SheaMoisture vs PRIDE: Trying to be a Black Company while dealing with Black People


I have been having a series of guerrilla warfare battles on Facebook with a bunch of my friends over the whole entire Shea Moisture controversy and have decided that I cannot accept the current narrative being peddled around by many black women and brothers who act like they get it!   What I truly find disturbing is the fact that after one commercial, black women are up in arms and are ready to set Sundial ablaze for not having the foresight to know that they would be upset about the expansion of their products into other demographics.  Somehow, the crux of my critics seem to think that this one commercial embodies years of being neglected by the hair care industry.

I do not ignore racism and all its bi-prouducts used to discourage people of color from having any esteem about themselves.   I do understand that black women have had an extremely difficult time trying to fit into society when the standard of beauty has so often been defined by European features, but at the same time its 2017 and I question anyone who seems to base their sense of self worth on the texture of their hair.

This entire drama seems to have a certain level of fabricated victimization.  Let’s put this into context.    Shea Moisture is a product of Sundial Brands, LLC.  This brand has been a staple in the black community at-large for the last 10 years .  For the past few years, black women have been singing its praises and have been making recommendations to those who find conventional and commercial products lacking.   Due to the make up of the Shea Moisture products, it was more expensive than Dove and common name brand products, but cheaper than similar products meant to deal with “curly/nappy” hair such as Deva Curl or Carroll’s Daughter.   After Sundial landed major deal with Target & Wal-Mart, Shea Moisture had become readily available and common place.

In its marketing, it had never said it was a product exclusively made for Black women, but it could easily been perceived as such by the story on the side of each bottle:

Our Story

Sofi Tucker started selling Shea Nuts at the village market in Bonthe, Sierra Leone in 1912. By age 19, the widowed mother of four was selling Shea Butter, African Black Soap and her homemade hair and skin preparations all over the countryside. Sofi Tucker was our Grandmother and SheaMoisture is her legacy.

I believe somehow this story gave black women the impression that this product was made exclusively for them; hence, the drama that ensued from their recent marketing campaign.

Sheamoisture Print ads

Prior to their recent campaign, SheaMoisture mainly did most of its advertising through print media.  Being that their product seemed to best serve black women, I’m sure you could find their ads in black magazines and and maybe some online ads, but on March 28th, the company posted an ad,

but much longer than the controversial one.  This ad was filled with all shades of black women and hair types, yet, this one ad is causing all the problems!   Bu..bu…but wait it gets worse !!!!!!   Sundial found itself perpetually in the red and eventually  started taking out loans against its own assets to have operating capital.   What this essentially means is that no matter how much black women sang its praises, it still continued to not make enough money to operate in the “black”, ironic isn’t it?

Insert Bain Capital!!!!  Yes, the infamous Bain Capital Investment Firm that was made popular from the 2012 Election season and Mitt Romney.   Bain had bought minority shares in Sundial because they saw the viability of their products.  In order for Bain to get a good return on its investment and make the company solvent, Sundial decided to revamp their formulas and expand their brand to other demographics.  Richelieu Dennis, chief executive of Sundial Brands, said in an interview with The Washington Post that the video aimed to spotlight the challenges all women face with defining their beauty.

This is where things hit the fan!!!!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1L-CqSUb6No

After this ad posted, Black women were up in Arms! The one woman of color was not enough & SheaMoisture had sold out! The media had taking notice and Sundial/SheaMositure was on the verge of regretting everything! Black people were running a Black Company through the dirt.

“The fact that our core community did not see themselves represented in that video is an error on our part,” said the CEO Richelieu Dennis. But “that is in no way an indication of us alienating or abandoning our core community as we grow … People are saying ‘SheaMoisture is now abandoning us for a different audience,’ but that is not true. It was simply an error, but that error was a big one.”

For most of this company’s existence its marketing had been targeted towards African-American women and from its statement, it never had intentions of abandoning them, but including others in the struggle for Hair-esteem!

So SheaMoisture wanted to help other women have appreciation for their hair in the same manner black women were rocking their moistened Fros and Locks and somehow this is a conspiracy against black women?  A black owned company has provided a product in which has helped millions of Women hair be able to be in a condition that they are proud of and somehow that’s a problem?

All because of one little ad that had  two white girls and light skin chick.

 

Something just doesn’t feel right about this scandal. It seems to be motivated in a selfishness rather than a stance  against some deep injustice.  Yet, there’s a part of me that wants to believe that these women are telling the truth, but from all I can see and all I can read, this call to ban the products under the stance that this company doesn’t appreciate black women any longer is Bull Scat.  Outside of this one video, there is absolutely no proof that Sundial and SheaMoisture products don’t value black women, but quite the contrary, the love them.

After the dust settles and you come to find that all those sistas who were raising a ruckus has resumed using SheaMoisture or decided to give their money to a black marketed product by a “white ” company, Bain Capital will either liquidate their shares sending Sundial back into the red or Bain buys more of Sundial and guys it like a fish, people will wonder…….whatever happened to SheaMoisture, I use to love that product!

One can cite cases of Negroes who opposed emancipation and denounced the abolitionists.

Carter G. Woodson

What I don’t get about you series: LGBTQ Community & Dave Chapelle

 

I have been trying to wrap my head around some things and in effort to increase dialogue, I’m going to put my grievances into a series called My Problem with you.

I have been relatively quiet as I watched the LGBTQ community make its strides for social progress. On a social and political front, there is not one issue that I truly have with the wants of LGBTQ community. Well, I do have one…….. Leave Dave Chapelle alone!!!!!

My problem with the LGBTQ community attacking or complaining about Dave Chapelle’s recent Netflix stand up is that they are attempting to do to Dave Chapelle what certain segments of society have done to them, silence their freedom of speech. The call from advocates to boycott him sound completely unwarranted and are starting to make me look at their movement as a whole with the side eye.

I will admit, I have never attended a Pride Parade, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect the celebration of ones own identity, but at some point, one must put reigns on their expectation of what is considered socially acceptable. Although there is no one leader of the movement, I will have to admit that from the outside, it seems that it is ran similar to how most American’s may perceive the runnings of the Kremlin by Putin. I say this because there seems to be an effort to shut down anyone who doesn’t agree with or advocate for LGBTQ causes. That’s what annoys me!

 

How can you be about freedom, if you require others to either be completely silent with no opinion at all, or you expect them to agree with a majority of your beliefs? If a person does not seem to agree with the more socially agreed upon beliefs, people are subjected to a very mean backlash that seems to often make people lose their jobs, friends and sometimes everything that they worked for Anyone seen Isiah Washington?). I’m not saying that a mortgage loan officer with a hating for “the gays” should be able to keep his job position, but there are some people who should be free to say what they want and not be attacked as if they are Will Smith in Enemy of the State.

When watching the 2 series stand-up, I didn’t hear anything that remotely sounded as if he hated Gay people. If anything, there seemed to be a fondness for things that seem to a person on the outside, like Gay culture. The way he spoke of Gay people was no different than when he spoke of white people…or how he speaks in general terms to most blacks. There was nothing said that I thought warranted a boycott of Dave Chapelle and I hope that Netflix doesn’t give in to the pressure and remove his stand-up.

Since when has the word Discriminate become such a dirty word, when at its root, all it means is to draw a distinction? Sure, the second definition says that it means to draw a distinction in some prejudicial or racial form, but I’m assuming that most people are open minded and reasonably intelligent so that we don’t need to use the 2nd definition. We are not all the same. That statement does not mean greater than or less than, it means that things aren’t identical. What’s so wrong about that if you aren’t belittling anyone because of the difference?

This almost makes me wonder if you can be pro-LGBTQ and be pro-comedy, pro-laughter, pro-expression, pro-freedom & pro-uniqueness? Which is odd, because when i think of the people that I know who identify with that community………are all those things. Its almost as if there is a weird perverted irony of watching the people who espouse and live the constitution seemingly be trying to restrict others use of the constitution, because it doesn’t meet to their liking!

As a black male, in America, I’ve learned that I need to pick and choose my battles. I believe that in the end, all minorities in America learn that sooner or later. The reality is…..in a democracy, people have to be allowed to be who they are in order for the concept of a democratic society to exist. The pressure to socially censor Dave Chapelle is a bad look coming from a group who is against social censorship.

Last Night: The Drama with Jeff

 

The Drama With Jeff

The line between reality and television can only be measured by nanometers at this point.  To wake up this morning and to find yet another issue with the Trump administration only makes you wonder if this mess has been orchestrated by a room filled with script writers.  I’m not sure Homeland, 24 or House of Cards could write a script so riddled with drama, but according to the morning press, the drama seems to be far from over.

Attorney Jeff Sessions has been accused of a similar crime in which had Secretary Flynn resign from the State Department.  What crime might you ask?  The crime of speaking with Russian officials during the campaign season.   Not only did he meet with the Russian Ambassador once, but twice.  His current argument of defense is that he did not speak to that he Ambassador about the election although all his meetings came after Sessions signed on board with the Trump Campaign.

The jury is still out, but the smoke is getting thicker.  They typically say…where there’s smoke theirs fire, but with the way these scandals are adding up, where there’s smoke also could hold the high possibility of treason.

Just when I was willing to write Pres. Obama off, reportings are starting to reveal that his administration worked vehemently to scatter information about the 2016 election all around the government as to prevent the current administration from deleting or erasing the information.  Now I understand why Mr. Trump was so willing to say that President Obama was behind the leaks.   This could be the best play by President Obama’s administration.

Just as Jeff Sessions was dismantling all the progress the justice Department had done under Eric Holder & Loretta Lynch, suddenly he is under fire for supposedly engaging the Russians in what is considered an effort to hack the America elections while undermining the concepts of democracy.  With all this news out, it gives perspective to the demeanor of Sessions during his hearing.  As he testified to his quality of character before Congress, he seemed to always have a devilish smirk.   Typically smirks are no indication of misdoings, but it was the timing of his smirks that made me suspicious.

More information is surely going to be released over the next few days, so keep your eye on the clusterfcuk called the Trump Administration!

LINKS about Jeff Sessions & the Russians:

Washington Post

Aljazeera

 

NPR

 

 

 

Republicans are set on stupid!!!!!

One would think that people are smart enough to know when they aren’t doing something that’s in their best interest, but it just isn’t so.  As much as Republicans hate when people easily label them as misogynist and racist, I wonder if they ever take time to consider why these labels are thrown on them.   It isn’t because its a party mainly consisting of older white males, its because of the things they choose to speak on and the things they don’t.   Its this selective scale of morality that  have they have created that has America looking like its ran by fools to the rest of the world!!!!

In Bulgaria, this is how they see our President:

trump cartoon 11

The United Kingdom:

trump cartoon 1

Austria:

trump cartoon 6

Our neighbors to the North, Canada:

trump cartoon 5

The United Arab Emirates:

trump cartoon 9

& France:

trump cartoon 3

And this is just a few.

The arrogance of the Grand Old Party has reached epic levels.  Just yesterday Mitch McConnell decided to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren from reading a letter from Coretta King, wife of Martin Luther King, jr., explaining why she would not believe that Sen Jeff Sessions would be a horrible pick for Federal Judge as well as a hindrance to Justice.  He decided to use a rule that had not been used before, to prevent her from reading this letter about the nomination pick of Attorney General.

Yet, no matter how many people complain about the actions of Mr. Trump, the Republicans continue to implement things that are against most Americans.  In all actuality, their efforts to Repeal and Repeat (instead of Replace) the Affordable Care Act might actually do them more harm then good.  Although many Republicans cheered the idea of getting rid of Obamacare, little did they know that Obamacare was truly the Affordable Care Act.   Suddenly, you find many people within their party, of average means feeling scared that the GOP will end up causing more harm than good.

Washington Post: These coal country voters backed Trump. Now they’re worried about losing Obamacare.

There’s little that can be said about the depth of self-inflicted pain in which many White Republican party members are causing themselves, but it seems to be on Par with anybody who has lost a grasp of reality.   These people are simply ready to sink the ship in hopes of establishing the days of old, that ultimately many were never apart of.

 

 

Barack Obama needs to get his @$$ home!!!

Yo, I’m sorry, but I’m having the hardest time sitting here watching America fall apart while Barack is in the virgin Islands soaking up sun and playing in the water.   I totally understand that he’s had a tumultuous  8 years, dealing with the Republicans, but Americans needs him and they need him now!

I wish I could tell that brother to go ahead and enjoy himself, but I cannot lie, things would be totally different had he not run.  Sure….there would be a ton of people without healthcare, the market more than likely would be still struggling, but that’s neither here nor there right now.   The reality is, that there are a ton of people, who are willing and ready to fight for their freedoms, but there’s no real leadership.

 

 

This dude is a Constitutional Lawyer, which means, if anyone knows how to put the kabash on this Trump stuff, its him.   One would think that he has a better view on the levers of power than most people.   We need the advantage of his view and wisdom to counter-balance the craze we call the Trump Administration.

Sure, usually one President doesn’t really speak out about the other President’s turn, but is that really a written rule?  Does he truly need to lay low while people suffer all around him?  Well everyone except many of his friends!

I am under the belief that we need to make sure that Barack knows we need him.  If anything, he should be the chair of the DNC.   We need a quarterback bad!!!!!!!  I’m not talking about a corny quarterback like Tom Brady with his fake win, we need a superhero.  We need someone who is willing to get out of the pocket and help us get that first down.   Maybe a McNair type or, maybe a Moon type anybody but people like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

We need to start a campaign of sorts.  Something that will let Barack & Michelle know….that despite the years of their wonderful service, if America time ever needed him, its now!!!!

So who is gonna make that phone call? Who is the person that’s gonna tell Barack that he needs to get his Mom jeans wearing ass home now.   He’s a cool guy and I truly appreciate his service to this country, but his job is not over.

SOMEBODY TELL BARACK TO GET HIS ASS HOME!!!!!! 

Wanna help, please like and share.  Start a conversation.  Call the DNC….call his new organization.

The news is starting to look similar to the Rise of Hitler on the history channel.   Are we truly gonna wait to see how history can repeat itself?

 

THE BETRAYAL OF WHITENESS

THE BETRAYAL OF WHITENESS

As a black man and having tried my best to be a considerate, intelligent and thoughtful human being, there’s a reality that I have to face when it comes to white people. Yes, It’s a horrible thing to do in regards to generalizations, but let’s be honest, this is the world we live in. I’m under the assumption that most intelligent beings can differentiate between generalizations and actual truths, so when certain things I say don’t apply to you……you shouldn’t take it personal. If you happen to find yourself taking it personal, I think that it might be an opportunity to learn more about yourself as a person. This isn’t the demonization of white people as a whole, but it’s an honest attempt at constructive criticism in the field of race relations.

My entire life, I have grown up around and amongst white people. I actually believe my first sleep over at a girls house was over the house of a girl I was in kindergarten with (our parents were obviously very liberal in their thinking for the late 70s). I say that to express the notion that I was never raised with hate for white people. They have been my friends and best friends. My childhood was filled with so much diversity that I was raised thinking this is how the world should be. Growing up, universal acceptance was probably my motto, but I understood race and understood race in context to history. I understood that there were still people who looked at me in a manner that was not positive, but understood that I cannot use the color of a persons skin to determine if they were good or bad. My living example of that thought was my very own existence. No matter how accepting I was of other people, I could not expect that they would be equally accepting. Yet, those who I met along my road of life were to be treated fairly. Or to quote the great Chubb Rock…. Treat Em Rite.

I was born in 1974. I state that to give you a point of reference and to shape context around this passage. My childhood was filled with wonderful memories of Hip-Hop, R&B, Classical, Rock and whatever you call that period of the DoobieBrothers, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, and all that jazz. Once the 90’s started rolling in, I started to notice a weird shift in the dynamics of friendships. In the late 80s I had moved across town and found myself in the middle of an orthodox jewish area. That’s when I really started to see that racism was a little bigger than I thought. I was born in New York, but moved to Baltimore and lived most of my life there with a few exceptions like Philly. I was use to racial issues, but never so much of a “In your face (Prince Akim style)” type of racism. Soon having had moved into our new home on the west side of town…..I experienced social racism. I have had the police called on me in my own home, I was in 7th grade by the way. I had “nice” jewish women tell me to get away from my own home. One even stated, “I know the good jewish family that lives here, so you need to get along and not cause any trouble!”. Her mouth was left open as I pulled out my keys and unlocked the door to the blackest interior entrance way you could imagine. I’ve had the Citizens Watch follow me as I was skateboarding home. All of this…for the first time in my life, in a matter of 2-3 years.

By High School, I started having to break down the groups for my own mental sanity. Suddenly that “Universal Acceptance” has caused white kids I was cool with to call me a something “Black” in the nastiest of tones. I was semi-flirting with a young girl in my acting group, who happened to be white. Once her parents found out I was black, they removed her from our acting group and made her change schools. Some of the people I had been cool with started to get a little shady. My best friend at the time happened to be white. He seemed to have issues when I would do better on Sat prep tests. We went to rival high schools and at times, it seemed like a racial rivalry. We both ran for SGA for our senior year. I had decided that I really didn’t have it in me to be President, but I’d settle for whomever wanted to quarterback the SGA. I settled on Vice-President (ran unopposed, lol). We somehow had a conversation and found out that both of us were running for SGA. He told me his plans of being a Treasurer and mine of Vice-President. Next thing I know, he was running for President. It started to always be something with these people that I thought saw me as an equal. My more liberal, damn near communist friends taught me about certain issues happening around the world. Often they would talk about the injustices of apartheid with a fervor to rival Khalid Muhammad. I was taught about injustices towards Jewish people and often I attempted to teach them about mine. By the time the Caps were thrown to the sky and hit the ground in celebration of graduation, the racial lines were practically drawn.

After high school, the hopes to have some retention of my “white” friends at an all time low. I practically had no white friends. Sure, there were the more…romantic friendships with certain people that transcended race & time on occasion, but all the white males had fallen off. A lot of my white female friends had fallen off. The only people that were around were the ones who actually spent time with me and we weren’t the type to really see race in its traditional sense. I went to an HBCU..the Almighty TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY, so my exposure to white people was either faculty and staff or it was a 20 min drive up the road to Auburn University. I remained in the south from 1993 -2006. In a state like Alabama, I had never experienced any real….unordinary racism. Especially not in that little political black Universe they call Macon county Alabama. As soon as I’d cross the county like from Macon county into Lee county, I always had my racism countermeasure program running. There was a time that I use to hold Atlanta, Georgia as the best example of Democracy where race was at play, but once a man named Barack Hussein Obama was elected, all that went out the window. I was fortunate to be there the day he was elected, but had moved on for the crisp cool winds of Minnesota.

Once in Minnesota, that’s when I realized what structural racism was. Better yet, that was the first time I had lived in an environment in which white people were dominating all aspects of politics and culture. Its where I experienced the extreme importance of situational awareness. That was the first time, I had truly understood the concept of “Fuck the Police”! My interactions with the police always seemed to happen in their local chain of gas stations called Super America…and ironically enough, always around the donut station! Any time I would pass white officers and say hello, I was often greeted with Surprise or a sort of “How Dare you”. My friends from Minneapolis and St. Paul use to have what I considered was an unjustified fear of the police. It started to make sense when I worked on Obama’s 2012 campaign in North Minneapolis as a fellow. I didn’t see a day go by that the police didn’t have some young black kid on the back of the car. There I was met with the Stereotype of having experienced nothing. For the first time in my life, I had been considered a thug and if the poeple have any kind of Negrometer ( NE-GRom-met-Er), you’d know that’s the furthest thing from the truth! Minneapolis was everything that I saw about Whiteness on TV. It was the land of the Red sun for a brother like me. Due to indigenous black folks being marginalized, blacks functioned on two levels: The have’s and the have nots! There truly was no real in between like I found everywhere else.

I worked for a Security company and had befriended a cool Veteran chick, who had the same shift I was on. She was pregnant and happened to have been knocked up by some brother that was still in the Military. Due to all the horrible things she described, we became cool on the notion that we are essentially making it day by day. My mom always taught me to be polite, so seeing this chick was on the verge of busting, I always made it a point to make sure she had water……Gatorade….you know…being considerate. I even visited her at the hospital after she had her baby. It was just another day in the life, until suddenly she found out that someone else at the job liked me. Let me clarify, there was no flirting….there was no intimacy….It was good ol’Quasi-Neo-Abstract-Christian manners. Suddenly, she wasn’t talking to me. I knew her to be a woman of a firey personality…with her firey red hair….and one day I noticed her white car was parked next to my red car. I walked in between the two cars and say a Big white dent on my passenger side door. I wasn’t really angry, but when I entered into the job, she was on a call, so I kneeled down and asked her if by chance she happened to hit my door. She said no……and I kept it pushing. Later I see her go into my mangers office and about 20 mins later I was called into the office. Suddenly this woman felt threatened by me…..because I asked her about my door. I became the bad guy and found myself in the office calling b.s. I was told I could get HR involved in this matter, but wasn’t suggested. In order to quell her fears I was forced to change shifts in efforts to save face on all fronts. It had become clear it was time to kick rocks, so I put in my 2 month letter of resignation and decided to move back to Baltimore. My mother had fallen ill to Ovarian Cancer and the only other thing that made Minnesota worth it was that I had developed a long relationship. Once the employment issue showed me that there’s no real progress for a brother, taking care of my mother was the obvious choice. So that cold New Years eve, I pack up my car and head home.

I moved to Baltimore and thought that I had truly escaped the madness of racism. Not that it didn’t exist, but that it was what I was most familiar with and unfortunate to say, most comfortable. I worked, took care of my mother and took over my mother’s travel business. That summer I took her tour group to Egypt, 3 months before the Arab Spring. During this time I found out I was going to be a father and also realized that my mother was losing the battle. She passed on the God’s day in October and celebrated by All Saints Day. By the first of November, I was on my way back to Minneapolis. To support my girl in her next 5 months of pregnancy. During this period of time is when I met the brunt of racism.
By the time my child reached the age of two, I felt like I was running away from racism in the same fashion as Atreu was running away from the Nothing in the Never Ending Story! Again, there was this desire to go somewhere I believed to be safe, my beloved Baltimore. Little did I know, that a few years later…..I ran from a Philando Castille situation to run to a Freddy Grey situation. In my efforts to try to normalize the life for my family, I found myself with nowhere to run. I came home, to find that the activist white kids I knew, had become silent at the slew of black deaths that occurred. The only time I saw any utterances about the unjust system that opposed black people, typically stemmed from Black, Latinos and a few whites who happened to have extremely close black friends, boyfriends and/or children.
So, in my search from understanding in the midst of confusion, I started to wonder what happened to all those white people I’ve known over the course of history that espoused the greatness of their being (bka whiteness). What happened to those who always felt compelled to measure my life in comparison to theirs as a symbol of what to do? What happened to all those good intentioned white people who always felt compelled to tell people tell people how they were going wrong? What happened to all those hard working white people that use to jack Booker T. Washington’s statement about bringing yourself up from your Bootstraps?

In essence, whiteness is a figment of everyone’s imagination. Not even white people can stand up to the high bar of being a morally superior being. With a little study of history, you find that in essence people subscribe to the belief that they truly have no part of. Whiteness is an imaginary belief and those who believe in it, have an inflated sense of self worth. Why would anyone want to be associated with people who have historically lied, cheated and robbed people to gain their power We are talking about the same whiteness that killed innocent native women and children. The whiteness that corrupted nations that weren’t white, because they thought they were incapable of running for themselves. Whiteness has betrayed people of white skin, because it associates itself with anyone who easily falls into its definition, whether they believe it or not. The concepts of whiteness and all the accolades of it are based in myth and often denies people the props they deserve.

Whitness turns good intentioned white people into spinless cowards who will watch people get hurt by a system that doesn’t look for them. Whiteness causes good people to be paranoid of the consequences of its design. Whiteness is a weak belief that requires people to believe in it so it exists. Whiteness has betrayed the world, because it refuses to accept that the world is a world of color. The problem is, that in order to fight whiteness, white people have to be willing to give up the pseudo-advantage of being quiet with no consequence. Whitenes skews history, destroys people and lessens the belief that good White people exist, because so many can sit back and know that nothing will happen to them.
The real problem is that in the end, what seems to happen to people of color eventually happens to white people. I.E. crack & heroin epidemic.
Whiteness has no place in this society. Before anyone goes and says…what about Blackness, keep in mind that Blackness came as a direct result of whiteness. If we started to treat race like a thing that helps further understand a perspective vs. acting as if race defines that aptitude and ability of a person, the world would be a much better place. I think its just time that white people understand that Whiteness will Betray you. So the question is, when time moves on, what side of history will you be on. The right side….or the white side?

-The Great Elephant