Founder of plant-based feminine hygiene brand, Honey Pot, Beatrix Dixon was subjected to the annoyance of white tears, a week or so ago after Target presented her in their 30-second “Founders We Believe In” commercial ad. The CEO was featured sharing her short story about the difficulties she faced as being a black female business owner and why she started Honey Pot.
Ms. Dixon said:
“The reason why it’s so important for The Honey Pot to do well is so the next black girl that comes up with a great idea could have a better opportunity. That means a lot to me.”
You would think that the inspiring, lighthearted commercial specially produced for airing during Black History Month and for Women’s History Month would be well received and garner a flood of positive reviews, as opposed to the avalanche of vile, tasteless rebukes, offered by the “Upset Caucasians collation”. Just like clockwork, they stepped immediately and fully into their racist persona, flooding the online rating site Trust Pilot with the most bigoted and racist comments they could muster. The remarks were so patently offensive, the site suspended the Honey Pot brand page on the site to eliminate any further comments.
Dixon responded to the assault, stating:
“I wasn’t necessarily blindsided [by the negative reactions], but I also didn’t have an expectation”
Seemingly unfazed by the derisive comments, Dixon portrayed a mood and attitude that Black people have mastered as we know all too well how this story goes. They forge indignation and race to their keyboards to script utterances full of ignorance and poor grammar in hopes of making a point that ignites more racist passions, (which does happen occasionally) to try and verbally tear us down. We have come to anticipate racist comments, opinions, gripes, and tears that follow whenever Black people dare to choose ourselves first or whenever we empower one another. It is something we have experienced time and again, in this society, which has taught us that we are all we truly have. It is so unfortunate that the ever-present bigotry and racism that persist in America has never been too uncommon or seen as a far-fetched attitude or behavior toward the Black community. The eternal theme of racism and discrimination has been one that Black people have had no choice but to endure, presented as a challenge or some sort of hurdle we are encouraged to overcome with grace and a gleeful spirit.
I am certain that it comes as no shock that once we choose to celebrate our wins, we are ridiculed, undermined and dismissed as “a source or integral part of the problem”, excuse me as I laugh. If the truth is told, we can’t be a part of or the cause of a problem that we didn’t create, foster, nurture or in any way encouraging. While white people argue about inclusivity or lack thereof, Black people and other POC know that we have never really been included in anything, in spite of the contrary view falsely portrayed in this country. We receive half-hearted insincere invites that are typically accompanied by special rules and conditions that reflect their distaste and biases that form the root of their objections to our presence, participation and ultimately our existence. Black people have always understood this and as such welcomed the opportunity to pave our own lanes and create settings more suitable to our own norms and standards. We’ve never been spoiled by societal privilege or pampered in communal luxury; we find ourselves in constant defensive mood as any letting down of our guard seems to provoke an automatic assault from a society that we were born amongst but never assimilated into.
Our ancestors built this nation along with the foundations of its great wealth and prosperity, yet we constantly struggle and fight to celebrate ourselves because this country has and will likely never honestly embrace our joy. In a way, we’ve created our own oasis, by force of will, and a determined spirit of ultimate faithfulness!
The internalized entitlement that white people wear on their sleeves never ceases to amaze me. Black people are damned if we do and damned if we don’t; it’s practically laughable at this point, depending on which side of the looking glass you look upon. The magnifying glass that Black people have been living under isn’t foreign by any measure, it’s literally redundant and we have all grown tired, for real. Racism, bigotry, and discrimination, unfortunately, are part and parcel of the realm we inhabit and have become part of the essence of our existence. So much so, that we’ve become experts in it and unlike white people and their desperate desire to be oppressed, we know what oppression actually looks and feels like. We know how to get through the continuous battle, coming out unscathed and more resilient from each encounter.
Since the incident involving Honey Pot’s CEO Beatrix Dixon, Honey Pots sales have spiked 50% and the products are quite often sold out and placed on backorder, which goes to show that no matter how hard people try to dismiss us or demean our essence, we always prevail against all odds. After all, we were built for this.
Featured photo: Target, @iambeadixon
Jenelle Parrish is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. Using her voice to share her struggles, stories, and journey, she only hopes to be a progressive tool for other young black women like herself.