Examples of our apartheid economy?

We’re a third of the way through Black History Month. Let’s check in with the voluntary apartheid economy that Americans have set up.

An email from Tripadvisor in which we are urged to “eat, stay, and shop” only at enterprises owned by people who identify as part of a particular race:

Oprah reminds us to “Celebrate Black History Month by Supporting These Black-Owned Businesses”:

There’s never been a better time to put your money where your mouth is. … Here, we’ve rounded up a selection of 55 Black-owned businesses online that the team here at Oprah Daily recommends—including in the beauty, food and drink, fashion, and home decor categories. These thoughtfully curated selections are nothing short of stunning, so you’ll want have your wallet ready. Supporting them is something you can do all year long.

Want to watch some TV on Amazon Prime? The top option is a section segregated to one skin color:

How about HBO Max? The opening screen:

The NBA wants us to eat at restaurants owned by people identifying as part of one race… “10 Black-owned restaurants in every NBA city”.

Throughout the month of February, we will be spotlighting 10 Black-owned restaurants in every city with an NBA team. This initiative aligns with the league’s commitment to broader diversity and inclusion efforts in the communities where we work and live.

What if you get fat in your tour of these restaurants? “15 Black-Owned Businesses in Health and Wellness to Support During Black History Month and Always” (ET). (Just remember that you can be healthy at any size and that obesity is definitely not a risk factor for COVID-19 that would be worth addressing.)

Readers: What are you seeing in terms of voluntary apartheid? (Official race-based programs, such as in government contracting or hiring, do not count.)


  • “Abolish the White Race” (Harvard Magazine, Sept/Oct 2002): “The goal of abolishing the white race is on its face so desirable that some may find it hard to believe that it could incur any opposition other than from committed white supremacists.”

5 thoughts on “Examples of our apartheid economy?

  1. What are you seeing in terms of voluntary apartheid? I still don’t care about Black Lives Matter!

  2. Look into Ignatiev’s uh, “academic credentials” and reflect on why he was at Harvard…

  3. The NYT agreed with the analysis in 2014 (https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/07/opinion/only-minorities-need-apply.html). Now, this opinion would be considered an extreme right position:

    But while the overt discrimination of 1964 is now rare, a more subtle form of bias is emerging: Both public and private employers increasingly treat race not as a hindrance, but as a qualification — a practice that, unchecked, could undermine the basic promise of the act.

    The Supreme Court’s 1986 decision in Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education held that hiring and placing teachers to be racial role models was discrimination, even linking it “to the very system the Court rejected in Brown.”

  4. Well, by now I consider these race-based labels and selections as warnings about what to avoid simply because the content so labeled is at best mediocre dross.

  5. Isn’t it discriminatory that the shortest month of the year is designated as the Black history month?

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