What if you walked into the grocery store one day and they no longer carried your favorite brand of hair gel? You'd probably ask management about it and they might tell you that the demand wasn't high enough to warrant them using the shelf space for that gel, so they stopped carrying it.
Maybe you'd be annoyed because now you have to find another store, nearby, who sells that gel. Or maybe the store would be customer service oriented enough that they'd start keeping a tiny stock of the product to appease you, the only customer who bothered to inquire about it.
Truth be told, customer service is hard to find, these days. So if the store went through all of that for you, they deserve your patronage.
Just about everything is about supply and demand in our country. I get that. It annoys me, but I get it.
But what I don't get and staunchly refuse to get is why a world, that's increasingly diversifying, continues to try and mainstream every product. Why does everything have to be stamped and approved as used by this mythical "everybody" to be validated?
I went into Walgreens tonight to buy some hair perm. I walked the lone hair care aisle for about five minutes, puzzled. Not only did Walgreens not sell my brand of perm but they didn't sell ANY black hair care products. Any!
I asked the cashier if they were kept in a different area and she explained if they had it, it would be down the hair care aisle. So they simply don't sell it.
Walgreens is literally one minute away from my house. Giant is two, but hair care products at the grocery store are too expensive. So I had to drive seven minutes down the road to get what I needed.
I can't begin to tell you how much this pisses me off. Not only because I had the gall to believe having the Walgreens right across the street would be convenient but because apparently, Walgreens has moved into my progresive, upwardly mobile, some say upper middle class neighborhood and decided there are NO black customers so they don't need to serve me.
Yes, Walgreens, that's what you're saying.
Have I just stepped back into 1950? What the hell?
I left that store blazing. I did what I do, wrote my letter to them letting them know I'm perfectly content giving my business to Rite Aid who has figured out a way to serve us non-existent Black customers. Rite Aid who is more than happy to stock products in case a black person happens to wander in lost from the outskirts.
I'm not real happy with the systemic ignorance that continues to seep into our society's bloodstream. It's so uncalled for.
I just talked about racism at Amy Bowllan's blog
and then it subtley rears its head, thumbing its nose at me like I thumb my nose at it by making my fictional worlds as diverse as the real world always should be.
And yes, it is racist that Walgreens doesn't carry black hair care products. If you don't think so, then think about some silly, yet necessary mainstream item you need and think about how you'd feel if your local retailer decided to stop selling it because you were invisible to them. Then tell me how you feel.