Why is it when I walk into non black-owned businesses I find myself always leaving agitated and upset with the employees or owners?
Either I am followed around a store as I shop, watched like a hawk or talked to with an attitude.
For example, my friend wanted to eat at a non black-owned restaurant. I didn’t want to eat at the restaurant because of how these people normally treat their black customers. However, my friend just had to have this food because it was late and she was very hungry.
Upon reading the menu, I wondered if broccoli could be added to my food.
I asked the cashier a question, and she responded to me as if I was stupid and could not comprehend her properly.
Unfortunately I was not the one paying for the food, and my friend did not mind paying to be insulted.
When I said something to her about the disrespectful answer she gave me, she made another smart remark to me with a smirk on her face.
When I told her she should not treat her customers any kind of way since we were the ones putting money in her pocket, she began to hum a lullaby as if she did not hear me talking to her.
At that point I was ready to slap her in her face, but I remained calm because too many people think black people are violent.
I was ready to walk out of the restaurant because I refuse to give anybody money who is going to disrespect me and not think twice about it.
But because my friend was paying and ignored the blatant disrespect, the food was bought.
As we were waiting for our food to finish cooking, it dawned on me that a lot of Black people must patronize the restaurant often.
I probably wasn’t the first Black person she had talked to like that, and I probably will not be the last.
Black people shouldn’t support non black businesses if they do not honor you and treat you as an asset for helping them keep money in their pockets.
There is no need to support anyone financially if they are going to verbally disrespect you or follow you around a store as if you are going to steal something.
The cashier felt she could say anything she wanted because people who look like me patronize her business.
That woman had no right to disrespect me.
But because she disrespects other black people and they come back to her business, she didn’t care if she offended me.
If a large number of black people would stop patronizing non black-owned businesses and keep other people from making money off of us, I guarantee there will be a change in their attitudes and courtesy toward us.
Ashley Bates is a junior broadcast journalism student from Pensacola. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.