The United States should be an integrated society and people of all races inherently equal and entitled to full privileges of citizenship. While we accept these values in the abstract, the reality is that ideals of integration and equality of opportunity still elude us. The problem is: neither Whites nor Blacks are being honest or forthcoming about it.
All Blacks can agree that: America is built on racism. Over the past four centuries, bigotry and racial bias has made it bad to be “Black.” Of all the categories you could be, would you select to be Black with their state of affairs? The economic costs of discrimination against African Americans are many-sided, and interconnected. Overt racist discrimination is significant, but institutional forms of discrimination operate without conscious racist intent.
In any measure of American economic activity Blacks are “the low man on the totem post. Today’s Blacks have allowed an environment where being Black is universally a bad thing. The emergence of groups like Black Lives Matter are based on declaring Whites “at fault” for Blacks’ economic plight. But, any objective view of Blacks’ participation in the economy paints pictures of dysfunction and practices against us.
Instead of self-sufficiency, the goal of many Blacks is integration and absorption into mainstream society. Blacks want to unify with Whites and refuse to do “practical things” that gain economic parity with Whites. The typical Black household has just 6 percent of representative White household’s wealth. Why Blacks don’t “make it rain” where we live is it because of cases of more flash than cash, and that well-off Blacks “don’t live here” anymore. Blacks are lacking in economics.
Across America Whites still control everything. But, that excuse doesn’t hamper Blacks’ ability to create their own opportunities. So what if a Black can’t get a loan from a White banker? Why are there not more Black banks that fill this void? Why doesn’t it fit the Blacks’ economic equation to bank with Black-owned-and-operated financial institutions?
It’s been said: “Blacks have a slow wit and won’t do economics with each other.” Others see us simply as consumers with limited knowledge of commerce or capitalism. Blacks’ compulsive habit of killing each other and material consumption; coupled with inability to build businesses or preserve wealth is usually taken in by the populous as “somebody else’s fault.” Blacks must own who and what we are. Blacks must liberate their minds and take responsibility for our own actions and status. Too many Blacks look to the mainstream media to define what pretty is, or what lifestyle to have, or what people you need to be surrounded by. Why do you believe that all you are good for is to be an “employee”? Why is your vision not as a manufacturer? Too many Blacks wait and want society to see and acknowledge them.
Its our obligation that when you hear Blacks attribute our plight to White domination, counter them with what Malcolm X saying: “nothing is ever the Blackman’s fault.” In general, Blacks fashion success more with gaining acceptance, self worth, and approval from Whites.
Before Blacks can get acceptance in “mainstream economics” we need to straightforwardly answer: Why aren’t there more Black people and firms hiring their own? What are you doing to help transform Blacks’ economic status? The reason Jews are at the top and Blacks are at the bottom of every American economic indicator is stark – only 6 percent of Blacks’ money goes back within our community. Statistics show that in the Jewish community money exchanges hands 18 times before leaving; for Blacks it is a maximum of once.
These days, multiple Black groups and movements are on media petitioning Whites to “save us.” Blacks have the power to heal what ails us. We undercut ourselves with dysfunctional voting, financial and business practices that graphically illustrate that Blacks don’t understand the importance or methods of building wealth. The fundamental rule is to keep money within your group. Blacks go to Whites for acceptance and inclusion, to build businesses and prosperity Blacks must hire and spend among ourselves.
William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via Busxchng@his.com