I like comedian, Jess Hilarious. She’s super talented, and I usually think she’s funny as hell. That being said, her viral video against black businesses, is problematic AF
Jess dropped some videos against Black owned businesses (I’m not sure when the videos were originally posted, but they’ve been making the rounds again recently), and for the most part, folks have applauded her videos, agreeing that she makes some valid points.
We all know that the black condition in America ain’t so hot, and that one of the only ways we will begin to see ourselves out of being treated as second-class citizens is by increasing our wealth. As a consequence, in the last few years we’ve seen an upswing in the number of black-owned businesses. I make it a point to highlight black owned businesses regularly on this blog and will continue to do so. That being said, the stigma against black owned businesses isn’t new. One of the loudest and most frequently heard claims is poor customer service. And if being a recipient of poor customer service has been your consistent experience with some black owned businesses, I won’t and can’t negate your experience.
My issue with Jess’s video isn’t so much about the claims she’s making against the businesses she has patronized. My only real beef is that she is using her platform to spread the belief that all black owned businesses are created equally. My friend Elle reposted the following photo on her IG page, and it sums up my feelings quite well:
In the video Jess does attempt to back-track a bit, claiming that she doesn’t mean “all black businesses,” but the damage, as far as I’m concerned, is already done. Frankly, I find it disappointing that she would feel so free to publicly make these allegations against members of her own race. Even more disappointing is the championing of this message by fellow black people. Listen, I won’t tell you that I’ve never had a negative experience with a black-owned business. Then again, I can’t say I haven’t had terrible customer service with businesses run by other races as well. Poor customer service shouldn’t be tolerated regardless of race. So it should go without saying that when we say “shop black” we don’t mean shop poorly run businesses. We mean open yourself to shopping small, black-owned businesses, in addition to or instead of traditional retailers.
Again, I am not asking folks to shop poorly run businesses because they are black. I’m simply asking that we not make it a habit to color all black businesses with the same brush stroke. Moreover, let us not be so quick to air our dirty laundry in public. I’ve yet to see a video like this made by other races, yet videos against all black businesses by black people are becoming a trend. When did it become cool to publicly shame our own people into doing better? If Jess has beef with one, two, three, or even 10 black owned businesses, I think she should feel free to make videos about those specific businesses. I have certainly called out a few businesses in my day. Do it. Call them to task. Encourage those companies to do better by making your grievances known, but to encourage folks to side-eye or not shop black at all just because of a handful of raggedy businesses she’s shopped, is simply unfair.
What are your thoughts? Do you think it’s helpful to publicly bash all black businesses because of the actions of a few? Sound off below!
Hey, Boo! My name is Lisa and you’ve stumbled upon my own little corner of the world. I’m a 30 something-year-old writer/mother/wife who happens to love lipstick, high heels, blackness, and the truth. You’ll find a mix of everything on this site, so I won’t bore you by trying to define this space. I hope you stay awhile!