Black Lives Matter. Yes, we’ve heard. We agree. However, that’s not enough for the BLM protesters. Although most blacks agree with the basic aspect that black lives matter just as much as everyone else’s, the protesters are demanding more and more.
This goes far beyond reparations. This is about making America pay for the fact that slavery ever existed – although it’s been abolished for over a century.
In the Louisville retail marketplace, the BLM protesters are proving that it’s fair as long as black companies get more. Why? Because they said so. Don’t ask questions. Just do it. No wonder why many people are fighting back and wondering when the liberal left became totalitarian.
Louisville business owners are being threatened by a new group known as BASS or Blacks Organizing Strategic Success. Once upon a time, businesses would have to work hard, establish winning strategies, and market. Now, this group is looking for a loophole by making demands that guarantee a strategic success…but only for Blacks. Yeah, because that’s fair.
They do think it’s fair, though. They think that these demands will “level the playing field” while “empowering minorities.” Yet, the only minority they are looking to empower or Blacks. There is no mention of Latinos, Asians, or any other minority.
As one business owner identifies, Fernando Martinez of the Ole Restaurant Group, the BASS group is using “mafia tactics” as a way of intimidating business owners. The group’s social justice-related demands are being told to represent the black population by having at least 23% of their staff black, a minimum of 23% of their inventory from black retailers (or donating 1.5% of net sales to a local black nonprofit), and requiring diversity and inclusion training for staff members twice a year.
Do what now? So, any business in the East Market District (NuLu) of downtown Louisville who does do this will be met with threats of repercussions.
Not all businesses have the ability to hire so that 23% of the staff is black. While it may be possible, what happens if they don’t have any black people applying? What happens if the black people who do apply are unqualified? The group believes that this is a way of showing support for the reparations movement.
Clearly, they don’t believe in offering suggestions. It’s one thing for a group to show how it’s possible for businesses to increase awareness and show support and another entirely for them to make demands.
No business wants to be told how to run their business. Further, many businesses will find the demands impossible. 23% of a store’s inventory should be from black retailers? And what happens if there is no black retailer that offers what a business needs? Oh, well, they can just hand over some of their hard-earned profits to help level the playing field.
Of course, the group has clearly not thought everything through. They have blocked streets to unload trucks filled with buffet tables, barricades, canopies, and more. They’ll be occupying the area – and that’s sure to bring the sales of retailers throughout NuLu plummeting down lower than pre-pandemic. It turns out that consumers aren’t big fans of shopping where there’s a group occupying space and making demands.
And if that’s not bad enough, the website is even giving businesses a grade of how they’re dealing with the demands. The scores include “Ally,” “Complicit,” and “Failed.”
The group feels that they are qualified to determine if a business has violations in terms of how they’re dealing with the demands. The Blacks Organizing Strategic Success has a website that reads, “We’re holding Louisville businesses accountable, and we’re starting in Nulu. We will give businesses the standard 25-30 days to remedy any violation.”
Meanwhile, business owners aren’t jumping to become compliant. As Rick Murphy, the president of the NuLu Business Association says about the word ‘demand,’ and it’s spot on: “It’s bullying, it’s mean. We look at what they’ve given us as goals. I don’t embrace demands from anyone. No one can demand something of me, particularly if they accompany that demand with some sort of threat or doing harm to businesses. Right now is the wrong time to try to do harm to businesses.”