In a recent episode of the NPR (progressive) radio show "Tell Me More" the subject of "food justice" and "food deserts in the hood" came up.
Tell Me More: Food Providers, Farmers Fight To Sustain Minority Communities
I am convinced that for some of you all - you know that if you can "civil right-ify" something that it becomes a "progressive" movement item. As a result you can get Black folks to do things that we should be doing anyway, even without your wordplay.
I am convinced that some of you all have a goal of pissing me off.
What is "food justice"? How do you violate someone's civil right to food?
Sure if you are a parent who has power over a household resident it is possible to lock this person, particularly a child, in a room and deny them food. For "equal human beings" - especially adults I actually find the term INFERIORIZING.
Welcome to the strange confluence of events that we have arrived at today. In the infinite universe which some have not realized that it has looped back upon itself those who give chase to the taillights of the vehicle which has ran over their foot fail to see that they are looking at the rear of the car that they are riding in, giving chase.
Is it possible that the notion of a "food desert" means that the faux standard of living and "wage floor" that certain communities have been conditioned to expect now prevents them from seeing - as the post-Hurricane Katrina t-shirts that were on sale used to say - "We all we got!!"?
Clearly there is a NEED for quality foods within a given space.
This NEED has not quite been crystallized into a DEMAND as coherently expressed by the residents. At this point the consciousness of the 'demand' is resident within the observations of the "handlers" of the people who reside outside of this eco-system, as they make note of the conditions within. For the people within since no retail supplier offered the option for "quality foods" the people who are consumers merely purchased what was offered to them - greasy foods from the closest fast food joint.
To be clear - the audio report did say that the group is working to coordinate the effort to bring in higher quality retail outlets that can offer a wider array of food choices to meet the dietary needs of the resident. I am not criticizing them for this. I APPLAUD THEM ON THEIR EFFORT TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM. My point is - this is a cut and dry MARKET DEMAND scenario. Why is there a need to put forth this fake 'Social Justice' overlay to the scenario?
- Is "Best Buy" providing "home electronics justice" to bridge the digital divide?
- If the "Office Depot" or "Staples" up the street from me closes do I now have an "Office Supply Desert"?
The choice of certain businesses to express their "no urban mandate" coupled with the statements by the radio guest that "the Black dollar" is being left on the table tells me that there is an abundant amount of opportunity for those who choose to enter into these places to meet the demand, thus prospering from the effort. What is "racist" or "suppressive" about this?
Sadly many of the same people who might attack the national grocery chain for slighting the Black community will also be the same people who make note of the National Urban League annual misery index report to see that the wealth of Black people is a mere fraction of that held by White folks. What they won't see is that example of "food justice" being fulfilled by others are the key reasons why Black Americans miss out on wealth aggregating enterprises in their own community.
I reported in the past of how after years of complaining about the lack of quality food in Riverdale Georgia a Korean owned farmer's market chain has stepped in. Now they control the bulk of the jobs at the store and they also take the proceeds back to the communities where they live.
Please stop with the emotional appeals that tap into the racial grievances of Black people. Please!!
If there is a NEED in our community and there is abundant UNEMPLOYMENT there is the makings of a solution that can address several problems at once. The same arguments against "outsourcing" over to China and India can be made about having someone else "insource" the venues by which the basic demands for the Black community are met.