Are you a fan of “Shark Tank?” I am a big fan. I have been on a “Shark Tank” viewing frenzy ever since I found out I could find the episodes I had missed on YouTube. One of the things I enjoy most about the show is seeing people present their business to the Sharks and then the response of the Sharks to their investment offers.
The current Sharks are either multi-millionaires or billionaires. There are currently six Sharks in the pool (Robert Herjavec, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Lori Greiner, Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary aka Mr. Wonderful), with five of them being on the show at any given time. Each of the Sharks brings an interesting perspective to the show. Kevin O’Leary is known for several things, including his love of an investment that will bring him even more money and his ability to see through ideas that require patents. If one doesn’t have a patent, or unique process that cannot be easily duplicated, then the little business created around that unprotected product could be going up against the big business and will be crushed like a cockroach.
Back in February, one of the contestants was a range of lipsticks of various unusual colors produced by two black women and called Lip Bar. The women had purple, blue, green and a bunch of lipstick shade colors in between. During their appearance on the show, Kevin O’Leary mentioned the difficulty new cosmetics companies experience while getting shelf space for their product. He also asked the ladies what, if their idea turned out to be a moneymaker, they would have to protect them from a bigger cosmetic company making similar shades and metaphorically crushing them like the colorful, but small businesses-minded, “cockroaches” they were.
Well, when the episode first aired, there wasn’t a lot of controversy. I saw two young ladies who weren’t as prepared as they should have been to make a convincing argument of either their product or company. Well, although Kevin O’Leary has used the term “cockroach” repeatedly in reference to white entrepreneurs, someone saw the clip and immediately labeled him a racist. Everybody is in for their fifteen minutes of fame and this episode of “Shark Tank” has given fodder to those who need a new crisis against Black America so that we are constantly in turmoil.
As a people, we are barely into the latest debate as to whether the word thug now means nigger—now I began getting several Facebook posts designed to feed yet another debate, but this time about those words Kevin O’Leary uttered. What is most sickening is that people who are not familiar with the program are passing on the film clip and professing to be upset about the comment. I had a young lady tell me she will never watch the program ever again. Yet the reality is that those young ladies weren’t treated any differently than anyone else who has appeared on the program with a poor idea. The hard truth is that what they offered at this point in time can be done by any cosmetic company.
There is a propensity for some people to seek victimization for us a black people in every way that can be manufactured. That is most worrisome to me than anything else. The casual throwing around of anything and everything being racist dilutes the real example and in the end, makes it harder to address real issues when the waters have been made murky with facetious charges.
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