I watched the video of the Asian beauty store owners attacking the black woman who they accused of stealing eyelashes.
Before the video played, I knew I’d be offended. But I was not fully prepared for the outrage and total disgust I felt when I watched it.
I advise anyone reading this to watch the video; it can be found on Youtube. But if you cannot bring yourself to watch it, I will briefly describe what happened.
The owners of a beauty supply store, one male and one female, accused a black woman of stealing something. There was someone off camera talking, repeatedly telling the woman to just let them check her bags. She forcibly denied taking anything.
Quickly a confrontation escalated to both owners going after the woman physically as she tried to hold them off. While trying to avoid their reach, the man kicked her. Then he grabbed her and pulled her around until she fell. After getting her to the floor, the female owner grabbed an arm while the man put her in a choke hold. She continued to yell that she did nothing wrong while both held her.
The man appeared to be squeezing tightly until the female store owner lets the arm loose and tapped him repeatedly, while speaking a foreign language. It seems that she may have been telling him to get off her neck. He didn’t comply immediately. Then he released the choke hold and attempted to hold her down by wringing one of her arms behind her back.
I stopped the video at that point.
It was painful to watch the humiliation that black woman endured being thrown to the floor and held in a choke hold by a man.
The idea that throwing a woman on the floor and choking her as a means to deal with alleged theft is simply unbelievable.
And so I wonder, what conditions exist that would make store owners think that resorting to violence for alleged theft-of cheap eyelashes-was appropriate?
And further, what compels a man to put a woman in a full out choke hold who is of no threat to him?
My answer: the refusal to acknowledge the humanity in the black woman- by many.
Some may deem this an over generalization and that may be their opinion. In my blog, I only express my own.
Despite repeat patronage by black women being necessary for any business to thrive in the black community, we are treated as nuisances. It is black women who have the majority spending power in the black community. So it us to whom they advertise; but in their stores we are harassed, followed and frequently treated with disdain and contempt.
We are simply a lucrative annoyance.
And what do these Asian store owners know of us? Do they interact with us and our communities? Are they sponsoring the little league football, baseball and basketball teams? What about the dance and cheer squads, do they sponsor them? Do they visit our churches, mosques or temples? Do they live in our neighborhoods? Or are they reaping the benefits of our spending and taking their earnings to their own communities, far from us?
One would think they would need to engage the community since we overwhelmingly support them. But they show no interest in us beyond the consumer/seller experience. And this is because we do not demand that.
Think of how they have their stores in our communities that sell us unhealthy foods, cigarettes, blunts, liquor, wigs and weaves through cages as if they were serving animals in a zoo. And it is us who keep these business profitable.
In general, we do not demand respect or dignified treatment and therefore it is not given. The saying, “You teach people how to treat you” is applicable in this case. These vendors have treated us this way for as long as they have been in our communities. And I believe that the disdain has degraded to what we witnessed in North Carolina.
We say amongst each other, “shiiiii... Black people can’t get together to do nothing!” But I beg to differ. We are expert consumers. We just do not employ this expertise amongst and with each other. And others recognize this weakness and take advantage of it. However, if we do not recognize what must be done, we cannot expect others to treat us better than we treat ourselves.
If we want better, we must do better.
Whether this man apologizes or not should be immaterial.
The key is the change that this man’s maniacal actions will spur in how we serve ourselves.
Otherwise, once our emotions from this terrible incident fade...as the social scientists know and can always predict...we will back at the door looking to cop that Cambodian straight virgin weave or that Malaysian kinky curly weave.
If we can buy from others, we can buy from ourselves.
Nurah strives to enlighten, empower and engage her readers with the wealth of knowledge she has gained from her own experiences and those of others from whom she has learned.