Usher Was Going To Leave The One He Was With...But You Won't Even Think About It / by Aquillia Mikel

Usher is fine. We can just start the conversation there to get this going. THEN, I would like to add that when "You Make Me Wanna" first came out- I was still too young to process what was fully going on in his world, but I got all the feels anyway. 

"You make me wanna leave the one I'm with/ To start a new relationship with you/ This is what you do..."

I remember feeling really bad for his girlfriend because she had no idea that he was thinking about leaving her for his best friend. Then, when I got older this song confirmed for me why best friends of the same sex is a no-go in relationships. (You can debate me, buuuuttttttttt you would be wasting your breath.)

This song popped into my head when I was sitting in the nail shop that I had been going to since I was in high school. I love this shop and they have done me right for years. I can get a mani/pedi (NO CHIP) for under $50, I can bring my dog Honey in while I'm getting a pedicure, and they understand that I have ticklish feet so they don't look at me crazy when I'm getting a pedicure. This shop is owned by a Vietnamese family, and the fact that I go to this shop when I know that Black owned nail salons that I would love just as much are here....somewhere.....makes me feel a little shady sometimes. 

It's the same feeling I got when we (Black people) started spreading the word that we were going to move all of our money to Black owned banks, when I swear by Chase's mobile alerts and Quickpay functions. I felt like extra trash when Solange said that she had moved her money to a BOB already- because YOU KNOW that's my girl. 

Here's the thing. If I'm being honest, I don't really like change. If I found something that I love, I usually like to stick with it because it takes too much effort to find something I love all over again. And if it's treating me well, then I really can't wrap my head around why leaving would be a good idea. Does that sound familiar? Have you looked at all of this discussion around Black business in the past two years and thought: "Ok, that's cute...but I'm good"? If so, it's because you are either selfish, afraid of change, or truly don't understand how cooperative economics can truly shift the culture. That's it. 

If you're selfish, you've said: "That doesn't have anything to do with me. I'm good- you all can figure out some ways to positively affect the culture. I'll be here when you get back."

If you're afraid of change, you've said: "That's a nice idea, but how long will it take me to find a brand/business I trust again? I'm scared."

If you don't understand how cooperative economics can truly shift the culture- then welcome to the Rebrand Ride! 

Like I said, I love the shop and my bank- but I actively search for Black businesses to give my money to. It's not that other businesses aren't awesome, it's just that I know that supporting Black business can lower unemployment rates in our neighborhoods, ease the effects of gentrification, and provide examples of entrepreneurship for the generations that are coming after us.

THAT'S why you should consider leaving the one you're with if it's not Black owned. I don't consider myself to be an activist, I'm a below average protestor (I always seem to be running late), but I can certainly put my money where my mouth is. Because at this point, the situation's outta control- I know you don't mean to hurt them, but you ....GOTTA LET 'EM GOOOOOO. 

Ya'll- Usher is everything. 

Ok- I'm leaving. Let me know when you make the switches you need to- I'm rooting for you.