Dollar discount stores are a bit of a novelty in my household. We have used it to help our kids learn about the value of a dollar (haha) and stretch their stash of birthday money burning a hole in their pocketbooks. My kids will wade through the toy area where they have free reign–except for the fake makeup–which comes from China with questionable ingredients like lead. While they look, I meander the beauty aisle, which is full of products with ingredients I know have been linked to cancers and endocrine disorders. The food aisle is just as bad; full of processed foods with a block-text of unnatural ingredients. As cheap as the food was, there is absolutely no way I would ever fill my cart with any of it. I consider myself fortunate because cheap stores like this are proliferating all over as corporations like Dollar General and Dollar Tree bet on a permanent underclass in America lies ahead.
Poor people and those who live in rural areas are increasingly buying their groceries from dollar stores, that stock their shelves with non-perishable items full of additives, preservatives, and dyes. Processed food has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and hormonal disruptions, so the folks unfortunate enough to have to shop at these places are more grist for the pharmaceutical industry and a tax on our already overtaxed healthcare system. Imagine not being able to find a store within 10 miles that sells lettuce and apples. Guess which racial group shops these trash grocers the most? “I’ll take black folks for $10,000, Alex.” That’s right. Dollar stores with garbage foods are proliferating black neighborhoods. And get this–they WANT you poor and unhealthy. “More than a harbinger of how corporations will profit from a permanently stratified United States (and work to perpetuate that stratification: Dollar General joined other retailers in lobbying for the Republican attempt to fully repeal Obamacare earlier this year), dollar stores are both symptom and disease.” says a Newsweek article.
The only thing smart black women should be buying from Dollar General or Dollar Tree is stock. These stores are selling more groceries than Amazon-owned Whole Foods, and that should give you a pretty good picture of how the world is turning. Those with resources will have access to healthy food choices, local gyms and yoga studios to keep them healthy, and those without those resources will have Dollar Tree and donuts that never grow mold.
As the media and Black Twitter has us all thinking our biggest issues have to do with race, the corporations know that this is a chasm of class. The more money you make, the healthier you’ll be. Black women simply can not afford to embrace a life of struggle existence, raising children alone and feeding the household on processed foods. This isn’t about being a gold digger. It’s also not about being a survivor. This is about being a thriver.
The world is unkind to the poor, and that’s unfortunate. But that’s why you have to do what you can, and make life decisions (like mate selection) to reduce the possibility of being poor. Now more than ever, young black women need to be more mercenary about the mates they select and ruthlessly guard their wombs. The states are simply too high, and government safety nets are dwindling by the year.
Black women have to not being apologetic about aligning themselves with those of a higher socioeconomic class. Your friends, associates, affiliations, and zip code will increasingly mean the difference between shopping at Whole Foods or Dollar General.
The Pink Pill is more than lipstick and heels. Using it can keep you far away from Dollar Tree.