Are you dreaming of a black Christmas?

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Are you dreaming of a Black Christmas?

Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez is the top Democrat on the House Small Business Committee, which oversees federal programs and contracts totaling $200 billion annually. According to her report – The State of Black-Owned Small Businesses in America, Black businesses were struggling in 2018 by virtue of them not keeping up with the pace of population growth. To quote her report…

With that said, in 2018, approximately 18.3 percent, or 1 million, of all employer firms in the U.S. were owned by minorities. Black Americans owned 124,551 employer businesses, representing 2.2 percent of all employer businesses. Small businesses constitute the majority of these firms given that small firms, defined as independent businesses with less than 500 employees, comprise

99.9 percent of all businesses in the U.S.

While America’s population continues to become more racially and ethnically diverse, the percentage of Black-owned employer firms suggests business ownership has not kept pace with population growth. Closing the Black-owned small business gap is essential to economic growth, increasing American prosperity, and closing the racial wealth gap.

On the other side of the aisle, Republicans trumpeted a success that their counterparts were downplaying in 2018. To quote Conservative US

On Monday, President Trump’s approval rating with African Americans hit 31%. Also, Trump’s approval with African Americans jumped again… to 36%. The president’s approval is up 19 points since last year at this time.

And the reason behind this… The African American unemployment rate fell to 6.8%, which is the lowest rate in 45 years.

According to the Minority 2018 Small Business Trends survey, the number of black-owned small businesses in the U.S. increased by a staggering 400% in a year-over-year time period from 2017 to 2018.

But, I digress, the good times of yesterday have faded into something less glorious due to the Covid-19 pandemic. To quote again, The State of Black-Owned Small Businesses in America

In addition to the historic challenges and barriers experienced by Black-owned small businesses, the pandemic has contributed further burdens, pushing 41 percent of Black-owned U.S. businesses into closure from February to April 2020, the largest closure rate of any racial group. In a May 2020 McKinsey survey, more than 50 percent of surviving Black-owned businesses reported being very or extremely concerned about the viability of their business.

Without a doubt, black-owned businesses would appreciate extra patronage this year. Towards that aim, I have seen campaigns like “Black Shop Friday,” holiday gift guides like this and Shop Black Friday and directories like Black Business List.

My heart goes out to these entrepreneurs who are rebounding against incredible odds and I support the campaigns that help them. Actually, let me rephrase that, I support the POSITIVE campaigns that help them. Why the distinction? There is a negative campaign underway to bolster patronage of black businesses being promoted by Black Lives Matter. To quote the Daily Mail

Black Lives Matter has announced its seventh year of boycotting ‘white companies’ during the holiday season to support ‘Black Xmas.’

On Black Friday, the official Black Lives Matter Global Network shared an Instagram post calling to ‘support Black-led-Black-serving organizations.’ 

‘We’re dreaming of a #BlackXmas. That means no spending with white companies from Black Friday until New Years Day’, the official site states. 

The group suggest three ways for its supporters to take part in Black Xmas: Build Black, Buy Black, and Bank Black. 

The group is encouraging its followers to ‘buy exclusively from Black-owned businesses’ claiming ‘white-supremacist-capitalism uses policing to protect profits and steal Black life.’ 

I disagree with this marketing campaign because I see it as divisive racist rhetoric. I think I’m not the only one who feels that way. Here are a few Twitter reactions to BLM’s campaign.

Send more money. Fight racism.

One reason among many

BLM is Marxist

And my favorite retort, Christmas is not black or white. Its for all humanity.

Traditionally, the Christmas holiday season is when we strive for peace and goodwill with our fellow humans. Sigh. It is my hope that people of all backgrounds support Black businesses out of pure selflessness, sowing goodwill that ultimately unites all Americans. I want to see Christmas Tree lights, people caroling, worshiping in churches and happy children enjoying gifts. Marching in protest against white businesses simply because they are owned by white people is antithetical to all of that. I will never do it. If that makes me less black to you, so be it. I think it makes me more Christian. I make no apologies for it.



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