When I coined the word “jealocism”, I was originally going to use it in an article I planned
to write about African Americans’ inability to work together in their communities. That was what I thought at the time. Now I know better! I now fully understand if you want to help your people or help anyone with your intended message “you can’t put people down” because of jealousy-motivated thinking. Absent jealousy, you can and must have a kind and gentle approach even when giving constructive criticism.
In my mind the idea of jealousy, being one of the culprits causing stag-nation of financial, business, political and overall growth in Africa American communities, needs to be closely examined. That thought, although very controversial, bears watching and it is definitely worth discussing. I have always heard the accusation of jealousy, since I was very young expressed in “Black people talking about jealousy among Black people.” Such comments range from the people in the community who think people are hating on them because they are successful at doing “so called bad things,” to the people who feel others are jealous of them because of their job status, religion, education, life style, skin color and/or other issues. I mentioned skin color, because even among Black people, skin color has come up as a subject of jealousy and hostility more times than one would think. The list is almost endless when you think about the jealousy inspired negativity which keeps people in a community from working positively with each other. Cain killed his brother Abel over jealousy in the bible story about the sons of Adam and Eve. So we can draw the conclusion that jealousy is a natural trait affecting everybody.
Subsequently, “Jealocism” exists everywhere in some form in everyone’s community despite ethnicity, class or race. If jealocism is a big problem in Black neighborhoods, we have to find out what’s causing it and how we can conquer it. What makes even the smallest amount of jealocism so devastating and destructive to Black communities is because they are operating with less of just about everything. In the past, African Americans had many of the same business in their communities, that you see operating every day and night in present day America. At that time African Americans were forced to have their own economy, because segregation was really strong in America in the early years after “real slavery.” Integration, racism and a loosening of apartheid laws (aka) Jim Crow Laws did great damage to Black businesses in African American communities.
I’ve often heard that once African Americans were allowed to spend their money in places where they had previously been denied access, the economic downturn affected not only Black businesses but Black neighborhoods.
In other words, almost all of the African Americans chose to deal with other businesses and communities and neglected their own. As an activist, journalist, civil rights advocate and freedom fighter, I have always spoken out, acted out and written about important issues that impact African American communities. Nefarious, brazen civil acts such as institutional racism, civil rights and human rights violations are some of the injustices that we as a people vigorously oppose. In so many ways, we have developed some strategies to at least defend ourselves to some degree against many of these immoralities. We seem, however, to have no answer for jealousy that has gotten so extreme that it is having a catastrophic effect on Black communities.
Jealocism, just like racism is sometimes hard to identify and even harder to understand, but both take a toll on Black folks. I am not a god and my words are not from an oracle: I’m a normal Black man who is seeking answers.
We as concerned citizens should ask the questions, “Am I part of the problem or part of the solution?” Is jealousy a factor in Black communities not reaching their full potential? Knowing that we are not as powerless a race as we once were and knowing there’s nobody to hold us back from working with each other but ourselves these days; should jealousy among Black people at least be considered as a major barrier to our progress?
I watched a lot of Black people when I was growing up and throughout life start to talk negatively about other Black folks and build up hostility against them based solely on some-thing mediocre. The only thing I could call it was jealousy, pure and simple. I will end this article by saying: you may read these words and think I am just another writer confused and tripping on his own words, or you can take it as something that deserves a second look. But whatever you chose, please don’t let jealocism be a part of your choice.
God Bless America, Africa and the Rest of the World.