ICandy is in the news again. You might remember that the owner, Darryl DiPiano, was caught on video last September repeatedly using the “n” word. Outcries follows, with protests and calls of a boycott. I myself called for a complete boycott of ICandy ‘til there was a change in ownership.
I have not entered ICandy since out of solidarity to equality and justice for all LGBTQ+ people. At the time, I believed ICandy was finished under DiPiano’s ownership and it was only a matter of time.
LGBTQ+ People of Color organizations lead the call and charge for the protest and boycott, but their leaders failed their members but not keeping up the protest. Even a once a month reminder protest would have been better than the lack of effort they showed to organize long-term, regular protest and promotion of the boycott.
The lack of protest has spared DiPiano the full effect of what a boycott against him could have brought. A small number of us boycotting ICandy has don’t nothing to change ownership.
Go there any night of the week and it is evident that POC are continuing to support DiPiano.
Yes, there are bellicose voices who are trying to be leaders in community, spewing distain on those people as being ignorant to the problem. And now enter two well respected LGBTQ+ POC nonprofit organizations coming the help of DiPiano, and the POC who patronize his establishment.
Philadelphia Black Pride and the Colours Organization, along with a group called Social Life Entertainment LLC, have partnered with DiPiano to make ICandy more welcoming to POC. Surveys will be completed, and educational sessions on privilege and discrimination will be held with employees and a commitment from DiPiano to hire new staff so that half his employees are POC.
Critics of the plan say that these organizations are betraying their own and are only helping DiPiano with his bottom line.
But I now say where are these critics on the protest line? If you really think that the owner of ICandy is a racist why would you not protest till the place is shut down?
I have my suspicions as to motives but that’s neither here or there.
As for me, I will wait to see what Philly Black Pride and the Colours Organization produce in their efforts to ensure ICandy is a safe and welcoming place for our brothers and sisters of color, until then I would suggest we filter out the noise of naysayers and hope for the best, not for DiPiano but for the entire community.
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