I love watching Shark Tank. I am intrigued as entrepreneurs and inventors “shop” their idea around looking for a “shark” to invest in their product. Last Sunday I was tuned in as Keisha Jeremie shopped her delicious applesauce. I first learned of Sanaia Applesauce when Keisha sent Luvvie a package of this bottled goodness. Luvvie shared it on her Instagram and I started following Sanaia Applesauce’s page. I had the opportunity to sample the ginger and guava flavors and I was
Keisha walked into the Shark Tank looking like every bit of Black Girl Magic. Her red and blue ensemble was popping, she was poised, informed and articulate. As she explained the goodness which is Sanaia Applesauce I was excited to watch the Sharks fight over her. I just knew they would because her product is oh so good. But this was one of those rare occasions in which I was wrong. They didn’t fight over her. One by one they commended her but dropped out. I was in shock. How could they not want in on this? Then it happened, Kevin “I know everything” O’Leary stated he didn’t believe this business was Keisha’s passion because if it was she would’ve quit her day job and did the business full time. (insert shocked face)
All I could think to myself was “look at privilege on display, live and in living color”. Keisha wasn’t working for the fun of it, after all, not many people do that. Most people work because they have to. I know I do. If I even think about quitting and doing my passion full time I get a friendly “your mortgage is due in 5 days reminder”. Like most entrepreneurs we sacrifice sleep and fun to get our businesses off the ground in hopes that one day our passion produces enough income to sustain us. But Mr. O’Leary couldn’t understand that. That wasn’t his struggle. His mom was an investor and his stepfather was an economist. At a young age he traveled and enjoyed things that many others hadn’t. He lacked the ability to empathize with a woman who had to grind and hustle day in and day out to support her family and pursue her dream.
I thought I was disgusted by his comment but his fellow Shark, Robert Herjavec was apparently mortified by what he was witnessing. “I think that’s so unfair,” he told O’Leary. “I started my first company and wanted to be all in, but you know what? I had a mortgage. I had a child at home. I didn’t have that choice. I had to work 24 hours a day. She’s not asking for kumbaya. She’s just saying she has a family to support.”
Eventually Mark Cuban gave her a deal but the whole ordeal left my mind boggled. Kevin stood at his platform of privilege and condemned a woman that did not share the same platform. I began to think how powerful the privilege platform could be if it was used for good. I wonder how different this world would be if instead of saying “poor little humans that don’t have the luxuries and benefits I have” people would use their platform to impact meaningful change. Just this week Amy Schumer talked about her support of Rihanna for declining to perform at the Super Bowl and how she told her reps that she would not do a Super Bowl commercial this year. She acknowledged that to some it may sound like “a privilege ass sacrifice” but it was all she had. I see you Sis!
Amy couldn’t directly relate to the message behind the protest but she used her platform to support. That’s all any movement asks for…support. Keisha didn’t walk into the tank looking for sympathy. She wanted support. Me Too protesters aren’t looking for a hug. They are looking for support. Those taking a knee during the national anthem and boycotting the NFL aren’t looking for a hand clap. They are looking for support. So here is my charge to you, people of privilege, the next time you’re up on that platform give support. Do what you can to help others trying to better themselves and their communities. Whether we like it or not, whether we agree or don’t nothing changes the fact that..CMB