Let's get real

Dateline: Wed 08 Aug 2007

In the "oh for God's sakes" category are two recent stories; one, from the New York Times, (see link at end of post) is about a Brooklyn councilwoman's efforts to ban the word "bitch" in New York City (the n-word was banned last month); the other is from today's Star, about a rally to demand the music industry eliminate songs/lyrics that offend black women.

What a bunch of pompous posturing. Why not deal with the real issues, says black entrepreneur/business coach Lalita Amos of Indy -- that's the shakedown artists and con men who try to extort money from successful black businesswomen in the capital city.

Amos has not exactly been quiet as a mouse on this subject; her blistering, angry comments have been posted on other blogs, under a heading of "This will get me burnt at the stake, but DAMN!" Intrigued by her outspoken manner, I contacted her last week and we had a nice, refreshing phone chat. Here is what she said:

"I had heard from other blacks and women that once you get successful (in Indianapolis) the black power base feels like they have a right to control you. The message is, 'I'll be your business broker, and here is how much you have to pay me.' There is an implied threat if you don't pay up; I want to use the 'e' word here."

Yes, Amos is talking about extortion, which Mayor Peterson already accused some black ministers of a while back, when they asked to get on the payroll in order to deal with black crime. He's since backed off, but Amos has taken her gloves off.

Her ire reached a boiling point, she says, after she was visited by a prominent black man who has a big corporation in his background; he let her know that if she coughed up 20 percent of her profit, he could get her wheels greased and send clients her way. She refused, and she's calling such behavior out.

"Here is the thing," she says. "The so-called gatekeepers are all boys. ...this guy just wants me to be in his harem," financially speaking.

Amos, fyi, is a political independent; "I am not part of the black religious right," she says emphatically. So her message is not about Ds and Rs. But it is about money, power and prestige. And she's not about, she says, to enter the Twilight Zone of a shady operation, paying tribute to the "man" like she was in some tribal village.

Amos has been in business 12 years. I predict she'll be around a lot longer.

Here is the NYT link re: the "bitch" ban:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/07/nyregion/07bword.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1&oref=slogin

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