Buying black is more than another mindless mantra that we type with our twitter fingers or post on Instagram. Sometimes, it’s the difference between life and death.

Remember Latasha Harlings? She was the 15-year-old black girl shot by a Japanese store owner over a bottle of orange juice. Her killing was one of several catalysts for the 1992 LA riots.

Sadly, this tragic tradition continues. Recently, in Memphis, 17-year-old Dorian Harris was murdered as he exited a convenience store. It’s alleged that he stole a beer on his way out.

The employee on duty, Anwar Ghazali, chased after the teen and fired several fatal shots. Like the great humanitarian that he is, Ghazali then went back into the store and continued with his business as if nothing happened.

The victim’s body was discovered in front of a residential property days later by a concerned homeowner.

Let this be a lesson to us all. You can shop in that Arab convenience store or that Asian mini-market but these people ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS. They gladly accept our money but look down on us as if we’re second-rate citizens.

Many of us can attest to feeling under human surveillance the moment we walk into Habeeb’s bodega or Kim Soo’s mini-market.

And so I ask when is the last time you’ve seen a black barbershop in Chinatown? That’s right…. you havent.

When is the last time you’ve seen a black owned laundromat in the Little India section of your town? Oh…. you haven’t seen that either.

If we as black people cannot go to other communities and set up shop so freely, why are other ethnic groups emboldened to do so in our communities?

Again, buying black can equate to a matter of life and death. If murder isn’t a big enough incentive to reclaim the businesses in our community, what is?