE, but allow the nonblack business to be SUBSTANDARD from DAY ONE.

And the nonblack business can continue to be SUBSTANDARD for DECADES and is allowed to serve the Negro generation after generation but the black owned startup has to have everything PERFECT for the Black customer from DAY ONE or they won’t shop there EVER.

What’s illogical about the Negro is that while they want PERFECT product from a Black-owned business, they don’t want to PAY for it. In their eyes PERFECTION either has to be NO COST or FREE in order for them to consider even trying a product by a Black person.

And while they don’t understand that quality product COSTS money for a Black business owner to produce, these same Negroes will continue to accept SUBSTANDARD products from a nonblack merchant like an Arab owned grocery store or Korean beauty supply store and pay HIGHER prices for it.

The crazy thing is that my nonblack and foreign customers actually UNDERSTAND what I’m trying to do. They UNDERSTAND that when you start out it’s not going to be PERFECT. They still support the books I publish because they know that everyone has to START somewhere.

And they also understand it’s not where you START but how you FINISH.
If one looks at the history of any business from caps to cars in the world they’ll see they all started out rough. Product was imperfect. But as customers continued to support the old, imperfect products, the producers continued to refine their processes. They learned new skills. And in a few years they made better products. Which those customers continued to buy. Because they understood that if a company is going to get the capital to expand a business, they must support existing product until the new product comes to the marketplace.

Unfortunately the Negro never gives Black-owned business like mine a chance to grow or build its reputation is because the Negro refuses to support Black products at inception. They choose some superficial reason like not liking the cover for not buying it and let the product die at retail.  

That prevents business owners like myself from learning new skills. Hiring employees or having the capital creating better products. That prevents business owners like myself from creating jobs for other Black people.  And it keeps the Black community in a perpetual state of poverty.

All while the Nonblack foreign owned businesses Black people NEVER impose any standards on take 97 percent of Black dollars out of the Black community and invest it in their own communities.

The Negro goes into a Black-owned business with a list of demands for a Black business owner like myself who just opened up. And instead of being patient and waiting to see if this business will try to address their requests and concerns, they storm out insisting on never shopping their again.

Not understanding that it takes time for a business to provide product for them. And in order for a business to provide new product for them, they need to support the current products.

 It takes money to make money. Business 101.

Every other person in the WORLD understands this. But the Negro.

And over the past three years I’ve tried to address my customers’ requests. Those YA books like All About Nikki, the Isis Series, The Thetas, and the Sneakers? All requested by a customer at the Harlem Book fair looking for books for tweens and teens in 2010. The books for Black boys I want to plan? Requested by a reader.

But the issue of covers for some continues to be an issue for some. And I’ve been working on this issue since 2010. It costs money to hire artists or to photographers and models to set up a photoshoot. More money to do Photoshop post-production finishing.

But explain this to the Negro and you are met with resistance. You explain to the Negro it takes money to make money and they become belligerent. They want product to be perfect NOW not understanding better is going to come later.

Hard work can pay off. But only if the Negro race supports the Black people working for them, not against them.

I have a five-year plan for SJS DIRECT. And I can’t fulfill that five-year plan for my business without the support of the Black community. All I’m asking Black people to do is be patient. Better books with better covers are coming.  Seriously, if Black people can sit there and ACCEPT substandard product and poor service from Nonblack merchants such as the Indians, Arabs, Hispanics and Koreans for 40 years in some cases then can’t you wait four or five more for me to take things to the next level? 


  1. I second that. Black customers routinely take abuse from non black merchants. And have no problem making them rich either!