Natalie Dubose, the Ferguson small Black businesswoman and proprietor of Natalie’s Cakes and More in Ferguson, has received support from some unlikely places after her business was damaged after the most recent Ferguson riots.
If you recall, Dubose was profiled in a previous article here, highlighting individual stories around the Justice for Mike Brown movement. At the time of the shooting and subsequent protests, Dubose’s cake shop had only been in business for two months and although her store was spared during the August 9th unrest, she was worried that the negative images of Ferguson would hurt her business.
Her concern became a reality last week when Bob McColloch read the grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, who killed 17-year old Mike Brown. Dubose’s cake shop, which is located only a few short blocks up from the Ferguson police, suffered plenty of damage including broken windows and destruction to the retail portion of her shop.
The good news is that unlike other businesses in the area, which were left to burn to the ground, the cake shop is still standing and the back kitchen where she does all of her baking, was in pretty good shape. However as she told us on Monday: “I’m not okay. This is my only form of income for my child and myself,” she says. “And I’m still trying to survive as a new business and yet feel totally in the middle of everything. It just doesn’t feel good right now.”
However Dubose might be feeling a little better this morning, thanks in part to the generosity of good samaritans like the Tea Party and Conservative right.
That’s right. Earlier this week, Dubose’s story, and in particular a picture of her tear-soaked face taken right after learning of the damages to her business, would capture the attention of various national news organizations. Among them were right wing media outlets like The Rush Limbaugh Show and Twitchy.com (which was founded by conservative pundit Michelle Malkin), who uses her story to shame the at-times volatile outrage, which came as result of the announcement.
The result of this free and peculiarly ironic promotion is that Dubose’s GoFundMe campaign, started to raise funds to help repair the damages, has thus far raised over $200,000 in pledged donations. And thanks to the right wing’s goal of shaming some liberals, there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. In fact, Limbaugh has been pushing his radio listening audience to donate to Dubose’s GoFundMe campaign, telling them in part:
“If you would like to donate to Natalie Dubose, it’s GoFundMe.com/NataliesCakesNMore. Now, what’s happening here, it’s up to $101,000 right now, and there are a lot of Tea Party sites that are promoting fundraising for her — you know, these evil racist Republicans? Yeah. Yeah, Tea Party types. Oh, you know those. I mean, school shooter types, yeah, yeah, Brian Ross, yeah. These evil, mean-spirited Tea Party types. Yeah, yeah, yeah. The Tea Party wasn’t in Ferguson, by the way. The Tea Party didn’t torch a thing. The Tea Party didn’t blow up any at any point in time, didn’t aim gunfire at anybody. The Tea Party was not there when Ferguson was victimized by barbaric behavior.”
Although there were no reports of the Tea Party being in Ferguson, there were reports that the Klu Klux Klan had dispatched some of its membership to the area, in an effort to protect White businesses.
But in an interview with Dubose right before Thanksgiving, she said that she is just as surprised as anyone else at how far, and to what places, her story has traveled. During the night of the announcement, she said it was a local television news station, which captured her emotional reaction to her store being vandalized. And that by Wednesday, she had been fielding calls from the media all day.
Nevertheless, she is appreciative of all those, from the Ferguson community and from elsewhere, who have either come by, called, donated and even placed orders in support.
Dubose said that she still hasn’t calculated all the damage yet including to the window as well as replacing all of her packaging material, which was also destroyed, as she has been too busy baking.
Nevertheless, “It’s overwhelming and I’m so grateful. I just see this as God sending his arms around me through all these people. I’m just so grateful,” she said.
If you would to donate to Natalie Dubose’ GoFundMe campaign, you can go here.
Additionally Dubose is asking that people also consider donating to GoFundMe campaign for Juanita Morris, a Black woman owner, who too lost her business Fashions R Boutique during the riots.