- Honey Pot, a black-owned business, was hit with negative reviews after a recently released Target ad featured its founder expressing hopes that her success would pave the way for other black girls
- Some were offended that Beatrice Dixon only addressed black girls in the ad and even accused the company of being racist.
- Many expressed their outrage at the negative review-writers and pledged their support to the brand. The ordeal ended up bringing an increase in sales to the company.
- Founder Beatrice Dixon said her products are meant for all women but also stood by her support expressed in the ad.
Ad Spurs Negative Reviews
The Honey Pot, a business run by a black woman, faced a slew of negative reviews following a Target commercial featuring its founder, but the verbal attacks actually resulted in increased sales and widespread support of the brand.
Beatrice Dixon founded Honey Pot, a plant-based feminine care line, after her own personal wellness struggles. In early February, Target released an ad featuring Dixon under the title “Founders We Believe In.” The commercial switches between the Honey Pot owner walking along Target aisles and talking to the camera about the obstacles she faced in starting her company.
“The reason why it’s so important for Honey Pot to do well is so the next black girl that comes up with a great idea — she can have a better opportunity,” Dixon says at the end of the ad. “That means a lot to me.”
Earlier this week, a surge of negative reviews flooded the Honey Pot’s profile on Trustpilot, a consumer review website.
“Black girls are empowered using this product… I guess whites girls aren’t. I’ll be letting Target know about this racist company,” one review said.
“I saw the commercial where the founder of the company stated that it’s to empower black women- not ALL women, only black women… it made me feel that the company is not only racist but small minded and not worth purchasing,” another said.
Dixon addressed the backlash in interviews with several news outlets. She said her products are for all women, as the company markets. In fact, the tagline on the line’s home page is “Made by Humans with Vaginas, for Humans with Vaginas.”
“That comment wasn’t about us being a Black-owned business and only selling to Black customers. I think we’re human and race shouldn’t even be a conversation, but it is because of the society we live in,” Dixon told ESSENCE. “We understand the responsibility as a Black-owned business that we have to be successful because if we’re not, we’re not doing anything for the culture to move it forward so that [race] isn’t a topic.”
The founder said that while she wasn’t necessarily surprised by the negative backlash, she also didn’t have expectations. She stood by her message in the ad.
“This was not Honey Pot’s commercial, it was Target’s commercial. It was shot during Black History Month and for Women’s History Month,” Dixon said to the magazine. “They chose that particular clip for a reason. I’m here for that story and that’s why I said it.”
In a statement, Target said they are proud to work with Dixon and Honey Pot.
“We’re aware of some negative comments about the campaign, which aren’t in line with the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received from guests who love and have been inspired by Bea’s story,” Target said.
Support Pours in for Honey Pot
As Internet users caught wind of the negative reviews coming in for Honey Pot, many expressed their outrage.
“Racist White people are literally leaving racist ass reviews under #HoneyPot products on Target’s website because they are mad that it is a company ran by a Black woman,” one Twitter user said. “People are fucking THREATENED by Black women’s success.”
Some called attention to the negative comments on Trustpilot and urged others to leave their own positive reviews for the company.
Many heeded the call and visited Trustpilot to praise Dixon and her feminine care line.
“Love her product!” one person wrote. “Also, her message is very empowering to me and other girls. She proves once you have a vision and believe in yourself you can do anything. Ignore the reviews from bitter, evil, white trash below. They don’t speak up when minority women are being abused and trashed but they speak up to bash on minority women when they uplift themselves.”
“This is amazing. So glad to see more options available for all consumers. The haters were just jealous they weren’t invited to be the center of attention for once,” another review said.
By March 2, Honey Pot’s Trustpilot profile was so flooded with submissions that the website temporarily suspended new reviews from coming in.
“The Honey Pot’s profile page on Trustpilot has been temporarily suspended while Trustpilot’s Content Integrity team investigates an unusual influx of reviews, some of which violate Trustpilot’s guidelines,” the site wrote. “The page will be reinstated after investigation of the reviews.”
The drama turned out to be a good thing for Dixon and her company. She told Buzzfeed that after the wave of negative comments hit the Trustpilot page earlier in the week, Honey Pot’s sales were up 40% to 50% higher than what they would be on a typical day.
Florida Cracks Down on “Vaccine Tourism”
- Florida is now requiring that people show proof of either full-time or part-time residency in the state in order to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
- The state has been hit with “vaccine tourism” as many people, predominantly wealthy individuals, fly to the state from other parts of the U.S. and abroad just to get the shot.
- So far, nearly 41,000 of the 1.3 million doses administered in Florida went to out-of-staters, though it is unclear if all those people were tourists or if this figure includes some part-time residents.
Florida Requires Proof of Residency
Florida is cracking down on “vaccine tourism” and requiring that people show proof of either full-time or part-time residency in the state in order to get a COVID-19 shot.
Previously the state was allowing anyone 65 and older, including non-residents, to get the vaccine. This resulted in people flying to the Sunshine State from across the U.S. and abroad just for the purpose of receiving it.
According to state data, nearly 41,000 of the 1.3 million doses Florida has administered have gone to out-of-staters. It is unclear if all these out-of-staters are tourists or if this figure includes some part-time residents.
Now, people must show a form of identification like a driver’s license or mortgage payment to receive it. Exceptions will be made for healthcare workers.
Vaccine Supply Continues to Be Limited
Wealthy people in particular were quick to schedule travel plans to Florida for this reason. According to the Wall Street Journal, there was an influx of Canadians booking private jets to Florida. Some were looking to book flights there and back on the same day, leaving just enough time for them to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, people in Florida and across the country are waiting in long lines and struggling to book appointments on glitching websites to get their shots. Vaccine supply continues to be incredibly limited and not everyone in high-risk groups have received them.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said this rule is not made to impact snowbirds, people who live in Florida during the winter to escape cold weather up north.
“They go to doctors here or whatever, that’s fine, DeSantis said, according to CNN. “What we don’t want is tourists, foreigners. We want to put seniors first, but we obviously want to put people that live here first in line.”
See what others are saying: (Wall Street Journal) (CNN) (Travel + Leisure)
Amanda Gorman Wows the Nation With “The Hill We Climb”
- Amanda Gorman, a 22-year-old poet, impressed the nation when she read “The Hill We Climb” at President Biden’s inauguration, making her the youngest inaugural poet in the nation’s history.
- Gorman’s said the Jan. 6 attack on the nation’s Capitol inspired her to focus on a message of hope, community, and healing in her poem.
- Big names like Oprah Winfrey, Anderson Cooper, Barack Obama, and Lin-Manuel Miranda have all praised her work.
Amanda Gorman Becomes Youngest Inaugural Poet
Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman wowed the nation on Wednesday as she spoke of healing, unity, hope, and what it means to be American while reading her poem, “The Hill We Climb.”
At 22-years-old Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in the nation’s history. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she was the youth poet laureate of Los Angeles in 2014 at the age of 16. She then became the first national youth poet laureate in 2017.
Now, her books are topping Amazon’s Best Sellers list and they are not even scheduled to be released until the fall.
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden became a fan of Gorman after watching her give a reading at the Library of Congress. She then suggested that Gorman be a part of the ceremony.
“Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true: That even as we grieved, we grew. That even as we hurt, we hoped That even as we tired, we tried,” Gorman recited during inauguration. “That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious. Not because we will never again know defeat but because we will never again sow division.”
Like President Biden, Gorman has struggled with a speech impediment and has been open about her experience overcoming it. She actually used poetry as a tool to correct it. First, she used it as a way of expressing herself without having to speak. Then she used it to bring her poems to life.
“Once I arrived at the point in my life in high school, where I said, ‘you know what? Writing my poems on the page isn’t enough for me,” she told CBS News. “I have to give them breath, and life, I have to perform them as I am.’ That was the moment that I was able to grow past my speech impediment.”
What Inspired “The Hill We Climb”
Gorman said the inaugural committee gave her freedom and flexibility when it came to choosing what to write about. She was well on her way before the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Those events then influenced her writing.
“It energized me even more to believe that much more firmly in a message of hope, community and healing. I felt like that was the type of poem that I needed to write and it was the type of poem that the country and the world needed to hear,” she told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
That message came across clearly and the insurrection was depicted in part of “The Hill We Climb.”
“It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit. It’s the past we step into and how we repair it. We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it, would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy and this effort very nearly succeeded,” she said. “But while democracy can be periodically delayed it can never be permanently defeated. In this truth, in this faith we trust. For while we have our eyes on the future history has its eyes on us.”
Nation Impressed by Gorman
“Wow…Wow, I just, wow you’re awesome,” Cooper said when closing his interview with her. “I am so transfixed.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda also cheered Gorman on. “The Hill We Climb” notably references a line of scripture that appears in a “Hamilton” song. Gorman also said she used to sing the song “Aaron Burr, Sir” to help her say her R sounds and correct her speech impediment.
“I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise!” Oprah Winfrey wrote. “Brava Brava Amanda Gorman! Maya Angelou is cheering—and so am I.”
Winfrey also gave Gorman a ring with a caged bird on it—a reference to the famous Angelou poem— which Gorman wore during the inauguration.
Actor Mark Ruffalo joined the onslaught of praise, saying that her words will lead the nation.
Former President Barack Obama echoed that idea as well, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Gorman promised to run for president one day.
See what others are saying: (CBS News) (New York Times) (Los Angeles Times)
SAT Drops Subject Tests and Optional Essay Section
- The College Board will discontinue SAT subject tests effective immediately and will scrap the optional essay section in June.
- The organization cited the coronavirus pandemic as part of the reason for accelerating these changes.
- Regarding subject tests, the College Board said the other half of the decision rested on the fact that Advanced Placement tests are now more accessible to low-income students and students of color, making subject tests unnecessary.
- It also said it plans to launch a digital version of the SAT in the near future, despite failing to implement such a plan last year after a previous announcement.
College Board Ends Subject Tests and Optional Essay
College Board announced Tuesday that it will scrap the SAT’s optional essay section, as well as subject tests.
Officials at the organization cited the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the reason for these changes, saying is has “accelerated a process already underway at the College Board to simplify our work and reduce demands on students.”
The decision was also made in part because Advanced Placement tests, which College Board also administers, are now available to more low-income students and students of color. Thus, College Board has said this makes SAT subject tests unnecessary.
While subject tests will be phased out for international students, they have been discontinued effective immediately in the U.S.
Regarding the optional essay, College Board said high school students are now able to express their writing skills in a variety of ways, a factor which has made the essay section less necessary.
With several exceptions, it will be discontinued in June.
The Board Will Implement an Online SAT Test
In its announcement, College Board also said it plans to launch a revised version of the SAT that’s aimed at making it “more flexible” and “streamlined” for students to take the test online.
In April 2020, College Board announced it would be launching a digital SAT test in the fall if schools didn’t reopen. The College Board then backtracked on its plans for a digital test in June, before many schools even decided they would remain closed.
According to College Board, technological challenges led to the decision to postpone that plan.
For now, no other details about the current plan have been released, though more are expected to be revealed in April.