As a black person, when you immediately ask or expect a black business owner to “hook you up” it is a reflection of how you value that owner and their service. Subliminally, it is a reflection of your own negative self-image.
It’s based in being mentally conditioned in a way that makes it difficult for you to determine value.
You probably have never considered the underlying belief system and mentality when you go to someone black, in business, and ask for discounts (the hookup)? Most people think they are asking for a favor in getting a discount for the product or services the owner offers.
But why do you ask or expect a price reduction from this particular business owner?
The underlying belief is that a person of color is not worth what they ask for in exchange for his or her product or service. Why else would you immediately ask for the hookup?
In a way, it is saying more about the mentality of you asking for the hookup. It is saying you don’t value someone that is the same race and culture as you would someone of another race and culture. Because you don’t value yourself you don’t value the skills and services of those that look like you.
Value vs. Price
There is a difference in assessing the value of something rather than accepting the price. Value is determined intrinsically. It is based on that person’s internal compass and what they feel about the worth of a thing. Another way to say this is value is based purely on perception. YOUR perception. A person with a negative self-image will not be comfortable with assessing value.
Why? because they might get it wrong! If they get it “wrong” it feeds into a feeling of self-worth that is already low. They would rather find areas of agreement with others. In other words, they would rather pay a price rather than buying based on how they valued.
A price is chosen for you. A price for something is agreed on by others. When you know the price you can be safe in assuming that everyone else thinks or will think the same way about what this thing is worth. You don’t have to evaluate the worth or value of that product to you. You can reject or accept the predetermined price of that thing. Price is determined for you. You can find comfort in knowing that everyone else paid the same price. Your self-image will be intact because you paid what everyone else paid.
Why is this important to understand? Because people that are uncomfortable with trusting their own internal convictions about certain aspects of their life would rather be told how and what to think. They would rather be told the price of something than having to determine what it’s worth to them.
This is really deep because it exposes a mindset. A way of moving through life on many levels. This is not just a black thing. It is societal but very acute in the black community.
Being religious is one example living with a price based mentality. As a Christian, my moral compass was determined by a set of values dictated by the scriptures. Even if they were contradictory. For example, all human beings are worthy of life and the love of God. Except if you happen to love someone of the same sex. They didn’t stop being human. Something outside of you dictated how you should view the sexuality of another human being and whether they are worthy to be loved. That’s analogous to having a price dictated to you.
Another example is Christians who are white and racist have used the bible to justify their racism. They don’t determine right or wrong based on set of principles. It is based on rules that become contradictions more times than not.
The point in both examples is that many people would rather be told how to think and how to value people and things rather than to make that determination on based on a set of values that may not agree with the group and society as a whole.
It is fear that drives this need to fit in, comply, and conform for these type people. They don’t value their own uniqueness so they would rather fit in with a group. Even if it means devaluing another human being.
I recently started investing in the fantastic world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. In this space, you have to be able to determine value. But many people of all races and nationalities are not comfortable with making their own assessment about which investments they should make.
They wait to be told by someone they feel has more knowledge and experience what to invest in. That’s very smart on one level. But many won’t do their own due diligence and determine from their own criteria if a particular cryptocurrency is worth the risk for them. They are afraid to determine the value of a currency based on their own criteria. They simply follow the crowd.
You are unique and beautiful
With black people as a group, we have been taught not to value our unique abilities and beauty. Living with racism and white supremacy has fostered a legacy of people that fear not being “normal” and fitting into societies idea of “normal.” Around the world, people of color find value in things that make us seem, lighter and have “good hair.”
We live relative to white society always looking at ourselves through their prism. And because we are not them and “normal” we devalue just about every aspect of who we are.
We are more comfortable living in a “price” dictated society (White supremacy and religious) rather than determining our own value based on our own criteria.
Because we don’t value our own individual beauty and culture we are unable to assess the value of the business person that looks like us who offers a product or service. Expecting it to be free or asking for a cheaper price has nothing to do with holding them accountable for giving bad service or an inferior product.
Because it is your initial contact with them, it has everything to do with the color of the skin of the business person.
You prejudge that person with the thought they should give you a cheaper price simply because they are black like you and lucky that would give them any business at all. In other words, you don’t value who you are, so you don’t value the business owner that looks like you and what they have to offer.
In your world programmed by white supremacy and racism, It says this: An ice machine at a black restaurant doesn’t make ice as cold as an ice machine at a white own restaurant. Therefore, you should ask for a discount. Black skills and know-how is not as good as white skills and know how. Therefore, you should get the “hookup.”
If you are asking for the hookup without assessing the experience and skill of that business person simply because they share your skin color and culture then it is ultimately a reflection of how you view yourself, not that business person.
It takes courage and personal conviction to establish how valuable something is based on no other reason than your own internal system of values. It is so whether you are investing in a business or patronizing it.
it takes moving through the world recognizing that life is your own subjective expression from within.
That is a powerful perspective!
Negative self-image must change
Changing a negative self-image and learning to determine value will be critical for the black community to move forward. It will be a shift in consciousness and mindset. It is a shift in being internally driven rather than externally motivated and controlled.
We must build ourselves within in order to build a community, businesses, and a nation that are a reflection of those inner values. Right now, just about everything we do is a reaction to being priced as worthless in a society that does not value us.
We can no longer afford the “hookup” mentality. We must begin to derive value from our own set of standards. That mentality will be priceless and bring great value to all.