Could Black representation possibly be racist? This question has been floating through the discourse surrounding a recent scandal involving a black owned business and a 30-second Target commercial. The answer is a resounding no.
The Honey Pot Company, a black-owned plant based feminine hygiene brand, has found itself in the midst of a petty racial controversy.
As part of Target’s Black History Month series “Founders We Believe In,” The Honey Pot CEO and founder Beatrice Dixon was featured in a commercial in which she briefly discussed her journey starting a business from the ground up.
The controversy regarding the matter stems from the last line of the commercial in which Dixon explains the importance in the fact that her business may inspire young black girls to follow their dreams and receive better opportunities than she did.
After the commercial aired, trolls took to the consumer review website Trust Pilot to leave negative comments on The Honey Pot’s profile about how the brand was racist and exclusionary.
It can be noted that the group that is taking offense is mostly comprised of white women. This is the same group that has controlled the narrative and standard for representation that can be seen in the media for women of all races.
What those that are outraged fail to realize is that the empowerment of Black women is not equivalent to the inhibition of all other women. Uplifting and highlighting the achievements of a Black woman does not devalue the doings of any other woman.
Also, the commercial aired during Black History Month. Why should a Black business owner be shamed into omitting the fact that her race affects her and the opportunities she is given businesswise?
In an interview with Essence, Dixon stood behind her words and explained the importance behind the emphasis on race. “That comment wasn’t about us being a Black-owned business and only selling to Black customers,” Dixon said. “I think we’re human and race shouldn’t even be a conversation, but it is because of the society we live in.
“We understand the responsibility as a Black-owned business that we have to be successful because if we’re not, we’re not doing anything for the culture to move it forward so that [race] isn’t a topic,” said Dixon.
The bottom line is that Black pride is not racist nor does it work to the detriment of any other race.
This incident has exemplified a seemingly never-ending battle that is being fought by Black women in America.
In this country, Black women are constantly denied representation in media and most industries. When we work to get that representation, those that pushed for our marginalization retort with claims of reverse racism.
Luckily, this scandal has called attention to The Honey Pot for the better. After the incident, supporters of The Honey Pot flooded the business’s Trust Pilot profile with positive comments and began buying more products.
According to an interview that Dixon did with Buzzfeed News, the company’s sales have skyrocketed by 30% and thehoneypot.co is currently sold out of all products.