Exit Strategies: Anti-Kraak In The Netherlands

I REMEMBER THE TRUTH ABOUT THE REAGAN YEARS

I was in high school during the reign of Pres. Reagan. I remember the ugly realities behind his idiotic grins and statements. I watched local steel mills close their doors while their mostly White and Latino employees voted as “Reagan Democrats.” I saw his destruction of the air traffic controllers’ union. Most of the kids (of all races) I knew at my magnet high school hated him with a passion.

The closed steel mills never reopened. Those jobs went overseas, never to return. Reagan Democrats continued to vote for Pres. Reagan each step of the way as they were increasingly impoverished by his policies. Apparently, the emotional gratification they felt while fervently supporting him outweighed the reality of their diminished life circumstances. Most of all, I remember reading interviews with senior citizens who supplemented their diet with dog food because they couldn’t afford an entire month’s worth of real food plus their medications. I remember.

WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN

Many of the same dynamics are in operation during the Obama Administration. See the Black Agenda Report post, The New Black Politics: All We Want Is A Black Royal Family, Not Jobs, Peace, or Justice.

The once expansive horizons of black America’s political universe have shrunk and withered. Our class of black political misleaders abandoned long ago the internationalism and Pan-Africanism of Robeson and DuBois. Black America’s self-proclaimed best and brightest have traded the “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” refrain of the King era away. For themselves, they reap perceived access to power, or possible contracts or appointments, or just the thrill of basking in reflected glory. For the black masses they offer hollow excuses and the uncritical worship of a black royal family.

It’s no exaggeration. Black political discussions in this age of Obama have assumed an almost feudal tone. Scarcely any black political discussion can be heard over mainstream airwaves or print that is not ended, begun and punctuated with avowals of love for the handsome brown president and his beautiful family. Once the vigilant advocates of fairness, decent wages and peace, our political talking heads fill hours of air time and reams of print obsessing over perceived and real slights to the dignity of the first family, while ignoring the president’s vicious assaults on public workers, his unwillingness to halt the wave of foreclosures, his continued prosecution of unjust wars, and his vacuous prescriptions of “competition” and tax cuts for the rich as answers to record black joblessness.

I often think about the dog food-eating seniors from the Reagan era, and wonder how many modern day African-Americans are setting themselves up for similar futures. If you’re planning on relying solely on a company- or government-backed pension plan to get you through your senior years in the U.S., I respectfully suggest that you think again. Whether public or private, employee pension plans are increasingly under attack. The odds are that these various strained and underfunded pension plans won’t pay out enough for you to live a decent lifestyle in the U.S.

EVEN ON A SMALL, FIXED INCOME IT’S STILL POSSIBLE TO LIVE WELL―THAT IS, IF YOU’RE WILLING TO LOOK BEYOND THE UNITED STATES

Once I became an adult, I realized that it didn’t have to end that way for the impoverished seniors from the Reagan era. Even on their small, fixed pensions they could have lived much better than that. That is, if they had the knowledge and willingness to look beyond the United States. There are places in the world―decent places―where you can retire in style and have excellent medical care, a maid, and frequent dinners out while living on a Social Security-type of budget.

THERE’S A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITIES IF YOU’RE WILLING TO LOOK

I see the various problems that I’ve warned about over the past few years. I see The Gathering Storm. At the same time, I also see a world that is still alive with possibilities if you’re willing to seek them out. Of course, it’s best to create multiple income streams and have as much money coming in as possible. It’s best to be affluent.

Nevertheless, it’s still possible to live well with much less money if you’re willing to create overseas options for yourself. However, you can’t wait until the storm hits to make preparations. You can’t wait until you fall ill or reach retirement age to start wondering what you can do for yourself. If you want to have options, you have to start doing the groundwork to create these options as soon as possible.

The first step is to open your heart and eyes to the possibilities that exist. Too many African-Americans have the mindset of condemning themselves to a No Options At All Lifestyle. I’ve talked about this before:

The delusion that somebody else is going to rescue us is why we do very little to rescue ourselves. It’s also the reason we are so quick to give up on self-rescue efforts.

FROGS IN A GRADUALLY BOILING POT TELLING OTHER FROGS THAT IT’S “UNREALISTIC” TO JUMP OUT

Intertwined with the rescue delusion is the frequent refusal to accept responsibility for our own choices. This includes most African-Americans’ free and voluntary choice of refusing to even try to upgrade their life circumstances. Instead of taking action in support lifestyle optimization, we proclaim all such strategies to be “unrealistic.” Meanwhile, we watch people from other ethnic and racial groups use these same strategies that we’ve labeled “unrealistic” to get ahead. In fact, for almost a century, we’ve watched several waves of immigrants (including some Black-skinned ones) come to this country and do all sorts of “unrealistic” things.

I’m reminded of this because I recently ran across a comment by a detractor over at The Black Snob Blog. My frequent discussion of strategies for developing additional income streams and international relocation options seems to frighten and upset this individual. According to her, this sort of conversation is “unrealistic.” I upset her even more when I spoke of sitting out this recent election, and researching third party candidates that I could wholeheartedly support in future elections.

This concerned individual proclaimed that, “. . . The truth is that MOST Americans of any race do not (and will never) have the resources or wealth to thrive even when the economy is not doing well and most Americans CANNOT run to a foreign country at will. We have to try to fix things here. If we throw our hands up in the air and do nothing, then we are GUARANTEED to fail. I hope that most black women will go out there and vote tomorrow, even though they may currently feel discouraged or disappointed.” See the comments to this post at The Black Snob Blog for the entire comment.

I wonder if this concerned individual believes that it’s more “realistic” for African-American women to continue hoping for new programs in the midst of a failing economy. Thereby putting their fates in the hands of the American voting public—roughly half of whom have repeatedly shown themselves to be insane.

Here’s the thing: While various Black “frogs in a gradually boiling pot” are busy telling each other that various strategies are not feasible, other people—who are much poorer than even the poorest African-Americans—are busy using these same strategies to upgrade their lives.

The November 6, 2010, issue of the New York Times featured a story titled “In Venezuela, A New Wave of Foreigners.” Among other people, the story mentioned a gentleman named Etienne Dieu-Seul, a street vendor who arrived in Venezuela from Haiti a month before the earthquake.

At the other end of the economic spectrum, many new immigrants continue to arrive on tourist visas and overstay their visits, drawn by incomes that are still higher than those in some of Venezuela’s neighbors and by a broad array of social welfare programs for the poor championed by Mr. Chávez’s government.

“One can live with a little bit of dignity here, at least enough to send money home now and again,” said Etienne Dieu-Seul, 35, a Haitian street vendor, who moved here a month before the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January. After the disaster, officials here said they would grant residence visas to the 15,000 Haitians believed to have been here illegally.

I would bet that Mr. Dieu-Seul the street vendor is very thankful he did something as “unrealistic” and “not feasible” as leaving desperately poor Haiti to go to Venezuela. The people in Haiti that he’s sending money to are probably also very thankful.

I won’t even get into the steady stream of American retirees on fixed incomes who relocate overseas each year in order to live much better for much less money. There’s nothing “unrealistic” about taking the minimal action steps of getting a passport and researching your options. Ladies, keep in mind there are a lot of nervous crabs in a barrel out there who are deeply frightened by the idea that you might make the leap into abundant life. It’s one thing to discuss the hurdles and difficulties involved with an undertaking. I’ve never pretended that making any of these moves is easy. All the things I talk about involve putting in effort and work. Some of us don’t want to put in that sort of effort, so we proclaim various things to be impossible or unrealistic.

As I asked during that post, which voices do you listen to? The crabs in a barrel who tell you that abundant life is “unrealistic” for you? Or the voice of your own hopes and dreams? Either way, it’s your choice.

THE EXIT STRATEGIES SERIES

I’ve decided to do a new, ongoing Exit Strategies series of posts for those audience members who choose abundant life and maximizing their options. I’ve been running across all sorts of interesting information while researching and creating my own options. From time to time, I’ll share the information I find about issues affecting potential expatriates (from residency requirements and health care, to employment opportunities, to travel). The more general Exit Strategies posts will be open to the public. The more detailed posts will be part of the Sojourner’s Passport Confidential dispatches sent to regular commenters.

Like an earlier post, How To Work On A Cruise Ship, the point of today’s post is to emphasize that there are all sorts of surprising opportunities available. Opportunities that don’t necessarily exist in the United States, due to the differences between various countries’ laws. Opportunities that you only find out about because you’re actively looking for them. Because many of you have expressed an interest in Northern European countries, today I’ll mention something that I recently learned concerning the Netherlands: anti-kraak.

ANTI-KRAAK IN THE NETHERLANDS

Apparently, in the Netherlands it’s legal to squat in a building or house that has been unoccupied for over a certain period of time. Here’s a basic explanation of how antikraak (“anti-squatting”) works from an American expatriate named Sam Coleman:

The Anti-Kraak means you’re basically living there to stop a flat from being squatted. A property agency will contract you for extremely cheap rent to put you into a place where the property owner doesn’t have a plan yet for leasing it but want to prevent squatters from moving in. I’ve done it. You can pay like €150 (Khadija speaking: this = $205.14 USD at the moment) with your utilities. It’s really great. You have to sign up with a company, but you have to have a residency permit, so it’s a bit of a Catch-22 because you’re not getting a residency permit without a flat. So you have to have a residency first, get your residency permit, then search for an anti-kraak. If you’re lucky to get one, it’s a great way to live there.

Getting Out: Your Guide to Leaving America, pg. 185. See here and here for more information about anti-kraak. It seems to me that once a person has found a way to get some sort of residency permit, this anti-kraak arrangement is a good way to save money while exploring what it’s like to live in different parts of the Netherlands.

BOTTOM LINE: YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT OPTIONS MIGHT EXIST UNLESS YOU ACTIVELY LOOK FOR THEM

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120 Responses to “Exit Strategies: Anti-Kraak In The Netherlands”

  1. Sholoray says:

    People are still waiting for the government to save them?! SMH. The president released his budget this week. Do you see the programs seeing deep cuts? Energy assistance. Head Start. Medical assistance. Other social programs. And the Republicans in the House want to take those cuts even further. Personal responsibility: look it up, read it, study it, and get yourself together.

    I am in agreement about moving overseas. My cerologist’s mother lives in Costa Rica (I hear that’s a hot spot for retirees). One of my co-worker’ just came back from South Africa. Him and his wife ate like royalty for no more than $70/night for the two of them. I’ve got a friend from Puerto Rico who got some land for cheap and will begin building his home shortly.

    • Joyousnerd says:

      When we become old and sick, retiring to a developing country can provide an option for personalized care and a warm climate that is good for the health. However- the potential for political unrest always exists. There are expats in the Philippines for instance, who have a smallish home, a private nurse, and a housekeeper all from social security income. At the first instance of unrest, though, those sick and elderly people are magnets for kidnapping. A country that is tranquil and easy today can be a hotbed of violence tomorrow. I say this NOT to say retiring to the third world isn’t an option; but rather to say one must maintain a kitty of cash and keep their eyes totally peeled at all times in case things get tight and the need to repatriate presents itself.

      • JoyousNerd,

        I 100% cosign! YES, you have to stay watchful. YES, you have to keep your options—ALL options, including the option to repatriate—open.

        I’ve been mulling over a possible post about the dangerous human tendency to want to think, “It’s over, now. I’m okay—I don’t have to pay attention anymore. I can afford to go to sleep now.”

        I’m not saying that anybody should try to remain on high alert at all times. (Which is draining and impossible anyway.) What I am saying is that there’s no such thing as it being okay to totally space out on what’s happening around you.

        It’s not okay to get so complacent that you space out on what happening in your own house with your husband—that’s how married couples gradually drift apart. It’s not okay to space out on what’s happening in your own house with your kids—that’s how parents wake up one day to discover that their kids have undergone an “The Exorcist” type of transformation into deeply troubled teens.

        On a wider level, it’s not okay to space out on what’s happening in your neighborhood, at your job, or in your industry. On an even wider level, it’s not okay to space out on what’s happening in the country you live in.

        You have to stay watchful of what’s going on around you. And you if you’re wise, you’ll create various options for yourself. You’ll create multiple Plan Bs for yourself and your loved ones.

        Expect Success!

  2. shocol says:

    I would also add to that list : Obama’s attempts and a few successes (?) at expanding the Patriot Act. Scary.

    I’m currently reading, “Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions to Help You See It and Seize It” by John C. Maxwell. The author defines a dream as, ” An inspiring picture of the future that energizes your mind, will, and emotions, empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it.” He states, “People who don’t possess compelling dreams are in danger of having their lives merely slip away.”

    In the book, he relates an experiment in which monkeys were trained to stop reaching for food (bananas). Eventually enough monkeys were trained in this way, so that when a new monkey was introduced to the group, they “indoctrinated” the new monkey without further prompting. African-Americans have so many “indoctrinated” dream-killers (e.g. crabs in a barrel) among us that many of us are vulnerable to the “frogs in gradually boiling pot” situation.

  3. Sholoray,

    You said, “People are still waiting for the government to save them?! SMH.”

    Yes, they are. In fact, that’s most AAs’ basic strategy. Take what the detractor I quoted from as an example. Here’s the thought process that I believe is underlying her statement:

    AAs must continue to vote for the “lesser evils” of the Democratic party…

    …so that those “lesser evil” Democrats can get elected…

    …so that those “lesser evil” Democrats can maybe, perhaps “fix things” by expanding current government programs and creating new government programs…

    …so that these government programs can save AAs from the logical, predictable consequences of our own bad decisions, such as:

    *Our mass abandonment of 99.99% of visibly Black-owned businesses after the fall of segregation, our refusal to build our own businesses; our collective choice to permanently boycott 99.99% of all visibly Black-owned businesses—these 3 interlocking choices leave AAs vulnerable as always being employees and wanna-be employees of other people. Other people who assign higher priority to hiring their OWN people.

    *Our majority oow birth rate, our refusal to form functioning families through marriage. Which leads to a collective composed of fatherless children who are generally not being raised or supported by their fathers. All of which trends with increased poverty, criminality, violence, and other negative life outcomes.

    The above equation is what a lot of AAs mean when they say that AAs have “no choice” but to “stay and fix things.” As Dr. Phil would ask, how has that been working out for AAs during the past 3 decades?

    As for Pres. Obama, I think most of us could agree on the following 2 points:

    (1) Pres. Obama started off by being handed a bad set of cards. The economy had already been weakened under Reagan, Bush I, Clinton (for example, bad policy decisions like NAFTA). And then finally destroyed by Bush II.

    (2) Pres. Obama is NOT doing well with playing the various bad cards he started off with. Where I and many of the audience members will disagree is on the reasons why he’s doing such a poor job of playing the hand he was dealt. Many readers (who like, trust, and support Pres. Obama) will blame it on external enemies such as Tea Party lunatics, etc. By contrast, I blame Pres. Obama for his own naivete and spinelessness.

    You said, “The president released his budget this week. Do you see the programs seeing deep cuts? Energy assistance. Head Start. Medical assistance. Other social programs. And the Republicans in the House want to take those cuts even further. Personal responsibility: look it up, read it, study it, and get yourself together.”

    Indeed. Although, I’ll note that much of this would have happened no matter who was in office. The economy is just that bad. However, my point of concern is that most AAs are not doing anything to make themselves less dependent on these various programs. They’re too busy being emotionally caught up in defending Pres. Obama from any and all criticism.

    Finally, let me stress something:

    I’m NOT saying that folks must leave the US. Everybody’s mileage may vary concerning that sort of choice. I AM saying that folks need to create as many OPTIONS for themselves as possible. Including having the option of relocating to other places in order to live well, if necessary.
    _____________________________________

    Shocol,

    The book you mentioned sounds excellent, thanks for mentioning it!

    You said, “African-Americans have so many “indoctrinated” dream-killers (e.g. crabs in a barrel) among us that many of us are vulnerable to the “frogs in gradually boiling pot” situation.”

    Indeed. Most of us have the indoctrination plus the unquestioned assumption that you have to be rich in order to do various things. I’m hoping to help put a dent in that indocrtination, and to also help get more AA women into the mental habit of actually investigating various possibilities before writing them off.

    Expect Success!

  4. Natasia says:

    Great post!
    For any students who are looking to work outside of the United States permanently, I would recommend getting a Master’s degree abroad within your city of choice. a) It’s cheaper – many master’s programs are one year versus two years. B) It’s a lot easier to get your foot in the door.

    • Joyousnerd says:

      This is a great idea. While studying abroad, the wise woman will try for an internship. Getting an internship in your target location is like gold! Companies are much more willing to apply for a work permit for an applicant whom they have tried out first. Even if you can’t get hired at the place you interned, you still get to put international experience on your resume, which many companies require before sending an employee on assignment abroad. They want to know you won’t call them in tears two weeks after landing, slinging snot and wanting to come back home after they spent considerable money moving you out there.

      Another option to consider is a volunteering vacation. I saw a posting (it’s expired now, though) for volunteer ESL teachers in Denmark. They were looking for someone to come and teach English to asylum seeking refugees for 2 weeks. That particular post has expired but if you look there are always more of a similar nature being offered if you are willing to work with a needy population (Roma kids, orphans, refugees) and you are willing to go to a less “sexy” location.

      Now, it was an unpaid position, so there would be some outlay of cash required for airfare. However, you get to put that international experience on your resume AND you can network like crazy while you are there. Plus you wouldn’t need to rearrange your life (sublet your apt for example) in order to do it. You could merely take your vacation time from your current job and off you go.

      Even if the volunteering project isn’t really related to your field of expertise, you can refer to that experience when you ask for an international transfer or apply for a job overseas.

      • Sylvia says:

        So true Joyousnerd!!!! Internships and fellowships are great opportunities. By education, I am a physics major with an emphasis in seismology (Ph.D.) (I ended up in the legal field, but that is another story for another time.) At one time, I was “shopped” to some South American organizations to do some fault study research down in Chile/Peru and had opportunities to go to Japan and the South Pacific (LOL – basically anywhere there were MAJOR earthquakes). I speak three other languages fluently (one being Spanish) so it would have been a perfect fit especially for those who are looking to expand their linguistics.

        Embassy work is another way to “taste” other countries to see if the fit would be go. I believe posts may still be at two years – not sure.

        I know there can be many obstacles in heading out but I want to encourage you ladies to GO GO GO!!!! You won’t regret it.

  5. KimP says:

    There are indeed plenty of options out there, and as foreign economies blaze right past the U.S., more countries will create special visa programs to attract foreign workers.

    I know New Zealand and a few other countries offer special visas for Aupair’s/Nannies. That’s a great way to at least get your foot in the door, then you can enroll in University, apply for a student visa, or find other work.

    There’s also a seasonal work visa available in NZ. There are a plethora of seasonal jobs available in Horticulture (anyone want to work at a winery?), Hospitality (Any cafe baristas or trained chefs?) and other industries. The key is, it’s a way in the door.

    In the Philippines, I found a special work permit program for foreign artists (singers, actors) or athletes. However, from my understanding this permit also works for behind the scenes positions such as athletic or physical training and other legitimate positions related to the arts or sports/athletics.

    Many Australian universities are trying to lure international students to their universities for certain disciplines by waiving tuition and fees. I’m talking about engineering, biology, research master’s degrees, Ph.D’s; most times coupled with a yearly stipend. I believe the Univ. of Melbourne gives out at least 150 of these scholarships annually.

    As Khadija said, there are opportunities out there, you just have to look for them.

    I’ve found something else at play with some detractors, they won’t heed any advice on exit strategies for themselves when we’re the messengers. However, if a Non-BW were to give them the same advice tomorrow, about the need for an exit strategy to prepare for when ish hits the fan, they’d believe it.

    We could have told them the same thing in the same manner, but our advice is thrown to the wayside. Sort of how many Black’s will take their money to Non-Black businesses, even if there is a Black business with comparable or even better products/services.

    I’ve learned to no longer feel insulted when this happens, and It’s no longer my concern if they get it from me or anyone. I just hope the other Sojourners aren’t out there spewing their dreams and plans all will nilly (I know we’re too savvy for that), because these plans are not a joke, they’re something we have to protect as if it were a child, or our most prized-possession, because this is our livelihood and this will be, is our future.

    I was reading an old Muslim Bushido post a few days ago about imagining one day you’re sitting with your girlfriends and they’re all complaining about no-count men, how broke they are, just dismal situations in general. As a Sojourner, you have nothing to add to the discussion because you’ve quietly done the hard work to transform your networks, your income-streams, etc. to overhaul your life.

    I plan to be that young lady, not that I want others to do poorly in life, but when other’s are complaining about their poor choices, I plan to be the odd-ball out quietly listening because I have nothing to add to the discussion because this is not a game for me.

    There’s a book I’m reading called Crush It! (tagline Why Now is the Time Cash in on your Passion!) by Gary Vaynerchuk, where he says if you want success, there may be times where you’ve only gotten 2 hours of sleep, there may be times when it feels like your head is going to explode, but you must be willing to go through that temporary uncomfortable period to accomplish your goals. Between juggling school and creating other income streams, I’m willing to weather those periods to get my peace of mind and wonderful life.

    Okay, I’m rambling now.

    • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

      Thank you for those ideas Kim P.

      • KimP says:

        No problem!

        Khadija gives a tremendous amount by allowing this site to simply exist, and you ladies chime in and provide a wealth of info. too, so in the spirit of reciprocating networks, as the last few posts have discussed, I’m trying to share all I can with fellow Sojourners!

  6. Zoopath says:

    Sojourners should absolutely consider if they would be best served by taking their talents to another locale. I understand that people don’t want to leave their support systems and familiar surroundings, however, sometimes you would be better off in another place without a support system because of the reasons mentioned in the post.

    Also this: By contrast, I blame Pres. Obama for his own naivete and spinelessness

    Cosign. I am soooo digusted with the premise of the idea that we have money for 2 wars but not enough to keep our own people from freezing to death. Unbelievable, I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. There’s not a person, place or thing he won’t sacrifice on the altar of appeasement of bad-faith dissenters. I’ve given up on him. That dosn’t mean that racist attacks on him are okay but he isn’t getting my vote either. My mother warned me about Reagan when I was 3. I remember her telling me he was senile although I didn’t know what that meant at the time. Even *if* he had all of his faculties I simply hate how everyone regards him as a great conservative president when he wasn’t actually fiscally conservative.

    On a unrelated note, I finished listening to the [Khadija speaking: I deleted the semi-identifying adjective used in reference to the podcast—any descriptive information about that particular resource was intended to be kept confidential. :-)] podcast today and what I took from it was to stop being so lazy and go do an exercise video as I have fallen off the wagon as of late.

  7. Coffy says:

    Thank you for the information about the Netherlands. People think I’m crazy when I merely suggest that they consider all of their options for living well in retirement or in the event of the country’s demise. Once I have my exit strategy blueprint in order, I’ll be drafting a basic one for my immediate family–beyond that I’m not sure what I can do to convince people that having a passport, a destination country and relocation funds is at minimum something they need to have. I realize not everyone is going to commit to leaving the US, few people have the guts to be an immigrant, leaving your native land for a foreign one is scary and beyond the comprehension of most people. Even though I plan to relocate–whether the economy makes a (short-term) comeback or not–I present the idea of jumping ship as an option to others. I find that framing it as an option softens the message and they’re more receptive to it.

    I think many people vote with the mindset that they’re voting for the lesser of two evils–as if they only have 2 options. That’s why I wish we had a rank voting system, where you could vote for a candidate who isn’t affiliated with one of the two major parties but not throw your vote away. For example Kucinich might be your #1 pick, but if he doesn’t get enough support then your #2 pick will get your vote.

    • Melissa Q. says:

      The logistics of being an immigrant are tremendous. You have to figure out the bank system, adapt to a new way of life, make a new circle, and a abandon the previous support system.

      I believe it is important to ‘know where you are’ (As you mentioned in Muslim Bushido, Khadija) and establish new connections. There are too many stories of immigrants refusing to learnt he new language and attempt to integrate themselves into the society, and ‘othering’ themselves. A Latino foreign friend made a joke about the easiest way to tell if someone is an American tourist: their loud uncouth behavior and improper/sloppy/inappropriate dress. Even the people of other countries have a lower bar for Americans based on the tourist. It is important to dress and conduct yourself in a feminine manner, to help the transitioning and settling in the new life [and make things a bit easier for yourself as well :-].

      • Melissa Q.,

        Oh yes, it’s critical to be a good guest if one is going to relocate. And to NOT act the way too many Latino and Muslim immigrants act once they get to the US (i.e., refusing to learn English, and overall expecting the American people to cater to them, etc.)

        Expect Success!

  8. joyousnerd says:

    Thank you so much for the Anti-Kraak suggestion! This is sheer brilliance! What a grand way to save up large sums of money, too! When your housing expenses are that low you can painlessly set aside cash to fund a new income stream.

  9. Natasia,

    Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it!
    ________________________________________________

    KimP,

    Thanks for sharing the info about New Zealand, the Phillipines, and Australia!

    You said, “I’ve found something else at play with some detractors, they won’t heed any advice on exit strategies for themselves when we’re the messengers. However, if a Non-BW were to give them the same advice tomorrow, about the need for an exit strategy to prepare for when ish hits the fan, they’d believe it.

    We could have told them the same thing in the same manner, but our advice is thrown to the wayside. Sort of how many Black’s will take their money to Non-Black businesses, even if there is a Black business with comparable or even better products/services.”

    Unfortunately, most AAs have some deep-seated emotional issues about other Black folks. That slave-mentality based, automatic distrust and dislike of anything said by another Black person is deeply rooted among most AAs. In their minds, only nonblacks are credible sources of information about serious matters.

    Another angle with this is that shared suffering is often the ONLY bond that AAs sort of, kind of feel to other Blacks. Evia has talked about this pattern of AA BW temporarily bonding around their suffering which is caused by DBRBM, and then they go back to slicing each other up. If you as a BW are not sharing in that DBRBM-caused suffering, then there’s nothing connecting you to most of these women. At which point, they look cross-eyed at the non-suffering BW. And then they get angry and resentful about the non-suffering BW.

    Like I said in an earlier post, it’s best for the Sojourners to get clear of these women now. Before the mainstream AA women let themselves fully realize that they’ve been left behind. These women are going to explode when they finally wake up. And they’re going to lash out 100x more than they already are at any other BW who doesn’t look like she’s suffering like them.

    You said, “I’ve learned to no longer feel insulted when this happens, and It’s no longer my concern if they get it from me or anyone. I just hope the other Sojourners aren’t out there spewing their dreams and plans all will nilly (I know we’re too savvy for that), because these plans are not a joke, they’re something we have to protect as if it were a child, or our most prized-possession, because this is our livelihood and this will be, is our future.”

    I feel the same way. I’m simply doing my bit to pay it forward in gratitude for the BWE pioneer bloggers. The pioneers’ work helped me a lot after finding out about the Dunbar Village Atrocity (and the Civil Rights Industrial Complex’s inappropriate reactions to that crime against humanity) shocked me out of my prior Black Nationalist trance.

    As many of the Nation of Islam ministers say about the information they give, folks can “take it or leave it alone.”

    Expect Success!

    • KimP says:

      Khadija,

      You said, “Another angle with this is that shared suffering is often the ONLY bond that AAs sort of, kind of feel to other Blacks. Evia has talked about this pattern of AA BW temporarily bonding around their suffering which is caused by DBRBM, and then they go back to slicing each other up. If you as a BW are not sharing in that DBRBM-caused suffering, then there’s nothing connecting you to most of these women. At which point, they look cross-eyed at the non-suffering BW. And then they get angry and resentful about the non-suffering BW.”

      That makes so much sense, suffering as some sort of right of passage!

      I recall a bright, young, educated BW/peer stating that she couldn’t get along with co-workers who didn’t understand what it was like to come from a background where hard decisions had to be made, such as whether to pay one bill over purchasing groceries. I never understood how she felt that would deter her from making friends at work (which I usually advise against anyway), but this explanation fits the bill!

      She shared no common bond with these people because they hadn’t experienced immense hardship like she had, wow!

      I must find these posts on Evia’s blog!

  10. Zoopath,

    You said, “Sojourners should absolutely consider if they would be best served by taking their talents to another locale. I understand that people don’t want to leave their support systems and familiar surroundings, however, sometimes you would be better off in another place without a support system because of the reasons mentioned in the post.”

    I DO understand the value of familiarity and support systems. However, being in a spot where one can’t afford to eat AND have other necessities like heat, electricity, medicine, etc. is too high a price to pay for familiarity. And if one would be living like that with “support systems” nearby, what is the true value of that “support”?

    About Reagan: He was baaaaad news. In so many important, long-term ways, not the least of which was his high-handed rejection of environmental concerns and the development of energy alternatives. If the US had followed through on the things that Pres. Carter was ridiculed for talking about such as energy conservation, etc., the planet wouldn’t be in the shape it’s in now. All those Reagan-supported “It’s morning in America” chickens are coming home to roost: Katrina, BP oil spill disaster, increasingly destructive weather across the planet, etc.

    What’s interesting is that the smart people from various different corners of the internet see The Gathering Storm. And the consensus seems to be that, at this point, it’s too late to turn various destructive trends around. That turn-around should have been started—at the latest—during the late 1970s. Here’s a very interesting comment that the Early Retirement Extreme (ERE) blog host made during the conversation to his post, Dealing with heat waves on a budget:

    @Traciatim – Increasing global average temperatures by 1-2C (~2-3F) which will happen over the next half century will indeed create longer growing seasons and more rain at Northern temperate regions (the storm track). The subtropics and the tropics and the entire southern hemisphere will however see decreased food production. That’s Mexico, India, China, Africa, Australia.

    After 2050 business as usual will result in temperatures over 3C (5F) will decrease food production in the northern hemisphere as well thanks to drought, fires, and migration of pests like the beetles that are currently eating the trees. At that time the south western US dust bowl will go as far north as Kansas. 2050 has also been marked at the year (actually 2048) when the oceans will be dead, as in no fish at all, given a continuation of current practices.

    Yes heat waves have always killed people, but there will be more heat waves and they will kill more people. Mortality will increase. Average human life span will decrease. You could say the same thing about Katrina, people died, and they have always died. Now there will be more hurricanes and they will be stronger. There will be more destruction of lives and property (there are many large coastal cities between Texas and Washington DC).

    The technology to change and avoid a lot of the crappy living conditions we are about to impose on the current generation of children and their children and grandchildren already exists. If we as a people are not going to voluntarily look out for the next generations then I’m all for trying on the policy and fiscal levels. It is a question of will and morality.

    PS: That should have been active sweat glands. Sorry.

    . . . @krantcents – If we’d started 40 years ago, yes, now it’s too late; the “business as usual hole” has been dug too deep. [Khadija speaking: He said this in response to a reader who asked about developing alternative energy to solve these problems.]

    The ERE blog host used to be an academic physicist before he retired. Those readers who are truly prepared to face and prepare for some harsh near-future realities should read the ongoing “Green Wizard” posts at The Archdruid Report.

    My point with mentioning these 2 bloggers is not to scare the bejeezus out of the reading audience. But to emphasize the point that life-sustaining energy costs such as heating and cooling (in certain ultra-hot areas) are only going to get more expensive as time goes on. This ties into the earlier post where I asked folks to consider whether what they’re doing and how/where they’re living is sustainable for the long haul. The point is to get as optimally situated as possible for the long run.
    _________________________________________

    Coffy,

    Yes, as I said earlier, the point is to have as many options as possible.

    You said, “I realize not everyone is going to commit to leaving the US, few people have the guts to be an immigrant, leaving your native land for a foreign one is scary and beyond the comprehension of most people.”

    I DO understand. But having to supplement one’s diet with dogfood is scary and beyond my comprehension. Of course, nobody ever really expects to end up facing those sorts of choices. And I suppose that it’s easier to live in denial that anything like that could ever happen to oneself.

    But this is why I’m pointing out the parallels between the gradually impoverished, blue-collar White/Latino “Reagan Democrats” from 30 years ago, and the increasingly impoverished AA Obama-ssiah worshippers of today. In both cases, these people’s quality of life was greatly diminished (if not outright destroyed) while they frolicked in their fervent support of Pres. Reagan/Pres. Obama.

    I’m pointing out these parallels for those of y’all who aren’t old enough to have seen that earlier situation play out. Yes, we definitely need to build a 3rd party in this country. But in the meantime, folks need to get their individual Plan Bs and Plan Cs together.
    ____________________________________________

    JoyousNerd,

    You’re welcome!

    Expect Success!

    *Addendum*
    Now we know for sure that Pres. Reagan’s policies were an absolute disaster for the US and the entire planet in many ways. It took several decades for the damage caused by his policies (and their continuation under subsequent US presidents) to catch up with us. But now these consequences are here, and they’re undeniable (except by the most politically deranged among the population).

    But we must also keep in mind that Pres. Reagan’s delusional policies reflected the mindset of the bulk of the voting public. The same US voting public that has consistently shown that it’s childish and refuses to face adult realities or responsibilities.

    This description includes most AA voters, sad to say. Our reactions to various individuals such as Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, and Pres. Obama confirm that most of AAs have not been taking principled stands. We don’t evaluate various policy positions on their own merits. We evaluate them based on whether or not we like the messengers. And if the messenger is racially Black, then we’ll support anything at all that person wants to do. Without question.

    This political behavior is a mirror image of the racist Tea Party and other Republican nuts who are now utterly opposed to the same policies being enacted/continued under Pres. Obama that they had previously supported under the Republicans.

    In terms of AAs, the same wretched policies that AAs said were just so awful under Reagan, Bush I and Bush II suddenly became okay under Clinton and Obama. That’s dishonest. And foolish. AND that sort of behavior is biting us in our collective rear ends. We’re going to continue paying various prices for that.

    • Truth P. says:

      Khadija I am glad you mentioned the two bloggers and their take on the environment and how it can or will affect our living situation.I suspect that as a result of these temperature changes certain area’s in the world and real estate will be heavily sought after more and more.

      I’m thinking that if the situation becomes bad enough we may not only need to find ways to live in those area’s but also to protect our properties from the government and others so that we would not be displaced.I mean there is eminent domain etc.I have seen where people in this country and throughout the world have settled on land that provided them with all their needs food,safety from certain natural disasters etc. and it has been taken from them.

      I notice that a lot of people who have tried to save their properties tend to rely on some form of media to gain public support for their cause.This brings me to the net neutrality and free media situation.I think America is becoming less and less free everyday which is another reason I want to leave.Thanks for the info.People should take advantage of all this life saving information while it is available to them.
      Someday it may be gone.

      http://www.savetheinternet.com

      I also recommend people who are considering moving look at Mercer’s site http://www.mercer.com/articles/quality-of-living-survey-report-2010

      http://www.mercer.com/referencecontent.htm?idContent=1380465

      http://www.economist.com also does their most livable places.
      http://countryanalysis.eiu.com/

      • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

        Thank you truth P.

        “This brings me to the net neutrality and free media situation.I think America is becoming less and less free everyday which is another reason I want to leave.”

        I am noticing this as well.

  11. APA says:

    This post really hits home for me. I’m getting ready to graduate, and I’m in the process of looking for a job. I already have one job offer, which is actually pretty good, but it’s in the middle of no where, and the company’s manufacturing process bores me. Right now, I’ve been going on interviews with companies that I know have placed recent graduates abroad. At every interview that I’ve attended, I’ve been stressing my language skills, experience living abroad, and my willingness to relocate abroad. Hopefully, all my efforts pay off, and I’ll be writing you guys from abroad sometime this year.

    Initially, I was going to apply for research fellowships because I just needed something to do while I wait to hear back from medical schools, since I’m applying the summer after I graduate. However, a job would provide me with much more money, allow to gain real-world skills, and be a good fall back in the unlikely event that I don’t get into medical school.

    I’ll definitely be paying close attention to this post for more ideas.

    • APA,

      You said, “This post really hits home for me. I’m getting ready to graduate, and I’m in the process of looking for a job. I already have one job offer, which is actually pretty good, but it’s in the middle of no where, and the company’s manufacturing process bores me. Right now, I’ve been going on interviews with companies that I know have placed recent graduates abroad. At every interview that I’ve attended, I’ve been stressing my language skills, experience living abroad, and my willingness to relocate abroad. Hopefully, all my efforts pay off, and I’ll be writing you guys from abroad sometime this year.”

      Good for you, and Good Luck!

      Expect Success!

    • Karen says:

      Have you also considered recruiting firms that have overseas offices in countries of interest or professional organizations in your area that also have overseas affiliates?

      Have you considered applying to overseas medical schools?

      Some options to consider…

  12. Formavitae says:

    This “anti-kraak” concept is quite interesting. I have not really been thinking of relocation abroad, because I’m an only child, and my parents live here. But, I’m not “objected” to the idea. My personal focus has been on completing an education that will provide me financial security and employment mobility internationally. If I have that covered, I should be able to find a place of residence, if necessary.

    I, too, am disappointed with the “status quo” in America. I’ve pretty much given up on the political system addressing any issues that are important to me. So, I’ve realized and decided that I have to do what it takes to create the destiny and security that I want for my family. I feel like whenever I vote, I’m just “going through the motions”. However, there are still things I appreciate about this country (e.g. not worrying about the government being overthrown by a military coup–at least, NOT YET, anyway). I look forward to reading more of these posts, as I work to constantly refine my plan for “salvation”.
    P.S. I was young during the Reagan era and never heard about the elderly eating dog food. HOW TERRIBLE!

    • Formavitae,

      You said, “P.S. I was young during the Reagan era and never heard about the elderly eating dog food. HOW TERRIBLE!”

      Yes, that was a terrible way to live out one’s senior years after a lifetime of working for a living. That’s why reading those interviews made such an impression on me.

      Expect Success!

  13. Karen says:

    I am also looking into Croatia as well as New Zealand for mid- to long-term possibilities.

    As for the Reagan years, I remember all to well the damage that was done to the middle class and all the opportunities lost thanks to him and his cronies.

    We are now in “Reagan – Part 3″ (Part 2 being Clinton). The worst is yet to come…

    Sojourners need to continue with preparations.

  14. Faith Dow says:

    Thank goodness for the Black Agenda Report offering a canary in the coalmine commentary but as we see most blacks are going to ignore the warnings. I also remember the Reagan years and the impact it had on employment in the black community. It pretty much wiped it out and it has never recovered, but that’s because there was too much reliance on a “good job” and no other infrastructure set up. I’m so glad you found the Getting Out book useful.

  15. Formavitae says:

    Khadija,

    On another note, I would say that I personally am focusing on how to become as self-sufficient as possible. And, by that, I don’t solely mean having an excellent income stream, I mean owning and sustaining YOUR OWN natural resources. I’ve always loved nature and wanted to own several acres of land in the country. However, I now not only desire that out of love for the earth, but also for the provision, security, and sustenance of my own family. AND, IT’S NOT “UNREALISTIC”. Let me share a couple of examples that I know of personally.

    I had a nursing instructor. She and her husband owned a farm (I don’t necessarily think they were working it) and horses (who were free to roam and took care of themselves). Anyway, she’d had her own business at one point, and I think her husband did too. But, they are now retired, and they joined the Peace Corps to travel internationally and provide medical assistance in poor countries. (Now, that’s MY definition of a “rich life”!)

    My second example is of another nursing instructor who owns a farm and probably 100+ acres with her husband. She, her husband, and her son built 5 lakes on their property, stocking them with different types of fish. They also grow good and raise animals. They also provide a safe haven for animals native to the area and care for them. They have so much food, they give it away to the poor people in their area. She’s a major coupon collector had purchased over $100 worth of groceries for less than $20. They allow people to hunt and fish on their property, as long as they’re respectful. And, they help out with local community organization efforts. Not to mention, the design of their property sounded like A DREAM! They worked hard, saved, sacrificed, and lived in a trailer to bring that to fruition. That honestly is the type of life that I want to have.

    That being said, these people will never want (most likely) for food, water, shelter, or the majority of basic human needs. What would be the fate of most AAs, particularly those in the urban areas, if there were a food or water shortage? That was more or less a rhetorical question. We already know. I have some background study and interest in development issues, and I’ve learned that many development patterns in this country are not truly “sustainable”. I think people should consider what they would do if they should ever have to endure a food, water, or energy crisis. There are alternative energy sources available in the market. But, most Americans don’t think about these concerns (ESPECIALLY not AAs).

    I guess my basic objective was to present some “real-life” examples of how “everyday people” ( NURSES, mind you) are creating an abundant life and to get people thinking about development and resource ownership as well.

    • Queenie23 says:

      I think about what I would do in case there is a food or water shortage. I have a catalog with items that help you prepare for emergencies at home . The website is beprepared.com. They have all kinds of things there.Food you can store for years,first aid kits,radios,lights,water storage,etc There are other sites like that one…you just have to search for them. I told my parents they should buy one of the emergency packs and keep them in the trunks of their cars just in case.

      • Queenie23,

        Thanks for sharing the info about that site; I’ll check it out!

        Expect Success!

      • Formavitae says:

        THAT’S GREAT, Queenie. I (rarely) try to talk to my Asian-American friend about this (wanting land in the country), and she always laughs at me. I don’t get why it’s so funny. I don’t even really waste time trying to talk to my other friends and family, because they seem to think I have “quack” ideas (parents not included). There’s a really good book (and enjoyable read), “Americans at Risk”, by Irwin Redlener, that addresses the many ways this country is not prepared for megadisasters of various types (health-care, natural disasters, terrorism, infrastructure, and vulnerable populations). He also discusses some reasons WHY we’re not prepared and some potential solutions. Americans REALLY ARE “at risk”. But, very few people in this country like the idea of making “collective” investments for the strengthening of society. That’s why I’m working hard to keep my fate and security as INDEPENDENTLY sound and secure as possible. And, as an additional plus, I think owning land and resources in the country will help provide a buffer from the “fools” in the urban areas and their mischief (though there are “crazy folk” in the country as well).

        There have been a few senseless shootings in my city within the past 4 weeks or so that involved connections to people we know (of). At my mom’s church, they recently buried a young man who was shot to death in front of his mother’s house. I remember when he was a toddler. And, two other recent shootings (one day after another) involved friends/schoolmates of the son of a guy I grew up with. And, his son just recently got jumped and “beat down” pretty bad (with damages). And, THIS KID IS STILL IN H.S. When my mom told me about that, I thought to myself (“HELL NO, my kids aren’t going to public schools. I just have to keep working hard until I can get them into the [EXCLUSIVE] private schools I want them to attend.”–when I HAVE them–LOL!) But, the status in American cities is TOO CRAZY, and it’s only going to get WORSE. (And, I’m not living in one of the “bad” cities like Detroit, etc.)

        My mom started talking about how many kids are (and will remain) “lost”, unless/until they can find someone to “take them under their wing” and guide them in the right direction. She was talking about how we have to “turn things around”. I didn’t tell her that I’ve already given up on that and don’t plan to waste my time and efforts on doing that. I live a positive lifestyle and try to be a good example for others to follow. They can observe my behaviors and choose to emulate them, or they can just ignore me (PLEASE!!!If you’re all about foolishness! LOL!). You can’t guide anyone who doesn’t want to listen to instruction.

        I often think of how this society, on a MASS SCALE, is losing its respect for wisdom and chasing after the folly of youth (40+ year olds included). If the adults are immature, who’s teaching the children to honor/pursue what’s REALLY meaningful in life. This society is “surface-oriented”. It doesn’t value substance. And, the children are a reflection of the deterioration in values. For AAs in particular, too many of the “successful” people they look up to promote folly and criminality, while paying lip-service to the “value of education”. The kids observe what THEY DID/DO and seem to often draw the conclusion that an education is pointless and unnecessary. I mean, who really needs an education to be a good rapper? And, going to prison only increases your credibility on the streets.

        Oh, well. I’ve “prattled on” long enough. Best wishes!

        • geekgrl says:

          “I don’t even really waste time trying to talk to my other friends and family, because they seem to think I have “quack” ideas (parents not included).”

          I occasionally listen to Dave Ramsey. When people call in saying that all their family and friends are making fun of them for getting an extra job or doing yard sales to get money to pay off debt, Dave reminds them that the average American is broke. It is better to be weird.

          I remind myself that the average American has about 10k in debt and less than 2K in savings, is over weight, and spends more than 4 hrs a day watching tv. I like being weird/a quack.

          No debt means that I don’t have an anchor on my feet when I need to fly from the US or get a couple of acres in the country. Being a normal weight means I’m less likely to have health issues and more like to find a quality guy. Watching less tv means I can pursue hobbies, work on my foreign languages, exercise, etc.

      • Joyousnerd says:

        YES! I have bought from them for years. They have wonderful canning products. The shipping rates are very reasonable too. I remember when I got a delivery from there once, the mailman I could tell was a prepper too from the expression on his face, and he was surprised to see a black woman preparing. Lol! I don’t plan to be in a position of begging anybody for food or water when hard times come, bump that!

        Storing water can be done by installing rain barrels under your gutter drain pipes. This water is not ideal for drinking but can be used to water plants, bathe, clean laundry and water your crops.

        Another company you ladies should check out is Lehman Brothers. They supply Amish and Mennonites with home and garden/farm supplies. Their customers don’t even have electricity at home, so all of their products (which are GREAT quality and hold up forever) are designed to be used without electricity. These are great things to incorporate into your home for daily use to lower your carbon footprint. When (not if, when) dire circumstances make power unavailable, you will already have and know how to use the things you need. Fumbling for and instruction sheet in your hour of need is unwise.

        • ZooPath says:

          I soooo want to get into having emergency food and water supplies but I have no basement (stupid extra-thick limestone layer) and am at a loss as to where to put the stuff. I have a serious paranoid survivalist streak and do a lot of research but haven’t been able to really execute a plan at this point. Houses in my area are very large so I have a lot of space but not a good cool place for a root cellar of anything of that nature. I have a huge attic but it’s an absolute oven from April-September. I guess I could at least do the rain barrel thing so that we’re not stinky if there’s a water storage.

          • joyousnerd says:

            The basement is not the place to store preps anyway. Basements flood too often, and are often damp. Keeping your stored food bone dry is important to extend usable shelf life. If your attic gets hot, it’s not suitable either.

          • geekgrl says:

            LDS (Mormon) blogers sometimes have some good suggestions. Their church believes in ‘preparedness’ and that every family should have enough food stored to feed the family for a year.

            I’ve seen bloggers stack boxes of freeze dried/canned items at the end of their sofas and cover the boxes so they look like end tables. I’ve also seen them add risers to their beds so they can store things under there.

            http://www.abysmal.com/LDS/Preparedness/Preparedness.pdf

          • Zoopath says:

            Thanks for the suggestion geekgirl, I’m off to check out the link.

        • MsMellody says:

          Great response. I was very interested in this “Lehman” company. I Googled and here is the link;
          http://www.lehmans.com/?partner_id=bcbgoog&9gtype=search&9gkw=lehman%20products&9gad=6504658604.1&9gag=1868051564&gclid=CLuLw9ytmqcCFac65QodPjU4cA

      • MsMellody says:

        Hello Queenie!!!!

        Thanks for the beprepared.com site. I showed it to the husband and he is ready to order the intro 30 day supply of food stock.

        We have already found a place to store the items.

        Even though we live in a major urban area– I still would like to be prepared, I already have the emergency radio, batteries, flashlights etc.

        Just wanted to thank you for this info!!

    • Miss S says:

      That sounds like such an amazing life, and makes it clear to me what I truly want to aspire to.

      My mom now lives in the country with her new husband. He hunts, so they have freezers stocked with deer meat and elk meat. He also is teaching her how to grow different fruits and vegetables.

      She grew up in the country, but her BBRBM moved her (and me) to the projects. That’s a whole ‘nother story. Anyway, every summer, he has every fruit and vegetable you can imagine, and he is going to show me how to can them so you can keep them fresh all year. He goes fishing nearby, so we always have fish. This is a self-sustaining, country man and I thank God for him in our lives every day.

      We live near some of the Amish communities, who are probably one of the most self sustainable populations in the U.S. They make their own food, clothes, furniture, etc.

  16. Monique says:

    This information is sooo on point. Although moving out of the US is not an option for me right now it is an idea the I have knocked about for sometime. I’m focusing on moving out of the US when I get closer to retirement age. Your book suggestion “leaving america” is a book I will aboslutely be ordering. Thanks

  17. Adrienne M says:

    Hello Khadija! I just wanted to express how much I appreciate your blog, and your invitation to critical thinking and appropriate action! I discovered your blog a few weeks ago, but I have also been watching the signs for a long time. It’s definitely worth doing everything we possibly can to live an independent life off the grid and unplugged from the matrix!!

  18. Hello Khadija,

    Excellent food for thought (and action) as always. I encourage everyone to visit the countries they are considering as possible alternates to living in the U.S. Perhaps finding a news source(s) online from the country/city they are considering and get a birdseye view of the culture, polictics, economic issues, etc.

    Peace

  19. Karen,

    You said, “We are now in “Reagan – Part 3″ (Part 2 being Clinton). The worst is yet to come…

    Sojourners need to continue with preparations.”

    I 100% cosign. If the consequences weren’t so severe, it would be almost comical. I had warned relatives about Slick Willie Clinton. I had warned them that:

    (1) he had NO real affection or concern for AAs;
    (2) he was using us; and
    (3) he saw us as totally expendable, unlike his feelings about other parts of his constituency.*

    But they loooved them some “first Black president” Slick Willie. [Meaning at the time, the first White president that apppeared genuinely socially comfortable around Black folks.]

    Despite my warnings, most of my relatives were fervent Clinton fans until Billary showed their true colors when opposing the current golden calf object of AAs’ political affection: Barry Obama. After that happened, it was “Oh yeah, you had warned us about the Clintons back in the day…”

    [*As far as I’m concerned, the same statements apply to Barry Obama.]
    ____________________________________________

    Faith,

    You said, “Thank goodness for the Black Agenda Report offering a canary in the coalmine commentary but as we see most blacks are going to ignore the warnings.”

    Yes, I also appreciate their work. The pity is that their voices are totally marginalized among AAs.

    You said, ” I also remember the Reagan years and the impact it had on employment in the black community. It pretty much wiped it out and it has never recovered, but that’s because there was too much reliance on a “good job” and no other infrastructure set up.”

    Indeed. What I also noticed was that AAs were NOT among those who cashed in on the various short-term tech and housing booms/bubbles that happened along the way. AAs had very little to zero representation among the instant internet millionaires that were created during the late 90s and early 2000s tech boom. Same with our general absence among the instant real estate millionaires that were created by the housing boom. As you noted, this was because AAs continue to rely solely on “good jobs.”

    Well, it looks to me that the current wave of location-independent internet income streams will probably be the last, best chance for everyday people to get in on something while the wave is still going strong. Those people who do still have jobs are still shopping online.
    _______________________________________________

    Formavitae,

    You said, “On another note, I would say that I personally am focusing on how to become as self-sufficient as possible. And, by that, I don’t solely mean having an excellent income stream, I mean owning and sustaining YOUR OWN natural resources. I’ve always loved nature and wanted to own several acres of land in the country. However, I now not only desire that out of love for the earth, but also for the provision, security, and sustenance of my own family. AND, IT’S NOT “UNREALISTIC”.”

    Those are exactly the “Green Wizard” low-tech, self-sufficiecy skills and techniques that the blog host of The Archdruid Report is teaching. I would strongly urge anyone who’s interested in that to take the time to use the “search” function at his blog to read through his Green Wizard Project posts that start around June 2010. What sort of skills is he teaching with the Green Wizard Project? He says:

    What’s included in the package I’m discussing? Intensive organic gardening, for starters, with its support technologies of composting, green manure, season extenders, and low-tech food preservation and storage methods; small-scale chicken and rabbit raising, and home aquaculture of fish; simple attached solar greenhouses, which make the transition from food to energy by providing heat for homes as well as food for the table; other retrofitted passive solar heating technologies; solar water heating; a baker’s dozen or more methods for conserving hot or cool air with little or no energy input; and a good deal more.

    None of it will save the world, if that hackneyed phrase means maintaining business as usual on some supposedly sustainable basis; what it can do is make human life in a world suffering from serious energy shortages and economic troubles a good deal less traumatic and more livable.

    Creating a cadre of people who have these skills is his answer to the question of:

    It’s an appalling predicament: how can a community prepare for a troubled future if most people tune out even the slightest suggestion that it might be troubled?

    I strongly urge interested readers to read the full post that the above quotes come from. It’s a beautifully written, evocative essay titled Merlin’s Time.

    Formavitae, the points you’ve mentioned get back to the earlier post I linked to about when one should not adapt in their current place. Most urban-dwelling AAs are subject to food and water IN-security in ways that they don’t even realize.

    Expect Success!

    • RColeman says:

      One other key player in the wretched policy decisions that should be mentioned is the former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. His policies set in motion during his almost 20 year tenure in the Federal Reserve have resulted in the current depression which has been made worse by Fed Chairman Bernake.

      That being said-that blog along with this other blog that you mentioned on your Muslim Bushido Site are phenomenally informative http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/.

      Both of them are excellent for helping to set your own strategies in case you are not able to make your exit from here in a expeditious manner. I not only frequent both regularly, but I also acquired many of the books that his site mentioned.

      • RColeman,

        You said, “One other key player in the wretched policy decisions that should be mentioned is the former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. His policies set in motion during his almost 20 year tenure in the Federal Reserve have resulted in the current depression which has been made worse by Fed Chairman Bernake.”

        Isn’t it . . . interesting . . . how so many of these SAME people remain in place no matter which person is the current President? We talked about this during a post dated 9/4/09 at the previous blog: The “Change” That Never Came, Part 2: Pres. Obama Keeps Bush Nominees in Top Posts.

        I’m also a fan of The Automatic Earth blog. The work they’re doing is extremely important for understanding (and preparing for) what’s going on.

        Expect Success!

      • Formavitae says:

        RColeman,

        Thanks for the referral to that site. I will be checking it out as well. I’m glad it has an international focus. I strive to be a “global” thinker. All the best!

    • Formavitae says:

      I saw your link above and visited the site. (I posted before I read the comments.) Thanks for the referral. I’m always looking for new “communities” where I can interact with people of “similar mind”. As I mentioned to another poster above, a good book that details the realities of how vulnerable American society is “Americans at Risk”, by Irwin Redlener, M.D. I found it to be a very interesting read. It’s unfortunate how people in this society would rather endure a MAJOR catastrophe and try to pick up the pieces later, than put in a little extra investment on the front-end to avoid the entire collapse. But, alas, that is American society and politics. We just have to deal with and prepare ourselves for our “realities” of how this country DOES work rather than our “dreams” of how it SHOULD work. Thanks again!

  20. Melissa says:

    Great post Khadija, I really like when you do these “abroad series”. I wanted to add Singapore to the list of places to consider. Singapore is a great place for work and study opportunities especially if you are in the science, health or business sector. Singapore is a pioneer for public health, health sciences and medical research and they actively recruit foreigners in these fields. They are a relatively small country (5 million) but they attract a LOT of foreigners from all over the world each year-23% of the population is foreign born. The government upped their push as of late because they said they don’t want to be “another Japan”-economically and socially advanced BUT in decline, xenophobic, difficult for foreigners to obtain work visas, and an ageing population. On the last point, I would encourage everyone to consider the “median age” of a particular country before deciding on a long term stay in any country. MANY western countries have high median ages-(Italy- 44.6, Germany-43.7, Greece 42.2, Canada-40.7, UK- 40.5 and several Eastern European countries) which means these populations are ageing and in decline IF these countries have not taken the appropriate steps to address this (ie. increasing birth rates/immigration). For the most part, many Western countries are not taking the steps to address this and have in fact closed their doors to immigration. Singapore is acutely aware of this and their government has already taken active steps to address this even though their median age is only 39. They want to be able to COMPETE with the rest of Asia and the world for YEARS to come. Brazil, India, Venezuela, Argentina, Panama (retirement hub) also have smaller median ages under 30. Countries with younger populations have a slight advantage over ageing populations and investors KNOW this and are investing heavily in these countries. Sadly, the median age for many African countries are in the TEENS- 15-20 age range which is dismally low but COULD be a source of opportunity for African leaders to capitalize on. The US is positioned somewhat okay in comparison to other advanced western nations at 36.8. Also, consider ALL of the population demographics of the country when looking at where to go.

    If you are planning to work abroad and are university educated, credentials from the US, Canada, UK, Australia are somewhat recognized as the “gold standard” abroad by many companies. It’s easier to have your credentials recognized if you have educational training from one of these countries. In addition, foreign work experience is a great way to enhance your resume and build your network so I would recommend more to take advantage of the global village. Also, please consider terminal degrees in your respective field because the traditional bachelor’s and soon even the masters degree won’t be enough to compete. Other emerging economies such as India and China pump out HUNDREDS of students each year with doctorate degrees in ALL kinds of fields so for the younger ladies thinking about graduate school, please consider this in your decision.

    Dea- I didn’t get a chance to respond before the comments closed therefore I will address the SPF issue in the next Friday Finishing School. The short answer is yes, skip the SPF if you’re going to be taking photographs or in lots of indoor lighting.

    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_median_age).

    • Melissa,

      Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it.

      Your raise a very important point about various countries’ median ages and how that intersects with how dynamic or stagnant their economies are. I hadn’t thought of that angle before—thanks!

      Another thing to consider is how welcoming (or not) a particular society is to foreign women. That factor is one of several reasons why I don’t consider Asian countries a good bet for BW. From what I can tell from all that I’ve heard and read, those countries range from extremely xenophobic and totally closed to everybody (Japan) to relatively socially open to foreigners IF you’re a man (Thailand, etc.).

      Expect Success!

      • Joyousnerd says:

        I totally agree that looking at the demographics of the target country is essential. The birthrate is something to consider as well. I recall many moons ago when I was looking into expatriating to Canada, they were keenly interested in people who would have *families* there, so they needed young women of childbearing age and gave this consideration during the process of applying.

        Personally, I would not be eager to relocate to a country that is predominantly Muslim (no offense to any Muslims here) because I do not want my opportunities to be restricted by my sex. Men in some Muslim countries have difficulty seeing women as authority figures, and I fully intend to have a position of authority at some point.

        This can be used to a woman’s advantage though; I know of some American women in medical professions who are working in Saudi Arabia. Local women need female care providers, but there aren’t enough local nurses, midwives, doctors etc to service them.

        Scandinavia is such a great choice for BW because they have a long feminist tradition and are serious about promoting women to positions of authority. The men are accustomed to this and are not put off by the idea of a woman running something.

        • JoyousNerd,

          Guurl, puh-leeze. I appreciate your tact and diplomacy, but I’ll say it the plain way:

          I would never, never, NEVER relocate to ANY Muslim country! That includes the so-called “nice” ones like Turkey and Indonesia. And I’m Muslim.

          I’m not even all that keen on visiting Muslim countries, for a variety of reasons (terrorism, crazy people with crazy customs, etc.). [I had to be extensively talked into visiting Egypt in the past. I haven’t forgotten about the tourists who were machine-gunned to death by terrorists in Luxor some years back.]

          Expect Success!

          • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

            Do either of you think that the recent events in the middle east will have any bearing on Sojourners moving abroad?

            I was looking at the news this morning and they were saying that some parts of Europe were “bracing” for waves of immigrants and they mentioned Tunisians who washed ashore in Italy.

            I also would hate to see a situation where certain types of immigrants change the flavor of a country for the worse.

            I want to clarify that this is not to discourage, but to consider – so we can adjust and maximize our opportunities for success.

          • Oshun/Aphrodite,

            You asked, “Do either of you think that the recent events in the middle east will have any bearing on Sojourners moving abroad?”

            I’ll be blunt: I think probably not. Not as long as we are meticulous about being good guests wherever we go; and about maintaining the distinction between us as African-Americans versus all these other “fugee”-type of folks from the 3rd world who are pouring into Europe.

            Sojourners abroad in Europe need to keep 3rd world folks (especially 3rd world Black folks) at arm’s length in order to maintain the separate and different perception of us as AAs in Europe.

            Which is the same way many foreign Blacks in the US keep AAs at arm’s length to maintain their image as being separate and distinct from AAs. And I don’t blame them—it’s all about maximizing benefit to self.

            Keep in mind the observations some other readers mentioned a while back describing how a number of Africans in Europe sometimes try to “pass” as African-Americans. Especially when they’re in a tight spot. There’s a benefit attached to being perceived as African-American as opposed to African, etc. in Europe. If there wasn’t a benefit, these people wouldn’t be doing that.

            Expect Success!

          • ak says:

            Yeah I see where you’re coming from Khadija. I’m not Muslim,but I’ve been to Turkey once for a week. I loved it, loved the ruins in Ephesus, and on EH-VER-EE corner there was great food, the freshest, the best and I still would never move there to live even though loads of white Brits buy land in Turkey in order to retire out there, and rent out their old houses in the UK, and such.

            I’d still be too wary of a culture clash. I don’t mean to be crass here, but I went to a pharmacy/drugstore near my hotel in Kusadasi and there were no tampons, and I think I may have even tried looking in another one nearby!

            Also one of the major TV networks in the UK last year(?) showed a show reporting that even though Turkey sounded like it was making more Western ‘strides’ that was even reflected in the way their women dressed (and I watched their TV so I see a bit of why people would think this), that honor killings were starting to be noticed and possibly rising after Kurds after their Kurdish conflicts started moving into Turkey some years ago.

            One woman was supposedly set on fire in an apartment in Istanbul. This show’s findings were supposed to be a bit of a surprise I guess after Turkey, not that long ago before the Recession, wanted to be a part of the EU, and because only the other Islamic countries had reported incidences of honor killings at the time, women pressured to dress more ‘Eastern’ and in hijabs, etc.

      • Natasia says:

        This is true, many Asian countries do cater mostly to men, but I’d like to think of it more as an opportunity to meet a lot of different men from foreign countries (not necessarily just Asian). For instance, Hong Kong is a major business hub and a lot of men fly there to complete business deals and transactions. You might go there to get your PhD, but who knows? Your MRS degree could be achieved there as well!

        My point is, what you’re saying is true, but if you’re not looking to live in Asia permanently, it might be a good opportunity! Otherwise, well… The best of luck to you :)

        • Natasia,

          Here’s my 2 cents about the contrast between BW’s overall experiences in Asia versus in Europe:

          Any AA woman who is serious about being on the path to marriage does not have time to waste fishing in closed and/or toxic pools of any sort.

          The overall pattern that I notice is that open-minded AA women go to Asia single, AND 99% of them are still single when they leave Asia. From what I can tell, many BW aren’t even asked out on dates by Asian men while living in Asia. Who has time for that sort of experience?

          Meanwhile, large numbers of open-minded AA women who go to Europe are able to find quality European husbands there. And they often settle down to live good lives there.

          It’s a matter of maximizing one’s odds for success.

          Expect Success!

          • Natasia says:

            Hmm… Maximizing one’s odds. Yeah, that’s a better point. LOL!

          • 2 cents says:

            Khadija, I know a 23 year old white girl who lived in Japan for 3 years and had maybe 3 dates. A lot of Asian men are very shy with foreign women of whatever race. Now I know Asian men who have emigrated from their countries and dated/married non-Asian women but they were the ones with the guts to up and leave. If you like Asian men your chances are much better here.

  21. Meena says:

    Thank you so much for this post! This is right up my alley and the alley of so many young women I know!

  22. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    Thank you for this post Khadija! I love the flow of information.

    “AAs were NOT among those who cashed in on the various short-term tech and housing booms/bubbles that happened along the way. AAs had very little to zero representation among the instant internet millionaires that were created during the late 90s and early 2000s tech boom. Same with our general absence among the instant real estate millionaires that were created by the housing boom.”

    I never even thought about this. You are right we missed 2-3 waves of potential great prosperity. I am keeping my eyes peeled for the next one because I know that there were those who prospered inspite of and even because of societal upheaval.

    I also think that you are right about the internet gatekeepers. There is talk of ip addresses running out, a kill switch, the government using spy software to create social media profiles etc.

    • MsMellody says:

      To:Oshun/Aphrodite

      I too have been thinking about the issue of the next “boom” in terms of making millions.
      One thing that I am seriously involved in is direct share purchasing, investing and paying a little more attention to my daily WSJ issues. ( Wall Street Journal)

      I have currently begun researching pharmaceutical companies that are actively pursuing/researching the drugs of tomorrow. As has been talked about and discussed ad nauseum here and at sights all over the sphere – the issue of Obesity, Diabetes is hot in the pharma world.

      That is because of this growing epidemic of obesity and it’s ugly cousin “adult onset diabetes”.

      While I continue to workout and eat right I am still looking and have been actively investing in these pharmaceutical companies. I know this may sound macabre, but this is in my opinion the next wave where we could make millions.

      • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

        Thank you Miss Melody. I appreciate you sharing this. I don’t think its macabre at all. I have read various articles where obesity is now international. So I can see the potential here.

    • Oshun/Aphrodite & MsMellody,

      Maybe I’m not understanding what’s being said. And maybe you’re already doing at least some business online. If so, please forgive my error.

      But if not, why are y’all talking about the “next” boom if you’re not taking advantage of the current one? I don’t understand that. You’re having this conversation on the current “boom”—the internet.
      ____________________________________

      To The Audience In General,

      Are y’all waiting for something to shut down your access to making money online? If so, why are you waiting for that to happen? Why aren’t more of you taking advantage of this opportunity while it’s here? Other people are already on this like white on rice.

      Expect Success!

      • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

        Hello Khadija!

        I do have two alternative income streams that are totally internet based.

        Just looking out for “extra” and hopefully “easier” is all.

        • Oshun/Aphrodite,

          I’m delighted to hear that you’re already tapping into the internet income streams! {deep martial arts bow}

          And please accept my apology if it seemed like I was pouncing on you and MsMellody; that was NOT my intention. Here’s my concern:

          AAs are very, very good at talking a good game about various business-related activities. In fact, among many edu-ma-cated AAs it’s expected that folks will talk a good verbal game about entrepreneurship. Meanwhile, despite all this sophisticated-sounding talk about bid-ness, there’s almost NO action taking place.

          That’s my concern. That concern is the reason why I’ll periodically ask folks (in real life as well as online) “What’s up?” past a certain point during business-opportunity types of conversations. The Gathering Storm is upon us. We can’t afford to continue along with our Sophisticated Talk-No Action traditions anymore.

          Expect Success!

          • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

            No worries. It is more work than I ever imagined, but I am so emotionally invested that I can’t walk away.

      • MsMellody says:

        Hi Khadija,

        Okay, this is where I am going to connect with you directly!!! I am definitely looking for ways to make another income stream through this *currently* open avenue called the internet.

        I am a grad student and I invest in Big Pharma companies – direct share purchasing.
        So yes I am one of those ed-u-ma-cated AA’s who is actively and I mean ACTIVELY!!!! looking for other income streams.
        I am currently going through all of your previous posts, comments that focus on these opportunities – and let me add your audience is so amazing!!! I have learned about so many many things that I have always had an interest in..and even some info I never knew existed. I share this info with my young nieces and nephews with the hope that they will always work, stretch and grow with activity in their dreams.

        And in regards to my comment about the investing in Big Pharma..and other info like it, I just wanted to share my excitement about this avenue.

        Thank you Khadija – your words REALLY woke me up to get back on this search for current income streams through the net. I would love to email you directly with questions – only about what you have already stated about these opportunities here!!!

  23. Chris says:

    Khadijah – Thank you so much for this post. Moving abroad is something that has been on my mind for a while. This post encourages me to put that plan into action.

    All the ladies – Thank you for the website suggestions. Some I had heard of before, some I hadn’t. It’s always a good thing to enlarge my knowledge base.

  24. lunanoire says:

    I have yet to read all the comments, but recommend the following book that I borrowed from the library:

    How to Retire Overseas:Everything you need to know to live well (for less) abroad
    by Kathleen Peddicord
    Hudson Street Press

  25. lunanoire says:

    As a reminder to sojourners at the early stages regarding food independence:

    Even if you don’t own your own land or an apartment deck, you can still learn gardening skills by searching for (1) local community gardens to sign up for a plot & (2) local gardening nonprofits that use volunteer labor to grow food for underserved populations. In exchange for your labor, you get to learn, interact w/ like-minded people, and learn about access to garden-tool lending programs and free seeds. Ironically, it may be even easier to find space if you’re in an environment that has experienced significant decline like Detroit b/c there is so much vacant land. It’s best to leave a place like Detroit, but there are skills you can develop in the meantime.

  26. FoxyCleopatra says:

    Re anti-kraak:

    This is becoming a serious problem in western and northern Europe as a lot of these countries have some very silly and lax laws when it comes to squatters. Here in the UK, several ppl have had their houses damaged when they went on holiday etc. I would not be surprised if schemes like anti-squatter schemes begin to pop up here as well. Also considering the ever increasing rent costs especially in cities like london, having something like that would be a god-send.

    I’ve heard of schemes in America where homeowners actually pay you to ‘house-sit’ when selling their house.

    Re Reagan:
    I’m completely baffled as to why ronald reagan is held in the esteem he is. Growing up, I always thought he was some magnificient president from the way ppl spoke about him but I remeber my dad would always disagree and say ‘look at his policies’. Now that I’m older I actually understand what my dad was on abt

    Re Obama:

    With me, its gotten to the point where I can barely even stand to listen to him talk! I remeber b4 the election where he was accused of being style over substance. 2 years into office, we see how true that is.

    Look at the MAIN things he campaigned on, NOT A SINGLE ONE has been enacted! He is so willing to compromise on things to appease pple that are vested in seeing his administration fail. I’m sorry to be so harsh but the guy is coming across as a spineless FOOL! The demographic that supported him the most (AAs) are going to be those he ignores the most! How is it that I, living across the Atlantic can see this but the AAs who will (and are) actually be affected by his domestic policy decisions can’t? Is it that AAs are unable or just unwilling to see that when it comes down to it, they are the first group this guy will throw under the bus?!

    Re relocating:

    It is very true that knowing the general demographic as well as the attitudes to foreigners of ppl in the country you want to move to is essential. I’ve heard of a number of AAs who went to China to teach English. All interviews etc were done over the phone. When the person arrived in China and the employers saw they were black, the job all of a sudden became unavailable or the person was no longer suitable for the post. This was all after they had been offered the job and already moved to the country. I’ve also heard some Africans talking about going over to India for business and hotel owners lying about their hotels being full. However, with Asian countries, if you really favour that region, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and possibly Taiwan and Malaysia are countries with less of those type of xenophobic attitudes especially for black/dark skinned people.

    • FoxyCleopatra,

      You said, “This is becoming a serious problem in western and northern Europe as a lot of these countries have some very silly and lax laws when it comes to squatters.”

      Yes, I see. That’s all quite strange…I’m sure there must be an extremely interesting political history behind those peculiar laws about squatters.

      You said, “Here in the UK, several ppl have had their houses damaged when they went on holiday etc.”

      Lord have mercy…

      Expect Success!

    • ak says:

      Thanks for all of this FoxyCleopatra especially about the part about squateers in the UK because it is true, and the warning about moving to certain parts of Asia even after you’ve gotten a job there.

  27. FoxyCleopatra says:

    Another reason why it is essential to know and understand local attitudes and demographic is that you will find it easier ti fit in/adjust and also will be less likely to ‘other’ yourself.

    Its not just language but also how people behave in public. Some norms tolerated in one place may not be tolerated in another.

  28. Angelyca says:

    The anti-kraak system is very interesting and a great opportunity to capitalize on. I do wonder however, what types of neighborhoods these anti-kraak leases are available in? I’m thinking that homes and apartments aren’t abandoned in good neighborhoods, so that these low-rent leases may come with the drawback of an unsafe environment. Of course, clearly I need to do more reading on the system because I’m not familiar with it at all. Thank you for the links to more information Khadija.

    Also, shameless plug for the sciences again. Another poster wrote about science and public health opportunities in Singapore. I co-sign, and want to mention that there are post-doctoral fellowships open to US citizens for work in Scandinavia. Norway has a booming biotech industry as well. See: http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/2002/020502/full/nj0042.html

    • Angelyca,

      You’re welcome!

      You said, “The anti-kraak system is very interesting and a great opportunity to capitalize on. I do wonder however, what types of neighborhoods these anti-kraak leases are available in? I’m thinking that homes and apartments aren’t abandoned in good neighborhoods, so that these low-rent leases may come with the drawback of an unsafe environment. Of course, clearly I need to do more reading on the system because I’m not familiar with it at all.”

      That’s an excellent question—Sojourners MUST think through the various angles about everything! One of the links in the post touches on that question:

      Dutch anti-squatting business thrives amid economic crisis
      Guido, a penniless student, could hardly believe his luck when offered lodging in the heart of Amsterdam at a fraction of the going rate — a boon thanks to the credit crunch as property owners desperately fend off squatters.

      In the meantime, companies like “Anti-Kraak BV” have identified a niche.

      “We offer owners numerous advantages: by putting in occupants we discourage squatting and vandalism,” explained Joost Koenders, director of Anti-Kraak BV, which manages nearly 400 addresses in Amsterdam.

      Owners, who don’t pay anything for the service, “can claim back their property at any time,” said Koenders. Occupants are given two weeks to move out.

      Anti-Kraak BV, which employs about 20 people countrywide, makes its money from the monthly payments of occupants — mainly students, but also artists looking for studios. No rental agreements are signed, but rather a “utilisation contract”.

      “Whatever the economic situation, there is always unoccupied real estate,” said Koenders. “With the economic crisis, the quality of the buildings we have under management is a lot better.”

      To date, Anti-Kraak has managed mainly empty offices, buildings threatened with demolition or industrial wasteland.

      “Now, many private home owners battling to sell their properties are also coming to us,” said Koenders.

      Expect Success!

      • Angelyca says:

        I see, thank you very much! I think that it is a good idea then for BW to plan to use this system for short terms only.

        For example, first obtain permits to live in the Netherlands. Working as a student, au pair, post-doc, etc will allow you to build up a time of residency and rent a small apartment on a lease.

        To save up money to use in the future (developing alternate means of income, purchasing a house/leasing a larger flat, financing other personal development items), using the cheap anti-kraak agreement will free up extra funds for the future.

    • geekgrl says:

      Squatting can happen in good neighborhoods too. Maybe you’ll get to house sit a mansion.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1356924/Guy-Ritchies-6-mansion-raided-squatters-plan-set-school.html

  29. SweetIslandGirl says:

    I’m not American however, as an outsider looking in I can see why and how Obama’s administration has resulted in its current state of affairs.

    Its a lesson to many of us who are looking to make the impossible possible and should serve as what we should not do when we get there. If anyone has ever had a chance to pick up Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power and read it cover to cover, take a look at Obamas 2 years in office and it will be clear how many of these laws Obama has broken and why he is at this perplexing state.

    I think the 48 Laws of Power can be applied not only to work but also in our other endevours be it alternative income streams, relationships etc. The Finishing School thread is now closd to comments (it was another raving success in my opinion) but I would like to share this book and offer up another amazing book By Robert Greene titled the Art of Seduction.

    I think coupled with the 48 Laws of Power and the great advice and resources offered up on this and other great BWE blogs then a sojourner can become a smart, and feminine force to be reckoned with and avoid the Obama mistakes that he has and is continuing to make.

    • Natasia says:

      YES!!! I absolutely love, love LOVE The Art of Seduction! I’m definitely checking out 48 Laws of Power!!!
      Thanks :)

      • SweetIslandGirl says:

        Its an eye opener isnt it? Reading these books your bound to come across a chapter that reminds you of a situation where someone did to you or happened around you. Knowledge is power and what a epiphany these books can be. Its a mistake for us to subscribe to the ideology that life isnt a game or repeat nonsense mantras like, “I refuse to get caught up in office politics or playing games”. Life is a game, and office politics are real and it only benefits you to learn the rules and decide which angle your going to play or become a victim.

        We should not allow ourselves to be lulled into submission. I believe this is also a sympton of the “keeping it real” mantra in the BC. The mentality of telling it like it is, no holds barred, take it or leave it is not the way the world works. And this is what we hear growing up but when we get out into the real world things are not so and we become disillusioned and jaded.

    • Robynne says:

      The Art of Seduction is an excellent book, which is applicable to romantic and business relationships. I have a copy of this book. It will also give you the tools to break into networks that Khadija blogged about earlier.

      “The mentality of telling it like it is, no holds barred, take it or leave it is not the way the world works. ”

      Yep. This also tends to expose your vulnerabilities, because more often than not these “keeping it real” individuals are not doing this strategically. It only serves to weaken you, since you’ve given your opponent all the necessary tools that he or she needs to defeat you.

  30. miss cosmic says:

    Khadija, thank you so much for this post, and to everyone else for sharing information so willingly.

    Excellent post Khadija, as always.
    :)

  31. Neecy says:

    Khadija,

    Thank you for this post. I know some have mentioned the internet boom and cashing in. I am currently working on this myself – focusing on entertainment. There is SOOOO much so many BW can do to create our & pioneer own media platforms in non traditional ways.

    About 8 years ago I wanted so bad to create a cable network channel and became overwhlemed at all the nuances and money it would take to accomplish this in the traditional way. NOW Psssh! There are so many ways for BW looking to create media outlets to begin online. We don’t need cable or regular TV now to create media outlets. I believe the entertianment industry (a route that has interested me since childhood) is going to be doing much of its work through the internet and vairous other sources.

    And I can do this from anywhere in the world. I am starting some computer classes this spring to get the basics. then I will be taking a certificate course at a University in the evenings on more advanced computer sources.

    Some may be sayin “why are you telling this outloud so others could jump on your idea” I WANT other BW to be aware. I know my plans are unique but i still want to see more BW in the online entertainment market. We need it b/c eventually this will be difficult to penetrate as more entertainment powerhouses start creating their own paths.

  32. Formavitae says:

    I don’t know if I’ll get any responses at this point. But, I’ve been thinking of possibly relocating WITHIN the U.S., once I’ve completed my degree (for at least a time). I am currently interested in Seattle (or other areas in Washington), Oregon, and/or Colorado. Does anyone know what the “climate” is like for BW who are interested in IRR? Are the areas hospitable to BW and places where they can enjoy their lives fully? If someone could share their perspective/experience, I would greatly appreciate it. I’m from Ohio, and I feel like I need a change of “scenery”. Also, if any other BW are in IRR (MARRIAGES particularly) and are finding a hospitable and supportive environment for their families elsewhere, I would love to hear about your location, so that I can do further research. (I want a family with a non-BM, and I intend to make that happen.) Thanks.

    • Yellow Moon says:

      Hello, Formavitae –

      I lived for years in San Francisco and Portland, OR, and have lived elsewhere in the U.S. I also travel throughout the U.S. currently as part of my job.

      It is merely my opinion, but I think the Pacific Northwest (from San Francisco up to the Canadian border) is the best area of the country for BW to date IR. Period. I know some would disagree with me and say, no, it’s NYC, or Hawaii, or Colorado. But I think it’s that strip from SF to Seattle.

      Just my opinion; take it for what it’s worth.

      • Selena says:

        ITA agree Yellow Moon,

        However Seattle is VERY expensive. The weather and the cost of living are the two most common complaints. The weather will keep you in an ongoing state of depression if you’re used to sunshine. If I could move anywhere within the country based on IRRs and the cost of living/job opportunities, I’d moved back to Colorado in a heart beat!

    • Faith Dow says:

      Having lived in San Francisco for a decade I can tell you there are a lot of single people within the Metro area but families tend to live across the Bay into Oakland or on the opposite side Marin. It’s expensive and CA is bankrupt – or at least continually misdirecting funds to support illegal immigrant (bilingual education, in-state tuition, driver’s licenses, health coverage) and they’ve lost millions due to the massive rates of foreclosures because property values are so grossly inflated. Of course many are still doing quite well and the tech industry is still booming so it all depends. I agree about the Pacific NW – just bear in mind it rains a lot! Since more CA residents have moved there the property values have gone up (the same way they did in Nevada before things went bust there). IRR couples are not getting a second glance on the Left Coast. The other thing to consider is the lower population of blacks overall. CA has less than 6% (SF it was 3%). I’m not qualifying that as a good or bad thing, it just makes for a different lifestyle than living in areas where there are more blacks. I’m also not indicating any particular set of class or education background of those residents.

      • Formavitae says:

        Faith,

        Thanks for responding. I’ve heard that California is very diverse, but I haven’t really been convinced that it’s “my kind of place”. I’ve read that there are alot of tensions between Blacks and Hispanics in certain areas. I really don’t feel like dealing with that. I’ve heard it’s really beautiful, though. Personally, I prefer more moderate temperatures. I don’t like it much hotter than 65. Lol! I guess it’s the Midwestern girl in me. But, it sounds like a move to the West coast could be good for a BW’s social horizons, in general. And, that’s what I need. Take care!

  33. sali says:

    Formavitae,

    I have a lot of experience with Oregon. In the 90s Oregon (the Portland metro area) was said to have had the largest percentage of interracial relationships of anywhere in the country. I don’t know where that statistic came from, though I heard it often, but I’d believe it because I’d never seen so many biracial and multiracial people in my life. Back then it was almost always black men and white women. I don’t know how the pickins are for black women looking specifically for white men, but I do know that interracial relationships are pretty normal there.

    My family and I thought we might need to make a home in the US for a while before we left the country and Oregon was at the top of my list. For those who plan to buckle down at home and are looking for states, Oregon is one of your best bets. It has plenty of fresh water which means not only drinking but food. It borders the Pacific, which is more food in hard times. They have a very strong culture of appreciating and protecting natural resources. It has plenty of fertile land, and in the Portland area and many of the suburbs around it there is a real movement toward community living, which will be essential for the coming hard times when those who live well, will be those who do so collectively.

    Depending on where you are from, real estate can seem pricey there, but not out of the reach of a financially stable and sensible person making 50k or more. Of course, you could get by with less depending on your lifestyle. When I say “there”, I’m referring to the Portland metro area and the surrounding suburbs like Beaverton, Tigard etc. Salem is cheaper, but also less diverse, a little more rural minded and there is a lot less going on in terms of culture and entertainment. Oregon does have its share of redneckery, but over the years and my many visits there with my “rainbow” family, I’ve never had so much as a sideways glance.

    I’ve lived in Texas and California with my Arab, though phenotypically white, husband. He’s blond with blue-eyes and very fair skin, so people looking at us assume us to be an American black-white couple. We have three children. We are outdoors people and do a lot of camping and hiking which can lead us to some pretty rural areas. Aside from one incident when a woman at a rest stop ran to me and breathlessly exclaimed that “that white man has your daughter!” (lol) we’ve never experienced any ill treatment even in Texas. Mind you, I’m a hijab-wearing Muslim woman, even then the worst thing I’ve experienced were a few confused stares when I speak unaccented English to people. I’ve had black female friends in Texas and here in California who have established families with men of the world and I’ve never heard them complain about a racially hostile environment.

    I wouldn’t recommend Texas or California, though. The Pacific NW is the way to go if you don’t plan to leave the U.S.

  34. Formavitae says:

    To Yellow Moon and sali,

    Thanks for taking the time to share with me. I’ve been drawn to the Pacific NW because of its diverse natural beauty. And, I’ve heard that Oregon is more “forward-thinking”, as it pertains to development issues. I’m happy to learn that the areas of the U.S. in which I have the most interest are hospitable to BW and their freedoms. Thanks again.

    P.S. What you shared about that woman warning you about the white man with your daughter was funny.

  35. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    “I’ll be blunt: I think probably not. Not as long as we are meticulous about being good guests wherever we go; and about maintaining the distinction between us as African-Americans versus all these other “fugee”-type of folks from the 3rd world who are pouring into Europe”

    Thank you for your response Khadija!

  36. sali says:

    Formavitae,

    I thought it was hilarious, and because I believe she was sincere I was also appreciative. My poor husband wasn’t amused, though. Bless his heart.

    Good luck and Godspeed on your hunting in the NW :0).

  37. ***Note to Readers***

    In making this site the kind of project that’s sustainable for me over the long-run, I’ve had to streamline how I handle certain things. The comments section is one of them. What this means is that I’ll give substantive responses to those folks who enter the conversations early (as I did across the board at the previous blog).

    After each post is a couple of days old, I’ll generally continue to publish new comments from readers. But, after a each post is a couple of days old, I generally WON’T continue responding to new comments. In other words, I’ll continue to publish comments to this post, but I’m not going to reply to any more comments in this thread. Please feel free to continue talking among yourselves.

    Expect Success!

  38. Godelive says:

    For those of you that are law students or lawyers or professionals working in the alcoholic beverage industry, there’s a two-week course (entirely in English) entitled “Wine & Law in the European Union” taking place in the wine region of France this summer (Champagne) from June 20 – July 1, 2011. It’s sponsored by the University of Reims and is geared to students in law, economics, marketing, business administration, and oenology; to professionals working in the wine and the alcohol beverage industry; to researchers on wine issues; and to public servants working on relevant questions. How I wish they had something like this when I graduated from law school! Here’s the link:

    http://www.wine-law.org/en/summer-course.php?statutdu=ouvert

    I would check out if there are any scholarship opportunities if you are interested. The deadline is May 1, 2011. This would be a great opportunity to learn about a dynamic field, make some contacts in the EU, and set yourself up for the possibility of living and working abroad on a more permanent basis.

    On another note, for those of you in Chicago following the projected outcome of the mayoral election (Rahm Emanuel being declared the winner), say it with me: “Peace walls”. I believe he’s going to get medieval on folk.

    • mobile68 says:

      Godelive said:
      “On another note, for those of you in Chicago following the projected outcome of the mayoral election (Rahm Emanuel being declared the winner), say it with me: “Peace walls”. I believe he’s going to get medieval on folk.”

      Yep.
      That’s what happens when you have disillusioned folk running amok.

      I’m tryin’ like mad to see myself a way out of Illi-noise by the end of spring beginning of the summer. Because anyone from Chicago knows, usually what’s done in Chicago sets the tone for the whole state.

    • Robynne says:

      Thank you!!! :) I will be checking out that link ASAP.

      And thanks for the forum where wonderful ideas can be exchanged Khadija!

    • Sylvia says:

      Thanks for the information Godelive!!! You are correct, one of the fastest growing types of law is wine law (and patenting as it relates to recipe formulas)!!!! I am seriously considered it as I have friends who own their own highly successful wineries and vineyards. (I have worked 25 years in family/general civil litigation fields of law and sooooo ready to do something off the beaten path.) Who would have thunk?!? :D

  39. ak says:

    I had a friend when I used to live back in NYC, she’s a white American musician, but when she finally got herself a her first passport after years and years the first place she went to was Amsterdam with her good friend, and I believe that he got them both set up in somebody’s ‘anti-kraak’ to stay in for those one to two weeks(?). Because she did say that they were staying in a squat of some kind that wasn’t paid for yet wasn’t grimy or seedy either.

    She said that some liberal, ‘protester’ crowd of young people were living in this squat, or as you say Khadija, ‘anti-kraak’. But yeah my friend enjoyed seeing Amsterdam for the first time ever and finally getting out of the US for a little bit. Now she lives semi-permanently in Denmark somewhere with her Danish musician husband; I think she has dual citizenship now.

  40. CeeGeeR says:

    During the early years of my marriage my husband and I seriously thought about moving abroad to live. We have both traveled overseas. We discussed what country would best suit us and what our career options were. After my second child though we put that idea on the back burner but haven’t completely forgotten about it.

    A good friend of mine did an internship overseas and ended up marrying a native of that country and staying over there. I had the opportunity to visit her. Her life there was SO VERY DIFFERENT and BETTER than the one she left back in the States.

    But what made my girlfriends stay easier for her was that she has a graduate degree from an elite University. That made it easier for her to begin a career overseas. Although I don’t think it would be impossible for someone like me with an undergraduate degree.

    So I think living overseas is a great idea especially for Sojourner’s, and having options for working there will be increased when before making that leap, one learns the language, and about the culture. And also if one can add value to that country through one’s own repertoire of talents, skills and education.

    I see myself living overseas with an online business I am starting up now. I wouldn’t be hesitant to move because my children are small either. It would be a great cultural experience for them, for all of us.

  41. FoxyCleopatra says:

    Please pple shouldn’t confuse ‘anti-kraak’ (ie anti-squatting schemes) with squatting. They are the opposite. Someone above posted a link to pple sqautting in Guy Ritchie’s place. That’s the OPPOSITE of anti-kraak. Someone above also mentioned her friend going to Denmark and living rent free with a grp of liberal protesters or somthn. It was most likely squatting as well. Squatters are generally viewed as a menace. Its usually the travellers/gypsy/Romany populations u see doing it round Europe but they seemed to have the sense to do it in abandoned houses/fields where they then set up their travelling communities. However, of recent, you see all sorts doing it but they go into:

    -houses where the owners are away (eg on holiday)
    -houses being put up for sale (they break in and lie that the house was already broken into)
    -houses where renovation work is being or about to be carried out on.

    My reason for saying all this is so that if any of you decide to take advantage of this, you are actually doing it as ‘anti-kraak’ consumers (thereby helping the homeowners prevent squatters from taking their place). If a lot of you misunderstand this post, and begin taking advantage of lax squatting laws in these countries by becoming squatters yourselves, I don’t need to tell you how short it will take for ppl in those countries to begin to then view and stereotype immigrant AA women as squatters. Even if you are a minority of pple doing it, you’ll be an easy target and trust me, that is one collective stereotype you do not want to cultivate here in Europe.

    I only felt the need to say this because I am getting the feeling that some pple may be deriving that conclusion from this post.

    • geekgrl says:

      Ye, the article was about a squatting problem but I posted the link to show that squatters sometimes target homes in good neighborhoods. So those interested in ‘anti-kraak’ don’t have to worry that their only options are to rent in a bad/lower quality neighborhood.

  42. FoxyCleopatra says:

    @geekgrl,

    Ok, its alright, I just wanted to point it out for the sake of readers who may interprete it that way. No probs.

  43. CeeGeeR says:

    @Karen, how much research have you done on New Zealand? I have a friend who’s husband is an American diplomat. My friend is biracial and her husband is Caucasian. Their children look Caucasian. She and her family lived in New Zealand for a few years. She reported that many of the population were white South Africans that left Johannsburg after apartheid. They were racist South Africans. My girlfriend can pass as Caucasian herself. She said she heard some unbelievably racist things about the indigenous people there. I don’t know how this would affect African Americans moving or traveling to New Zealand but it’s worth further looking into. I think you mentioned Singapore, my husband visited Singapore in his teens and still talks about how clean it was.

  44. JJ says:

    Knowing how to live off the land is a valuable skill that anyone with a backyard can start to learn through gardening. Even a box garden is a great learning tool to understand vegetable and crop growth & rotation.

    I’m blessed to be a rural girl and connected to other rural people. So I wouldn’t experience any shock if we had to return to hunting game, fishing, drying meat & canning vegetables. I helped my grandmother do all of those domestic seasonal duties and my husband is a crack shot. He’s not bad handling a horse either.

    It also is handy to know a man (or learn yourself) that can fix cars and machinery. Welding is a great skill too.

    I realize these things may sound odd to full-fledged urban folk, but many of my people have kept their rural tendencies going while living in the city.

    If things got REALLY bad, we would likely go live amongst my husband’s tribe near Alaska. His family is prominent in their tribe so if his mother welcomed us, there’s not a whole lot other folk could say. Here come the Black Indians! lol

  45. Everybody,

    I’ll probably get back to the Exit Strategies series during the next Sojourner’s Passport Confidential dispatch. In the meantime, I’m now closing the comments to this particular post.

    Expect Success!