What if I told you that, from here on out, I was only going to buy things from stores that I was only going to purchase items of clothing from stores that were own and run by only white people. That I was going to do research on every company to make sure that only white people lived there or were owners, and that not a single dollar of my money would ever be paid to a person of a different color.
What would I be labeled?
So, you can imagine my surprise the way this couple has been treated—calling a “buy black” experiment something that has been a movement, and giving it positive coverage:
Maggie and John Anderson of Chicago vowed four months ago that for one year, they would try to patronize only black-owned businesses. The “Empowerment Experiment” is the reason John had to suffer for hours with a stomach ache and Maggie no longer gets that brand-name lather when she washes her hair. A grocery trip is a 14-mile odyssey.
“We kind of enjoy the sacrifice because we get to make the point … but I am going without stuff and I am frustrated on a daily basis,” Maggie Anderson said. “It’s like, my people have been here 400 years and we don’t even have a Walgreens to show for it.”
So far, the Andersons have spent hundreds of dollars with black businesses from grocery stores to dry cleaners. But the couple still hasn’t found a mortgage lender, home security system vendor or toy store. Nonetheless, they’re hoping to expand the endeavor beyond their Chicago home.
Plans are under way to track spending among supporters nationwide and build a national database of quality black businesses. The first affiliate chapter has been launched in Atlanta, and the couple has established a foundation to raise funds for black businesses and an annual convention.
They hope to create a database for black businesses, to encourage people to follow in their footsteps.
Now, the free-market person in me sees no problem in this. I’m the first person to say that it is your money and you should be free to buy something from whomever you want. I also believe that you should be able to sell your wares to whomever you want. The only place I draw the line is with public dollars and public functions1
What I do find a little obnoxious is the way that this event is being covered—the hypocrisy of it all. If a set of Christians decided to purchase things from only Christians, they’re termed bigots. When a business that does wedding photography doesn’t want to photograph a gay marriage, they pilloried in the press. The list goes on and on.
If you’re a minority, and you want to feed that minority, resist inclusion, etc. then the press covers you like you’re “the underdog” that’s doing virtuous deeds. If you’re on the other side, you’re mean, you’re bigoted, or your protective.
This is why we need freedom and a free society—we need the ability to have people be equal, not some treated better than others, not some given preferential treatment, but all people given equal opportunity and seeing what they can accomplish through hard work and freedom.
- Schools, voting, driver’s license—if public funds paid for it, it must be available to all. If it’s private funds or a private entity, it should be free to make its own decision based on the concept of private property.