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For several days, now turning into weeks, I heard rumblings about the Target Honey Pot marketing response. Since I am not a user of feminine hygiene products the commercials did not register with me, until my attention was directed to the racist response to the ads and the shelf space allotted Honey Pot at Target stores.
I understand what founder Bea Dixon is experiencing, because we experienced similar circumstances.
We have had and continue to operate businesses; retail, distribution, and manufacturing. My wife and I assembled a team in our businesses and proceeded with various degrees of success. We have had marketing departments within our businesses. We now employ social media campaigns, but have advertised on television, radio, and print media.
We have owned and managed 30k square foot manufacturing and distribution operations with proven competitive product pricing and quality. I along with my field salesman, dressed in suit and tie had doors slammed in our face and told not to come back “you nigger”.
I have experienced manufacturers not willing to sell us their product for distribution, therefore I had to design a similar product to sell under our own brand.
My wife, myself, and our team leader of manufacturing attended every relevant industry trade show in America annually to stay abreast of trends and other networking necessities.
To add insult to injury, for a long period of time I was reluctant to identify as black owned because of the false narratives attached to black owned businesses. To be truly successful in business, black business must have crossover appeal from a racial stand point, but the system has been fundamentally structured to be non-responsive to black owned businesses.
On the other hand white and look-white business owners have enjoyed the overwhelming patronage of black consumers. Social media platforms enjoy a high level of participation from black subscribers leading to fast response hashtags such as #blackTwitter. Black Twitter is regarded as a reliable sampling of black sentiment on numerous topics and genres.
Although The Honey Pot received racist reactions, the negative reviews and rancid remarks energized Honey Pot supporters which in turn skyrocketed sales at Target.
Exactly why all of the negativity surrounding the Honey Pot ad escapes my understanding.
For those thinking about entering into an entrepreneurial endeavor, don’t let anyone discourage you from your dreams. Owning and managing a business is a step toward wealth creation and breaking the chains of systemic poverty.
Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle with some sacrifices that some are not willing to make, but is a must do for black people. For African-Americans to gain the respect given to Jews, Asians, Italians, Germans, French and more, an increasing number of African-Americans must become independently wealthy.
African-Americans must become manufacturers and create distribution channels. In America real money is real power and little else is regarded. Other ethnicities, cultural, and religions enjoy and maintain cohesion within its body. Is the African-American cohesion factor growing tighter. YES! Can our bonding and internal ties be stronger? YES!