Sunday, July 15, 2007

Black folks/Caribbean time

Generally speaking I keep the topics of my blog post fairly light hearted. However, this week's topic is a little more on the dark side if you will. Now, i am not Bill Cosby so I am not going to go off on a rant criticising rap music and whats going on in the hood. But there have been a few things that have happened in the past few weeks that i need to address.

The first is the concept of Caribbean time. Caribbean time is the nasty habit that a lot of black people have of showing up late as hell for everything we do. Thankfully this is a habit i have mangaged to avoid. But let me give a few examples.

1) A few months ago a friend of mine was having a birthday dinner as the Mandarin and told us to be there at 6:30. So, my girlfriend and i got there at 6:30. However, the other invited guests were not there. My friend then told me not to worry because he had actually made the reservations for 7:15 to account for Caribbean time!!! However, 7:15 was not late enough because some of the other guest didn't end up showing up until around 8:00. When they walked in there was not even an apology or an explanation. Ridiculous!!!!

2) My girlfriend and I and some of her friends decided to go to this show at UofT downtown that was about a celebration of African culture. Sounded like a nice evening and it was supposed to be cheap also. However, it was supposed to start at around 7:00. We got there at 7:00 and they had not even begun to set the place up yet. We talked to someone and they said around 8. So we took a phone number from someone and said we would walk around and call back to check on their progress and see when they would eb ready. So we went for dinner and walked around a bit. We called back at 8:00 and they said they would be ready around 9:30. At which point we just said fuck it and left!

3) This is a common trend at shows hosted by black folks unfortunately. In fact as recently as yesterday my girlfriend and her friends went to a show. It was supposed to start at 6:30 but didn't actually start until 9:15. They tried to account for Caribbean time by showing up at 7:30. Unfortunately that was not late enough because they were still waiting for close to an hour and a half.

My next complaint is on how we run our businesses.I have a few stories to illiustrate that point also.

1) I went to get my car detailed a few weeks ago. I did not want a complete detail only an interior shampoo. I dropped my car off at 9:00 am and the guy said that it would be ready around 12:00pm. I called at 12 and he said another hour. I called at 1 and he said the same thing. I did not end up getting my car back until 4:00pm that day. I took my fathers car the next week and the same thing happened again. In fact when we past by the place at 3:00 it looked like they had just barely started.

2) My girlfriend went to get her hair done at this hairdresser. While waiting for her hair to be done (and it was a 3 hour wait), the woman in their asked my girlfriend to take some of the kids in the shop to the McDonald's near by to get food. My gf said no and the hair dresser started to act rude! I mean this is not a charity business. My girlfriend doesn't know this woman and is paying her for her services. Why should she be required to go and fattening food for the already fat kids in the office. When my girlfriend explained it to one of her friends who knows the hair dresser she just told my girlfriend that the woman is a Jamaican hair dresser and their all like that!!! INSANE Obviously my girlfriend has decided to never go to this place again. She knows of another black hair dresser where the prices are higher but the quality of service is much better. I thank god that i cut my own hair these days because I remember that the barbers were no better than the hairdressers.

I have other examples and honestly i could easily turn this blog post into a 10 page essay if i wanted to. But really i just needed to vent a little bit. I do my best to try to support black businesses when i can but when this is how they behave you just can't do it. Maybe the issue is really more of an issue of price. Because when we go to the black business that charge more the service improves drastically. But when you try to give someone a chance to prove themselves they seem to go out of their way to fuck it up.

In a future post (i don't know when) I will address the Bullshit that is going on at BET!

That's it....

Next week... You can't go home again. Or can you?


Nadeene said...

The fact that black businesses don't bother give good service to their patrons can be attributed to their owners' internal self-hate and lack of self-respect. If you hate yourself, you will be inadvertently hateful to people who look like you. The hatefulness manifests itself in the rudeness that patrons encounter and the dismissive attitudes that they endure. If you don't respect yourself, you will be disrespectful to others who look like you. Of course, this self-disdain was instilled in people of African descent during slavery but seeing that it is now 2007, and slavery ended in 1834 (in the Caribbean), it is time for the self-defeating mindsets and behaviours to end. It will take a conscious effort on everyone's part for this to happen.

Unfortunately most people of African descent are still mentally enslaved....Like Bob Marley said, "Emancipate yourself from mental slavery". This is what people of African descent need to do.

Regarding always being late and hence disrespectful of other people's time, this can be attributed to the same self-hate. Self-hate manifests itself in many ways. Just take a look at BET (Black Embarrassment Television) - Most of their programming is the epitome of self-hate and proliferates the coon-mindset and minstrel show behaviours. A whole generation of African American men are growing up brainwashed, thinking they have to be gangsters or pimps or hustlers etc. and a whole generation of African American females are growing up thinking they are 'bitches' and 'hoes'. Moreover, BET broadcasts worldwide and foreigners who watch BET are getting stereotypical images of who African Americans are. That channel is doing a great disservice to African Americans and all people of African descent in general.

OK I went off topic. Back to my original point: You don't usually get this kind of disrespectful treatment if you go to say, the Asian fact the Asian lady who adjusts my clothes is very respectful and always gets the work done on time, on budget and the work is always done well. Therefore, I keep going back.

This is a capitalist society and for black businesses to compete and turn into profit-making enterprises, they need to get with the program ASAP. Wake up and smell the coffee people!

Asian people support each other and hence have progressed and have very high economic power in Canada because of their work ethic and their attitudes. I wonder if in my lifetime, I will see people of African descent ever come up in the world. I'm not talking about a few people of African descent (Oprah, Michael Jordan, Condoleezza Rice etc.) being rich/famous/powerful. I'm talking about the vast majority of us having the right attitude and mindset to move up in the world, be respectful and respected and treat each other with love.

--Todd said...

I know you want to attribute that to black business and I don't want to dispute you on that but I think you hit on it more at the end of your blog. As you said, if you pay more the service improves. I think you're just seeing the end of economic pressure. If the people that run poor businesses tried to charge more they wouldn't have any business. So really if you see someone setting a low price, don't think that they are trying to break in or work their way up since it is far more likely that they were forced to set a low price in response to their poor business skills.