APRIL 1, 2023

"It was really hurtful as a small business because as a Minority business owner I felt like I didn't have the support of those around me."
— Ayesha Ray, Alexandria business owner


"We don't have to argue with anybody. We don't have to curse and go around acting bad with our words. We don't need any bricks and bottles. We don't need any Molotov cocktails. We just need to go around to these stores, and to these massive industries in our country, and say,

'God sent us by here, to say to you that you're not treating his children right. And we've come by here to ask you to make the first item on your agenda fair treatment, where God's children are concerned. Now, if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you.'

"And so, as a result of this, we are asking you tonight, to go out and tell your neighbors not to buy Coca-Cola in Memphis. Go by and tell them not to buy Sealtest milk. Tell them not to buy -- what is the other bread? -- Wonder Bread. And what is the other bread company, Jesse? Tell them not to buy Hart's bread. As Jesse Jackson has said, up to now, only the garbage men have been feeling pain; now we must kind of redistribute the pain. We are choosing these companies because they haven't been fair in their hiring policies; and we are choosing them because they can begin the process of saying they are going to support the needs and the rights of these men who are on strike. And then they can move on town -- downtown and tell Mayor Loeb to do what is right."
Martin Luther King, Jr., I've Been to the Mountaintop


The suspension of the BIPOC-Owened Business Grant Program raises questions about how racial discrimination is perpetuated in society. It is possible to argue that the lawsuit filed by Tridentis, which claims that the program is discriminatory against white business owners, reinforces the idea that power and privilege are unequally distributed based on race, and that white individuals and businesses are the primary beneficiaries of a system of injustice. They might also argue that the lawsuit overlooks the historical and ongoing systemic barriers that Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) face in accessing resources and opportunities in the United States, and that the program was an attempt to address these disparities by providing support to BIPOC-owned businesses.

The suspension of the program may represent a missed opportunity to redress these inequities, and to challenge the dominance of whiteness in the economic sphere. However, some may also recognize the legal complexities of the situation, and the need to ensure that any program aimed at redressing racial disparities is designed in a way that is legally defensible. They may also acknowledge that the case highlights the ongoing tensions between principles of equality and affirmative action in U.S. law, and the challenges of creating policies that are both effective and legally sustainable. 


  •  "Access to capital" is the biggest challenge for Minority businesses.

  •  Looking at the law firm chosen, the lawsuit seems very political.

  • This is economic warfare.