Throughout recent years there has been national movements and attention surrounding race-based news. As the attention grows around the situation at hand, so to does the interest of America. But America’s interest, is not that of justice but of race standards. Looking back at the Trayvon Martin tragedy and the circumstances surrounding the case, there was an immediate reaction, not for justice but centered around a White-Hispanic killing an unarmed teen. One of the reactions was to gather funding for George Zimmerman’s legal and living cost that raised more than 70k dollars. Fast forward to this past summer in Ferguson, MO when the death of another unarmed teen, Michael Brown, sparked national outrage about police brutality and use of deadly force against the black community. Again society saw fit to start a fund (before any charges have been filed) for the officer involved in this case that killed young Mike Brown and has since raised over 200k dollars.
But lets take it a step further, earlier this year Donald Sterling, former NBA Owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was involved in a series of racially-charged comments about minorities at his games. He then was forced to sell his NBA franchise, a team that was valued at 500 million, for 2 billion dollars (not one cent went to African Americans or other minority groups even though his comments were directed at those groups). And just this week, Bruce Levenson (NBA Owner of the Atlanta Hawks), also admitted to saying racially-charged comments two years ago in an email (although not at the same extent of Donald Sterling) and will be selling his team because of said comments, however a price is not known to what he could see. We have here a system that is purposely using racism as means to economic gains without any real penalties. Nothing is done to compensate those who are offended by the statements, and real winners are those saying the statements. It is my opinion that Levenson saw a window of opportunity that was afforded to Sterling to cash in for himself, that on the basis of a forced sell would entice buyers to jump at this opportunity that does not come around often and in a city as thriving as Atlanta.
With these examples of racially motivated economic gains surrounding crisis, we as a black community have to see a need in the circulation of our dollar within our community. In one instance we have to be ready to fund our black and brown people when times of crisis and needs are at hand. This means we have to have investments in the people we put as our leaders and the businesses we decide to promote. Whether it’s entertainment, political, businesses etc. we have to begin to promote those we feel will best represent us and bring notification to our plights when the time comes to do so. We have to understand the importance of having millionaires and billionaires of people who can identify with us, and whose goals are the same as ours. The need to build up our neighborhoods by using our own black dollars and owning these neighborhoods is critical in stopping gentrification. The need for millionaire and billionaires, not just entertainers, but businesses and corporation while still maintaining the integrity of the black spirit is crucial in our infrastructure. The need to have blacks who can jump on sports ownership, in a league of our own or in the leagues currently established, to see that a slave owners mentality of sports owners of black dominant leagues aren’t reestablishing a slave operation.
One Key aspect that this Blackout Monday movement (that takes place today September 8, 2014) should show should be how little we own nationally. Our food chains that we consistently eat at, where we consistently grocery shop at, etc. should show you our need to build our own enterprises. We have to be willing to attend our own schools and help our own community. Recently, the trend has been to wait until the blacks move before we build up, we have to stop that.
We have to stop with the right-now-minimal gratification and begin to have patience with long-term investments. We have to stop becoming so materialistic with foreign designs and start creating our own uniqueness. We have to stop being satisfied with being satisfied. Economics is so important to any community because it allows you to become an independent sector that others begin to depend on. That control will be the only way we gain what we are owed from years of psychological, emotionally, mental, physical slavery that we have been under in America.
We, as a black community, can not live in a society that see us better behind bars and in chains, make us dependent on them for our goods and services, judge us off the challenges we endure of adapting from slavery and continue to think we are living in an equal country. We must grow as a community and economics is just one of those steps we must take for growth and independency.