Finding relevance in irrelevancy
It's the 2016 Essence Music Festival (EMF) Weekend here in NOLA. EMF is the largest African-American festival in the nation. It showcases everything that encompasses what it means to be African-American and gives a platform and recognition to artists that sometime go unnoticed in the mainstream media. This fest, as always, is a big deal to NOLA. It brings a lot of revenue into the city and is a positive light in our city that is normally overshadowed by crime and corruption. This year's EMF brings a new scandal. Multiple white-owned businesses have chose to close during this weekend "due to renovations."
Walk-On's: Closed now until July 6
Domenica: Closed now until July 6
Little Gem Saloon: Closed now until July 7
Ba Chi Canteen: Closed now until July 4
Bayona: Closing July 4-July 8
Galatoire's: Closing July 4 to July 11
Cake Cafe: Will have shortened hours on July 4 (open until 11 a.m.)
Adolfo's: Closed now until July 5
Lucy's Surf Bar: Closed now until July 5
And NOLA Blacks are pissed! My social media timelines are filled with anger behind what many are calling blatant racism. But I have to ask, "Why do y'all even care?" None of these businesses, not one, have really great food or service. None of these businesses are regularly patronized by Blacks. And none of them are honestly doing us a disservice. It's their loss. They are losing money. Not us. This give other businesses an opportunity to capitalize on their decision. Once again, it's their loss!
Now, my issue here lies with the way the African American community is reacting to this. Because these businesses are rarely patronized by African Americans, their closures have not changed our plans at all. As an African American community, why do we spend so much time trying to make the irrelevant, relevant? There are so many changes in law and current politics that will personally affect the African American community that we are not talking about. There are so many things we can do to take a stance and make a change, yet we sit on social media and pretend to be "woke" to increase the number of likes we get.
And I'm sure some of you will consider me a "coon" for not addressing the racism or the white business owners, but I am not responsible for their ignorance. I am not going to waste my time trying to motivate change with a race of people who have decided they're gonna do what they want to do, when they want to do it, and how they want to do it. And I know for a fact that not all white people think like this but they're the minority. And quite frankly, they all still benefit from the privilege that comes with the color of their skin. Black people, this is my call to you to change your perspective on these events and how you react to them. We are living in a time where blatant racism has become a norm. It's time we change what we will and will not accept, so if you patronize these businesses, don't. Stop feeling a need to support businesses who don't support you. Trust me, there are better options. Log out of social media and go into your communities and make a difference. Start posting more about the positive and less about the negative. Stop reacting to things that are only done to get your reaction. Trump and Tomi Lahren are only relevant because WE (the African American community) keep reacting to their foolishness. If we ignored them, they wouldn't thrive. If we placed our focus on voting and bettering ourselves, we won't have anytime to even notice the negatives the world constantly tries to throw our way. And if we wouldn't have reacted to these businesses closing, I guarantee they would have been open next year. Because they are gonna feel a loss more than we will. So let's focus our attentions and energies on our own community and cause change in things we can control. Because griping on social media is fruitless.
But hey, at the end of the day I understand your anger if you regularly patronize these businesses because if this was Popeyes, I would be calling for an all out war. LOL Below you can find a list of businesses that are happy to accept business during this time and throughout the year. So support! Just remember TO TIP because this is something we don't do. I've seen this as a patron and as a server.
Dee's Coffee, 401 Baronne Street
Pelican Bay, 1701 Elysian Fields Avenue
Victory, 339 Baronne Street
Pepperoni Ray's, 3807 Frenchman Street
Lenora's Grill, 6514 Congress Street
Neyow's Creole Cafe, 3340 Bienville Street
Rollin' Fatties Food Truck, CBD
Bennachin, 1212 Royal Street
Loretta's Pralines, 2101 North Rampart Street
Sassafras, 2501 Leon C. Simon Boulevard
Snug Harbor, 626 Frenchman Street
Willie Mae's Scotch House, 2401 St. Ann Street