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Why Black Folks Stay in the Red

I feel like I need to put out a disclaimer before I start: I am a Black woman. I love my community. I am Pro-Black and a Womanist. That does not mean that I am anti-White, nor am I anti-male. It means that I recognize that as a community we must FIRST love ourselves and DO for ourselves in order to create a society in which we can all live together. I know sometimes Black people get up in arms about things like this because we’re “airing our dirty laundry”, but sometimes the damn laundry needs to be aired. I know sometimes White folks get that funny feeling inside because we’re speaking exclusively, but sometimes we have to deal with our OWN shit. Also, I cuss a lot and have no qualms about it. So with that said:

“Question everything. Every stripe, every star, every word spoken. Everything.” ~Ernest Gaines

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my financial situation, about learning how to invest and really pay attention to my money. I know enough to start paying attention to Asian and African economies, but that’s all I know. Most of that stuff is like a foreign language to me. But I’m going to take it step by step and try to learn it. I have things to do. I have continents to visit, kids to put through school and oceans to swim in.

So I’m trying to pay attention to certain websites and blogs and articles that have to do with personal finances, economics, and whatnot. I came across this article about a month ago and was instantly pissed off.

Basically, some “leading African-American media entities” – fools – are uniting to get advertisers to recognize the fact that Black folk spend way more money than we need to, on bullshit that we don’t need so that they’ll advertise to us more so that we’ll spend more. In what world does that make sense? Oh yeah, THIS one. How fucking ignorant is this campaign? And these are white-owned businesses they’re begging for attention, not black-owned, so there’s no campaign to push for ownership and self-sufficiency.

How about uniting to educate the black community to be producers and not consumers? They are focusing on the wrong issue. The position they’re taking won’t make the change that’s needed. Everyone knows we spend way more money on useless items. We have the least amount of income but we overspend the rest of the population, and definitely spend disproportionately to our population. That’s not something to be celebrated and increased.

That’s why we’re always stereotyped as having a bunch of bling (am I showing my age by using the word bling?), shoes and clothes and shit that have no value whatsoever. How many of us have life insurance, an emergency fund, a basic retirement plan? If not the money, at least a plan? How about teaching us how to invest properly or buy real estate? Who thought of this and had the balls to actually broadcast the idea like it was a good one?  Why are folks campaigning to contribute to our own demise? Yall know I think it’s a conspiracy (or maybe you don’t – well, now you do), but I aint even gonna go there…today.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say about that.

“We must fight as a race for everything that makes for a better country and a better world. We are dreaming idiots and trusting fools to do anything less.”

~Ralph Bunche, Journal of Negro Education

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One comment on “Why Black Folks Stay in the Red

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