It looks like the owner of an Exxon gas station in Atlanta is finding out the hard way that being racist while owning a store in a largely Black neighborhood is a recipe for all sorts of problems.
After suffering more than two months of accusations of racism and anti-racism demonstrations, the store owner has decided to sell his place of business, and if that isn’t enough to get the pro-Black activist in you gloating against anti-Black tears, the Black man who helped organize the protests is now on a mission to buy the gas station.
From CBS 46:
Following 66 days of non-stop demonstrations outside the Exxon gas station off Flat Shoals Rd, organizer Joe Jones is pleased that the owner is planning to sell.
“We sent a clear message that we will no longer tolerate disrespect,” Jones said.
Protests started in mid-October after a clerk at the store was caught on camera saying, “I don’t give a [expletive] about the Black neighborhood.”
The store’s owner, Rahim Sivji, apologized and parted ways with the clerk. However, Jones said they continued to protest due to claims of racism and abusive behavior customers reportedly experienced over the years.
“We have to understand our power, the power of dollar, the power of Black economics and we have to be intentional with our spending,” Jones said. “It is a privilege to get Black dollars.”
Sivji reportedly apologized for his clerk’s racism, but it’s Sivji himself who has been accused of referring to a Black patron as a “food stamp cockroach” and another as a “begging monkey,” according to an earlier CBS report.
Of course, Sivji characterized the constant protesting of Black people who don’t want racists making money off of them as “harassment” and complained to CBS 4 that protesters “tried to put me out of business.”
“It got to the point where I’m thinking if I have to save my life or my store, I say the hell with my store, I want to save my life,” he said—despite the fact that there are no reports of protests against his store turning violent. “That’s what’s important to me.” Sivji said the protests have cost him between 70 and 80 percent of his revenue.
Meanwhile, Jones is looking to turn anti-Black disrespect into Black ownership opportunity by starting a GoFundMe page in an effort to purchase the store once it is sold.
“This was an effective boycott that led to tangible results,” Jones said. “This is the perfect opportunity to take this situation and try to promote a situation of Black ownership.”