“At the bottom of education, at the bottom of politics, even at the bottom of religion, there must be, for our race, economic independence.”
Greetings Good People,
I had a disagreement with a young lady on Twitter regarding comments made by Presidential Candidate Donald Trump. During the 3rd Presidential Debate as well as during a few of his campaign rallies, Trump has made reference to the poverty rate in the Black community, failing school systems, and gun violence. My Twitter companion took offense to those statements and argued that all Black people aren’t poor, Black women are earning degrees at the highest rate, we all don’t live in the inner cities, gentrification is at an all time high, therefore, Black people are “good.” I couldn’t even laugh at those comments because I felt so sorry for her. She, like many within my community, are that delusional.
To bring up gentrification, really? I don’t see well-off blacks who own businesses move to the hood and employ other Black people, just look at the Arab who owns the corner store. Many of us are misinterpreting being poor with living on the street. No. The Black community lacks wealth.
- Wealth is determined by taking the total market value of all physical and intangible assets owned, then subtracting all debts. Essentially, wealth is the accumulation of resources. Specific people, organizations, and nations are said to be wealthy when they are able to accumulate many valuable resources or goods.
Therefore, stop confusing having a job with a steady income—which, for a lot of us, is minimum wage—with being wealthy. We don’t own the resources to produce anything and we don’t have the money, as a collective, to be considered a rich group. And before you even think about Oprah, Michael Jordan, or any other Black Symbol, ask yourself: Do I have access to their account?
Exactly, so let’s start paying attention to the data because it’s out there.
There was an article in The Nation that discussed the racial wealth-gap by arguing that the average Black household will need 228 years to accumulate as much wealth as our white counterparts.
- The average wealth for white households between 1983 – 2013 increased by 84%, three times more than African-American families and 1.2 times more than Latino families.
- The 400 years of slavery, segregation, and institutionalized discrimination in the labor and housing markets built that gap.
- Wealth-building activities funded by the federal government like paying for college, saving for retirement or buying a home, tend to go to people who already have wealth; 77% of the subsidies for the home-mortgage tax deductions go to households with an annual income between $75,000 to $500,000.
There was another article in The Huffington Post that implied that Black wealth doesn’t really exist.
- African-Americans own little if any of America’s land and produce little if any of the country’s resources.
- For a family of three, half of all Black American households have a total net worth of less than $1,700; the net worth for a median white family is $100,000.
- The five largest white landowners in America own more agricultural land than all of Black America; all white families together own 98% of the land that’s worth nearly 97 percent of the value.
Folks, we need to take a step back from all of this feel-good kumbaya that’s fed to us and start having real dialogue about entrepreneurship, generational wealth, investments, politics—things that matter. We aren’t “good.” So before you gloat about your credentials, if you didn’t pay for your Bachelor’s/Master’s/Doctorate degree out-of-pocket or can pay off your student loans in less than 5 years, miss me with the rebuttal; if you didn’t take out a mortgage on your home but you are renting it with credit, please don’t speak; if you’re arrogant about the fact that you grew up like a Huxtable kid but your parents/grandparents aren’t passing down any land, businesses, or money, take a seat in the back and keep your mouth closed. There will be no Black Revolution without substantial shifts in our communities.
Until Next Time…
Wealth. (n.d.). Retrieved November 1, 2016, from http://www.investopedia.com/terms/w/wealth.asp
Holland, J. (2016, August 8). The Average Black Family Would Need 228 Years to Build the Wealth of a White Family Today. Retrieved November 1, 2016, from https://www.thenation.com/article/the-average-black-family-would-need-228-years-to-build-the-wealth-of-a-white-family-today/
Moore, A. (2016, October 18). Black Wealth Hardly Exists, Even When You Include NBA, NFL And Rap Stars. Retrieved November 1, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/antonio-moore/black-wealth-is-nonexiste_b_12347196.html
Stevens, K. (2014, February 13). 11 Inspirational Quotes on Money and Wealth from Our Financial Forefathers. Retrieved November 1, 2016, from https://blackandmarriedwithkids.com/2014/02/11-inspirational-quotes-on-money-and-wealth-from-our-financial-forefathers/
3 Comments Add yours
Great post bro. I’m all for being pro-Black but at the same time being realistic. I will say that we have the greatest potential for excellence out of everyone in America because we have been the most resilient in the face of adversity (arguably tied with the Native Americans) but at the same time, we are often too focused on the appearance of being rich rather than the attainment of wealth. Thanks for raising the issue. I hope it gets more people thinking about the ills that plague our social structure.
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Well said, Phrat. A lot of our conversations regarding liberation are solely focused on social uplift, which is fine, but it doesn’t hold nearly as much weight as economics.
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