This is a post I've been itching to write...
The other day I was visiting my parents and they'd run out of bottled water. Now, usually when I visit, what we do is order a large pizza to alleviate anyone having to cook if they don't feel like it.
So, being that we were out of bottles of water, I decided to hop in my car and get both the waters and a large pizza.
Now, usually I go to a certain Domino's Pizza near my parents house, but since I was looking for the bottled water first, I took a different route. It was en route to get that, that I happened upon another Domino's that was about a town over from my parent's place.
So since it's unusual for me to see another Domino's nearby...I thought I'd stop in and grab that first. What happened next was nothing short of infuriating.
Once I got to the door of Domino's, I tried to open it. When I tried pulling it, I noticed it was locked; I didn't think they were closed 'cause it was about 5 P.M. on a weekday. Then I thought, well, maybe this is just a supply outlet of some sort. Then, the woman at the counter 'buzzed' me in.
Then I got it...I was like, okay--'negro rules' apply here. By that I mean, this was done to ward off Black people that this Domino's branch thinks of as 'criminally-minded' or 'unsavory'. Now, being that I was going to leave my parent's house shortly thereafter 'cause it was a week-day, I said, let me just get this pizza here and I'll never see this place again.
After I went in, their attempt at enforcing some kind of security measure was laughable; there were no glass partitions of any kind, bullet-proofed or otherwise, that would have kept the clerks behind the counter safe. Anyone who was 'buzzed' in with bad intentions could just as easily rob this place without the door's insipid 'buzzer'. This means that whoever owned this particular store not only disliked the residents living around it, but they didn't care about the clerks working in it either.
After I ordered the pizza, the cashier clerk said there'd be a 15 minute wait; it seemed kinda' long, but I was like...okay, after all I did order a 'large' pizza. This explained to me why people were sitting in their cars outside the place and in the store with dejected looks on their face. After a couple of minutes I told the young woman behind the counter that I was going to wait in my car as well.
About 11 minutes later, I go back to the door. I thought the young woman behind the desk would see me, but she was talking to another customer; still I knew she could see me enough to 'buzz' me in. After a few seconds it was clear that she couldn't perform both tasks at the same time, or didn't want to. Finally, a woman in the store told the counter person that I was waiting to be buzzed in.
After I walked in, I could hear that the counter staff had botched other people's orders...and again I thought, I know numbers spots that are better run than this place.
Finally, I grabbed my pizza and got the hell outta' there. Ironically enough, I ran into the woman who had alerted the cashier clerk that I was waiting to be buzzed in earlier. And to her I exclaimed: "Never again."
She asked why.
I then told her, it's just crazy how they're 'buzzing' people in like that. The woman countered with: "Oh, well ya' know...they were robbed once before."
Then the young man she was with, whom I'm guessing was her son, said: "Yeah...it's security."
That's when I thought of the Harriet Tubman quote:
" I freed a thousand slaves, and could have freed a thousand more, if only they knew they were slaves."
*Side Note: Recently, there's been a nefarious 'sex tape' of Harriet Tubman circulating via epic house negros like 'Russell 'hustle' Simmons. It depicts Harriet having some secretive tryst with a white male slave owner (Olivia Pope, Scandal, Sally Hemmings). This is being done not only to diminish Harriet's contribution to our people...and history period; it's being done to neutralize any leftist and revolutionary leanings black women might have in the wake of Trayvon Martin, being reminded about the 'anniversary' of hurricane Katrina, etc. What white people don't want are the black women working besides them turning into a revolutionary powder keg and destroying white supremacist institutions internally.
But getting back to the black woman I mentioned above, and what looked to be her son, these two clearly frequented this eatery and were excusing it's behavior. 'Cause on some level, they bought into the projected lie this branch of Domino's was selling to the people of this community.
And that is, that you (Black) people are savages, and we know you're predisposed to criminality; so this is the measure we've taken to stop that.
When I finally replied to the woman, that if the owners of that particular franchise were so scared, they should close down the store and move...she laughed the comment off.
I shook my head.
What's even worse than calling Black people savages with this 'buzzing' system, was the fact that they STILL wanted our money. And this mother and son had no qualms about giving it to them. Mind you, on this stretch of street, their were at least 5 other eateries this woman and her son could have gone to; yet, she chose the one with the insipid 'buzzing' system in place to make her feel subhuman. Our Diaspora is so conditioned to accept insults like this, that we're not even offended by it anymore.
It also made me wonder why the community didn't boycott this overt display of bigotry. And once more, I'd be willing to bet this branch of Domino's was NEVER robbed; they just saw this was a predominately 'Black' neighborhood, and put this system in place. And I'm sure this woman didn't have any hard facts about whether or not this place had been robbed, it was just some rumor she'd heard or something she and her son assumed.
And in my written heading, I put the word 'poor' in parenthesis because this was not a poor community. If anything it was working class, there were nothing but homes surrounding this Domino's branch, and this area was allowing itself to be treated like they lived in a trailer park.
And even if this branch were surrounded by section 8 tenements, they'd still have no right to treat our people this way.
But the thing that still gets me is, this woman was completely complicit in letting this 'retail' store dehumanize her. Again, not to even recognize this as an insult to me is insane.
It's as if she was saying to me, don't you know we're savages and we have to be treated this way? Don't you understand we deserve to be treated this way?
And what kind of message is that giving her young son?
So, if you know of a store conducting similar practices in your neighborhood, even if you don't organize a boycott against it, you should at least deny them YOUR money.
Stage a 'personal' boycott.
'Cause if more of us did that, we wouldn't have to put up with nonsense like this.