Interviewer: Thank you for doing this, Mr. Ramos. I know you must be busy.
Ramos: No worries.
Interviewer: How does it feel, with everything that’s going on, to be the lone Black voice in your company?
Ramos: Well, I don’t really worry about that, since we’re Black-owned.
Interviewer: Wait, how is Crunchy Links a Black-owned company? Isn’t this your CEO?
Jamar Ramos: Yep.
Interviewer: And isn’t this your CMO?
Interviewer: Then how is Crunchy Links Black-owned?
Ramos: You seem to have forgotten this glorious face. You know, the COO of the place?
Interviewer: You rhymed there.
Ramos: Thank you for noticing. Did that on purpose.
Interviewer: Back to the question, though. How is Crunchy Links Black-owned?
Ramos: How isn’t it Black-owned?
Interviewer: How do you mean?
Ramos: I mean exactly what I said. Instead of asking me to explain myself, how about you explain to me how it isn’t Black-owned.
Interviewer: Well, your CEO is a white man.
Ramos: And that means what?
Interviewer: Doesn’t that make him the face of the company?
Ramos: To idiots who only gravitate to white faces. Sure.
Interviewer: But, most CEOs are the face of the company.
Ramos: As you said, most. Not here. Go look at our website. He’s not the only face you see. People have to go out of their way to make Jack the face of Crunchy Links, if that’s what they’re trying to do. Cuz that’s not what we’re trying to do.
Interviewer: Well, 2/3rds of your leadership is white.
Ramos: And that means?
Interviewer: That you aren’t Black-owned.
Ramos: Explain that to me.
Interviewer: Well, people would say…
Ramos: Hold up right there. What the fuck do I care about what “people would say.” Why can’t those people listen to me when I tell them that we’re Black-owned? Why wouldn’t they listen to my partners, who would tell you “yeah, we’re Black-owned.”
Interviewer: Well, I mean, I guess you’re right.
Ramos: Yeah, I guess I am.
Interviewer: In that case, what constitutes “Black-owned” in your mind?
Ramos: Well, you know what a COO does?
Interviewer: To be honest, I don’t know what COO stands for.
Ramos: There we go. Well, COO stands for Chief Operating Officer. And, as for what they do, they pretty much do the shit that the CEO doesn’t wanna do, cannot do because of time constraints, or cannot do for lack of skill.
Interviewer: Interesting. So, your responsibilities are?
Ramos: Pretty much a little bit of everything. When we need blog posts written, I take care of the heavy load of them. I run our social media. I come up with most of our email marketing strategies, and help Jack and Rob tweak what they come up with when asked. When we have clients who want email or content marketing, I’ll hop on those sales calls and answer any questions. If Jack needs help with our SEO clients, I’ll step in and do whatever is needed, including jumping on the weekly calls and answering those questions. I also work as the lead contact for our Enterprise clients.
Interviewer: Enterprise clients?
Ramos: Yeah, the ones spending big cash with our company.
Ramos: Yep. On top of all that, I play scrum master for our Asana boards, making sure we have deliverables ready when we promise them. Long story short: I’m the conscience of this company. I make sure we live up to the promises we make to clients and the promises we make to each other. You may see two white faces and one Black face, but believe me when I tell you my voice carries through every inch of what we do, what we say, and what we believe.
Interviewer: Okay, but you do understand how people could be confused as to whether this is a Black-owned company or not?
Ramos: No, no I don’t. Because they are just living in their own bullshit world, based on rules built by, for, and about the white establishment. I don’t have to be the CEO of Crunchy Links for it to be Black-owned. And, if those people are confused, what’s stopping them from asking us?
Interviewer: I don’t know.
Ramos: That’s right, and neither do they. Run through Jack’s Twitter account and see the number of times he’s suggested me to do a speaking engagement when someone asks for suggestions. When they ask for new voices in the digital marketing space. He doesn’t suggest himself. He suggests me.
Ramos: Yeah, wow. And it wasn’t my idea to join Crunchy Links. Again, Jack’s idea. He said, “I need you.” It also wasn’t my idea for me to be the project manager for our Enterprise clients. That, again, was Jack.
Interviewer: What’s your point?
Ramos: Empowerment, baby. Empowerment. Jack is pushing me to be the face and voice of Crunchy Links, while y’all just look at LinkedIn profiles and find the first white face you see. All so y’all can say that’s the face of the company. When I told Jack and Rob I was gonna do this, all Rob had to say was, “wait a minute, you wanna tell the truth?” Doesn’t that let you know we’re Black-owned?
Interviewer: Speaking of LinkedIn, because I do my research, on Jack’s profile it says “Owner of Crunchy Links.”
Ramos: You really wanna stay on your bullshit, huh?
Interviewer: What do you mean?
Ramos: He wrote that when Crunchy Links was a whole different company, when it really was just him. He was CEO, COO, CMO, C-everything. He just hasn’t updated it. Why do you keep asking questions instead of listening to the gotdamn answer?
Interviewer: What do you…
Ramos: What I mean is I’ve given you MULTIPLE examples, and you keep bringing up incidental shit. A single word on a LinkedIn profile. Some pictures on our website. An empty title that don’t mean shit. Why won’t you listen to my words instead of listening to your preconceived notions and beliefs? Hell, once I said we were Black-owned, this interview could have stopped. But you wanted to keep pressing forward. Why? Because people cannot handle Black-owned companies! It’s gotta be white-owned for them to trust it, especially in tech. Doubly in digital marketing. You wanna take a guess at how many times someone reached out to me after Jack recommended me to speak? Go ahead, take a guess.
Interviewer: I mean, I don’t…three times?
Ramos: Zero, bruh. Zero. And it’s not cuz they didn’t know me or could reach me. They had my contact info right there. It’s not cuz I can’t speak, cuz I’m a smooth muthafucka with these words. You wanna take a guess at why it could be?
Interviewer: Well, that’s really not my place…
Ramos: Of course it isn’t, cuz you’re not ready for that conversation. We done here?
Interviewer: Yes, I think I have all I need.
Ramos: Good. BLACK-OWNED, BABY! Now, get out. I have some systemic racism to fight. Have a blessed day.