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Me Black Too

Dr. Al Hathaway | 8/28/2020, 6 a.m.
One of the iconic images of the of Spike Lee’s movie “Do The Right Thing” was a Korean storeowner located ...
Dr. Al Hathaway courtesy Photo

One of the iconic images of the of Spike Lee’s movie “Do The Right Thing” was a Korean storeowner located within the community posting a hand printed sign on his store window saying, “Me Black Too.”

The purpose of the signage was to prevent his store from being looted or burned by identifying with the angry Black people within his community who had become extremely agitated by injustice and racism.

Similarly, rioting occurred after the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when the power keg of racial abuse and injustice exploded and cities throughout America where set on fire.

Time and time again, there have been precipitating incidents against African Americans that have ignited the fuse on a time bomb burning in communities right below the surface.

Sparked by blatant police violence, or some atrocity against the personhood of an African American, or some racist action is all that is needed for people within communities to explode.

The names of people who because of police brutality caused the fuse of resistance to be lit due to abuse have in many cases resulted in people responding by burning and looting. We can no longer accept signage on stores we must demand dollars to buy stores.

In the case mentioned above, by posting the “Me Black Too” sign that Asian American’s store was spared.

Is this the secret to avoiding destruction by identifying with the plight of African Americans and posting some version of “Me Black Too” signage?

In many ways that’s what happening all over America, institutions and individuals you would never imagine are posting their version of “Me Black Too” and hoisting #BlackLivesMatter signs and writing statements expressing they are empathic with the movement and how they now seek to display their “Me Black Too” sign.

Can you imagine no more Aunt Jemima, gone is Uncle Ben, so long to Mrs. Butterworth and good-bye to the imagery on Cream of Wheat; every corporation and organization is doing a self analysis and quickly displaying their “Me Black Too” sign.

Why? Is it possible they understand what we don’t fully recognize, the power of the consumer dollar of the African American community?

According to a 2019 study by University of Georgia’s Multicultural Economy Report, “African American buying power has seen impressive gains since the end of the last economic downturn, jumping from $961 Billion in 2010 to an estimated $1.3 trillion in 2018. Since 2000, the African American market has seen a 114 percent increase in buying power.”

Is that the reason why companies and advertisers are displaying their “Me Black Too” signage? They don’t want their economic businesses destroyed or threatened.

Some economic researcher will do an analysis on lost revenue by racial breakdown and we will discover factually what we know intuitively, African American consumer spending greatly impacts the bottom line of most companies in America. Without African American consumer spending most businesses would not be profitable. Sucking the dollars out of the African American community creates wealth for other communities!