The Black, the iconic head shop that has been a mainstay in Ocean Beach “since 1969” – or so the banner draped across their front proclaims – is stirring up the community. The Black used to be the only place where you would find items of the counter-culture, smoking instruments, sandals, incense, weird, psychedelic posters, … you name it – if hippies wanted it they could find it there.
Over the last 40 years, The Black has been this counter-cultural outpost amid mainstream businesses that line the main avenue of OB. And The Black has survived while many of those “straight” storefronts folded and moved away.
But most of all, when one entered The Black, you felt you were safe, you were among friends, fellow hipsters – there was an aura of tolerance abound, and there were things for sale that were controversial, forbidden even.
But no more. After all these years, The Black has stepped into the Dark Side. The store is now proudly selling anti-homeless stickers that say “Welcome to Ocean Beach. Please don’t feed our bums,” replete with a graphic of a thirties hobo with his dog.
Many of these stickers have mysteriously found their way onto municipal signs. (In fact the OB Rag is running a contest: whoever rips off the most stickers gets a $20-valued prize!) The stickers are professionally made and cost $2.50. Which means The Black is now making money off the anti-homeless sentiment found amongst some of our fellow residents and merchants. However, our roving reporter only found one business with the stickers on its door – South Coast Surf Shop.
We believe that these stickers are very hate-full. They blast all homeless for the transgressions and rudeness of some. Sure, there’s youthful travelers out there who are aggressive and demanding when they ask for change. But there’s others who basically mind their own business and don’t harass anyone. Okay, the store wants to come down on the so-called “trust-fund runaways” – but in doing so The Black and the sticker supporters are painting with a huge broad brush. This is heartless, totally without compassion, and unacceptable for a business in Ocean Beach – a community known for its tolerance of different lifestyles.
With this move into the Dark Side (get it? The Black on the dark side?) many residents and our readers are upset. Some have vowed to boycott the store.
So, let’s make it official:
BOYCOTT THE BLACK UNTIL THEY REMOVE THE STICKERS OF HATE.
That’s it, it’s as simple as that. Do not give your money to the store until they remove the yellow and black peel-offs from their shelves and publicly inform us – the public. Maybe we’ll get heat for this step, but someone has to say it.