I recently ran across a sign posted by the Black Main Street which has a message that I have been attempting to convey to members from our communities, for over 30 years. It read,
“Black people will never solve their
problems while sending all of their money out of the community as fast as they earn it.”
To that regard, I often state and tell people that we as a race of people have two of the most powerful tools that anyone can have. Those two tools are, “our money” and “our vote”. Therefore, we should be careful whom we give them to. We MUST Understand that whoever we give “our money” and “our vote” are amongst those whom we empower.
Anybody that has ever been around me for a significant amount of time can tell you that I am an advocate of holding those in leadership within the Black communities accountable for the charge and/or duty, that they were elected to do. With the same token, it is imperative that I convey the same message to members of our community. Simply put, Black folks need to start holding themselves accountable. We Africans living in America, have got to stand up and start holding ourselves accountable for the things that are happening within our families, neighborhoods, churches, school system and various other elements that we contribute to. By this I am simply referring to supporting any person, business or entity, that doesn’t have the common decency to render that same support back, in some shape form or fashion.
We MUST Understand that as long as Black folks are insistent on supporting people that don’t support them, it sends out a very strong message to the recipients of that support. In essence, it is commending the notion that it is ok to take and utilize our resources without giving a damn about us or our future. Because while Black folks are helping to build the wealth and fortunes of other cultures and races, we are steady losing our neighborhoods, churches, schools and other historical and sentimental institutions. But, then again, how can we expect for other races and cultures to respect and support us as a people when so many of our own don’t care to support those who support them?
For years’ members of various other cultures’ have created and opened establishments in the middle of historically Black neighborhoods and communities, with no intent of giving back or supporting the residents that live there. The obvious goal of majority of these business owners were simply designed to capitalize off of the Black buying power that is notoriously distributed by Black folks. Oftentimes, these business owners thrive off of the Black dollar, only to circulate it back to their native countries to support their own families. And nothing is wrong with that… Because you should never forget where you come from and you should always take care of home. But at least help those who help you.
It is a sad reality that too many of our people refuse to see that they have been constantly supporting and empowering everybody at an attempt to help every other race, culture and nationality, with the exception of our own. It is very often that we see Mexican restaurants and stands located in the heart of Black communities and neighborhoods; nail salons and beauty supply stores seem to be in a never-ending competition with one another in our areas, just to list a few. On the contrary, while we see these establishments operating in our communities, very seldom is a Black person seen working for any of those businesses. Something is wrong with this picture.
It is no secret that Black folks are quick to support the latest fads, trends and foods. As a matter of fact new businesses are popping up every day to accommodate Black folks’ unique style and taste. And they are depending on the support of the Black community. But how much support can the Black community expect to receive from them?
By no means am I trying to impose a prejudicial mindset or mentality on the faithful audience of African-American News&Issues. Because the truth of the matter is that genuine support comes in all types of colors, races and cultures. Although I speak and write the truth in matters regarding race relations within these United States, I am no racist. In fact, I have found that some of my dearest friends and supporters have come in shades and languages much different from my own. Hence, we cannot be blinded by the idea that just because a person looks like us it is an automatic assumption that he or she will support members of the African-American community. So, there are different levels and elements to this topic, but the general idea is that I really hope to send a strong message to the faithful and loyal readers of African-American News& Issues, to stop supporting those who don’t support you back.