COMMENTARY (in 200 words or less)

I was browsing my Facebook page when I came across the post below:

Good morning, friends!

Posted by Nadia Ullah on Sunday, September 20, 2015

And that got me to thinking…

Why have so few people signed an online petition demanding that two controversial statues be removed from the entrance of Hot Taco, a new Charlotte restaurant on Bland Street in SouthEnd? And more specifically, why has the controversy generated so little buzz in the city’s African American community?

The statues depict two Latino men who appear to be sleeping. But for Amalia Deloney, who started the petition drive, they also represent a racist stereotype of the “lazy Mexican.”

What do you see?

As African Americans, do we have the capacity to empathize (and mobilize) with other minority groups around issues that may not directly impact us?

Given our own protracted fight against racist stereotypes, this cause strikes me as a natural for groups like the NAACP.

Maybe I’m expecting too much. Or maybe our inaction, in this instance, is simply a case of “black privilege.”

Tell me what you think.

P.S. I spoke with a marketing manager at Hot Taco who said the company would have no comment.

Founder and publisher of Qcitymetro, Glenn has worked at newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Wall Street Journal and The Charlotte Observer.