So, I was filling out yet another form, on yet another site, when it dawned on me, “I do not know these people, yet, I’m about to give them my credit card information. Why, OWL, Why?”
I pushed top of the laptop forward from its usual ninety degree angle. Hovering a tad over the screen, my eyes roamed the website’s design. There were two major badges that immediately gave me a certain degree of comfort that I had not totally lost my Organic Black Mind. As I proceeded to continue my purchase, I floored yet another internal question,”How Whyte are these badges of trust? What does Black Trust look like online?”
I thought that was a good question, so I decided to floor it in your mind. What makes a Black site trustworthy to you? What are the indice, the indicators, the insignia that cause you to relax when seen on a site you are planning on spending money with? Which of those are controlled by Black establishments? Which of the symbols used to communicate online security are representations of a Black company? How much equity is there of Black Trust in Black Media especially when that Black Media is interactive and leads to a checkout portal?
I thought a bit about what the Black PayPal button might look like. I considered for a moment would it be a flat design, or would the fonts be borrowed from an era of high Black culture in the ways modern day Whyte designers borrow from Swiss designers who represent the height of western design trends. I pondered just where I would begin to see these badges first.
Might we need to check in on Time-Warner owned ESSENCE and see if they are able to pass a Black Audit? See if ESSENCE deserves the right to carry themselves as representing the Black Woman’s Voice and yet owned and edited by Whyte people for Whyte profits? Where is the badge on their site that would allow less aware Blacks to know that this site has or does not have the Black Seal Of Approval?
During the Los Angeles Uprise of the 1990s, Black store owners would place placards letting the Black Revoltists know that they could be trusted and did not need to have their access to Black dollars in those particular neighborhoods revoked. What are the digital versions of this? How do those loyal to the fictive kinship obligation of race know they are not being hoodwinked by yet another Whtye company posing as Black? What about the Black Sisters that wish purchase Black Hair Care products from other Blacks and not Asians? Or shouldn’t the Asian companies selling Black Hair Care products be given a Black Audit to see if their companies should be approved for a Black Trust Badge?
The more I tossed the idea of this Black Trust and Black Trust Badge around in my head, the more I realized just how few sites awash in Black dollars actually deserved one. Whyte symbols of trust are difficult to obtain, and work to force the standard of the hegemony upon those that need to do business across the internet. Black culture and Black business is treated like a thing passed between drunk athletes after a celebration for sexual relief with no sponsor. No one seeks our approval and no one fears not receiving it.
Yet, the need for an official body representing at least some layer of Black presence that is not owned by a Whyte company or financed by one, in fact, one that represents Blacks regardless of class, exists.
But, let me hit submit and check my email to make sure they sent my receipt. In fact, while I am in my email inbox, let me know your thoughts on this by emailing me at