Full Circle—Back to Sharecropping

“FULL CIRCLE”

During a recent email conversation, a friend said (she’s graciously given me permission to quote her):

At the end of slavery, our former people had nothing and due to not addressing the issues stated above, our former people have managed to arrive right back where they started – to have nothing of their own.

I said I wasn’t going to publish new blog posts that directly touch on these sorts of issues, but I’m making an exception in this case. The recent Wall Street Journal news story that a friend and I have been discussing, Much Ado About Straightening: Old Black Salons Face New Rivals marks the end of an era for African-Americans. This news story represents one of the last few surviving canaries dropping dead in the coal mine.

The African-American (mis)leadership class is feckless and foolish. The masses of African-Americans are deluded. They’ve been riding a merry-go-round for over a century. They think they’re getting somewhere, but they’re not. They’re going around in circles. And, without realizing it, the entire merry-go-round platform is descending and moving backwards as they ride. Even as African-Americans continue our free fall into permanent underclass status, many of us believe that we’re doing just fine because there’s a Black face and family in the White House. As the Black Agenda Report story Living a Black Fantasy: The Obama Delirium Effect noted, “Majorities of African Americans told Pew pollsters Blacks were better off in 2009 than five years before, when by all economic measurements the opposite was true.”

We’ve gone backwards in terms of racial and ethnic self-respect. The “paper bag test” has escalated into a “manila folder and lighter” test. The only thing that has changed is the terminology we use to describe our escalating colorism. In the modern era, we tell lies about our internal, self-imposed racial discrimination against darker-skinned Blacks. We lie and say that we’re only celebrating “all of who we are,” and so on. Nobody is fooled by this. Other people just don’t say anything to our faces about what they see us doing.

During this email conversation, I said,

{sigh} First the Koreans took over the Black hair products and beauty supply stores. Now the Dominicans are elbowing their way into direct hair care servicing of AA women. Of course, this is all ONE-way. Koreans and Dominicans are NOT trying to patronize AA-owned anything. {another long sigh}

I can see where this is going. Ultimately AA women will be shut OUT of the hair salon business. Nobody except AA women patronizes AA hair stylists. Once the AA client base is gone, that’s it.

MY FRIEND’S SOBERING ANALYSIS

In response, my friend said:

Slavery was from roughly 1607 to 1865. That was over 250 years of unbroken indoctrination and brainwashing. Most of the plantation slaves (house or field) were permanently attached to the matrix. Those that were born of a free mind were either broken or killed but some managed to escape. This period of indoctrination deeply embedded in our former people’s psyche an inferiority complex, no loyalty to one another and a deep seated mistrust of blackness. Everything that was non-black was and continues to be perceived as better.

The period since slavery (1865-2010) or roughly 145 years has been a period of lost opportunities. What should have happened during reconstruction was to establish a period of introspection of the effects of slavery within the AA construct and to conscientiously undo the damage. In addition, consolidation of the African diaspora to become a “Nation within a nation”, would have also been the mechanism to make AAs a force to be reckoned with.

There were various attempts by a few who had vision to create a “Nation within a nation” but they always failed as the majority were still plantation slaves. The latest example being what you shared about the NOI.

Instead, the divide and conquer mentality had become firmly embedded in the DNA. The so-called “Talented 10th” such as W.E.B. DuBois also never were able or were unwilling to address the real elephant in the room – how to uplift a subjugated/defeated group of people to truly recognize and respect their self-worth to then be able to truly build an infrastructure.

There will always be those of us who either are born never being connected to the matrix or are able to free their minds from the matrix. However the vast majority will always be plantation slaves.

Now coming back to what is happening with black salons for me represents coming full circle. At the end of slavery, our former people had nothing and due to not addressing the issues stated above, our former people have managed to arrive right back where they started – to have nothing of their own.

. . . Unfortunately, I think it will be less than 5% of our former people (and probably closer to 1%) that will escape. This is the final chapter of our former people playing any significant role in the history of the U.S.

(emphasis added) Let me note that we’ve been using the phrase “our former people” because the masses of modern African-Americans are unrecognizable to those of us who have “old school,” traditional African-American values. They’ve become mutants, as far as I’m concerned. In every way that matters, they’ve become somebody else.

WHAT’S YOUR ABUNDANCE PLAN?

We’ve talked about this before during several conversations at the previous blog. For this conversation, please read the post If You’re Not On One of These 10 Roads to Riches, You’re Heading Toward the Poorhouse. Let’s recap:

  • You can’t depend on a single source of income.
  • You can’t depend on a “good job.”
  • The “Man Plan” is a good one, but you need a fallback plan in case your quality husband is hit by a drunk driver.
  • You can’t depend on anything that depends on support from African-Americans (as demonstrated, yet again, by the Wall Street Journal story).

For this conversation, I don’t want to discuss any more analyses of the problem. Those of us who are sojourners know what’s wrong. I’m only going to publish comments that answer and discuss the following 4 questions:

  • Which roads to riches are you willing to follow?
  • Which roads to riches are you already following?
  • Which roads to riches are you preparing yourself to follow?
  • What materials are you reading that are helping you prepare to get on various roads to riches? [If you haven’t already done so, this is a hint to start looking at the materials mentioned during the immediately preceding post, A Storehouse of Free Classic Personal Development Ebooks.]

**Addendum** All current and aspiring Black business owners are strongly encouraged to check out the follow-up post, If You’re a Black Business Owner Who Wants to Succeed, Leave the African-American Consumer Behind. It could mean the difference between success and failure.

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85 Responses to “Full Circle—Back to Sharecropping”

  1. ak says:

    I have seen the light now Khadija and I was wrong! You’re right.

    And thank you to Muse, FoxyCleopatra, and Karen because a few of those books you have mentioned I will be buying and reading because I believe that they will change my life once I become more aware of their ideas and implement their solutions.

  2. NijaG,

    Thank you for your kind words about the blog; I truly appreciate it. Carry on with what you’re doing—onward and forward!
    ______________________________________________

    Tracy!

    Oh yes, at the previous blog I warned folks about the rigors of P90X. {chuckling} I’m delighted to hear that you’re back on track. Temporary setbacks seem to be a part of most successful journeys—the road is not a smooth incline.

    You mentioned that future, yet-to-be-written, classic book,” Make that Bastard Marry You (just kidding). {chuckling} Well, it needs to be written. I’m honored that my offering was mentioned in the same company with it. {more chuckling}

    Carry on with what you’re doing—onward and forward!
    _______________________________________________

    AK,

    Well, the situation regarding Black-owned businesses and AA consumers is what it is. Aspiring AA business owners need to face reality, and find a working business plan—one that does NOT depend on AA support.

    Expect Success!

  3. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    Thank you Khadija for this! I appreciate all the links and information that you posted!

    I also appreciate all the wonderful tips and inspirational stories that other Sojourners have shared about how they are preparing and moving forward!

    Right now I am overwhelmed. I have 30 irons in the fire.

    I am about to graduate and in the process of applying to several doctoral programs. Digging for scholarship, fellowships etc…

    Still plodding along with the service/product websites/defending my intellectual property. I actually got hacked this morning and have been dealing with the joy of that – forums, blogs, everything.

    I have been freelancing to get immediate cash money in my pocket. Myself and some of my more functional family members have been working together as a de facto moving/painting/cleaning/landscaping company. There have been some short writing and filming assignments.

    I have put myself on a tight budget – vigorously saving anything and everything – offbrand, steep sales, reuse, repurpose. I have been decluttering and I sell/barter a lot. I figure getting 10 -20 dollars for something I no longer want is better than just chucking it.

    I am taking a break from dating, but I keep attracting these 18-19 yo teenagers – which is too creepy.

    Keeping my weight down, but getting frustrated. It getting hard for me to find fat in anything.

    I own of the books mentioned and I may have to dust them off then add a few others that were mentioned.

  4. Lisa99 says:

    Great post Khadija! This is making me think.

    I’m working on extra income streams by increasing my freelance writing output. I was doing this already, but it only helps to step up those efforts. I also have multiple side hustles in promotional modeling, magazine delivery, ad sales for the magazine and mystery shopping.

    I’m looking to transition into a different job that will pay about the same as my current one, but afford me more free time to pursue my interests.

    I’m getting married in the fall, so the future hubby and I will also have some joint plans to get our various ideas in place. He has a consulting job that pays well in addition to his full-time job.

    (Of course, I will also put money in my separate savings account so that I am not destitute if something happens to my partner!)

    I want to read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and I do have Think and Grow Rich. I need to dust that off and read it again!

  5. Oshun/Aphrodite,

    You’re welcome! Carry on with what you’re doing—onward and forward!
    _______________________________________________

    Lisa99,

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

    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! {happy dance} Carry on with what you’re doing—onward and forward!

    Expect Success!

  6. michele says:

    Which roads to riches are you willing to follow?
    I sew, and my mom works in the medical field as I used to
    so I plan to begin sewing uniforms and use the extra money to help fund my move from Mass to New York City.

    Which roads to riches are you already following?
    I went back to school after dropping out of high school ten years ago, and now I’m a semester short of having a degree in web programming. I was accepted to the Fashion Institute of Technology in March for Fall 2010 for Fashion Design. I plan to intern with some designers and eventually own my own business.
    I am also an author and plan to get off my tail and finish two novels I have been slacking on.

    Which roads to riches are you preparing yourself to follow?
    I’ve come to realize that the BIGGEST obstacle over the years to persuing my goals have been ME and my negative half *ssed attitude. So I am taking steps to changing who I am now to become
    who I want to be. I quit my job in March, it was making me a physical and emotional wreck, and I am concentrating on getting a web portfolio together and get a job doing what I’ve been training to do.

    What materials are you reading that are helping you prepare to get on various roads to riches?
    1. Suze Orman’s Young Fabulous and Broke
    2. The Fashion Designers Survival Guide
    3. The Laws of Thinking By E Benard Jordan
    4. If you have to Cry Go Outside by Kelly Cutrone(I don’t have it yet but I read an excerpt, so its on my Library List)
    5. The Entrepreneurs Guide to Home Based Business

  7. Because the “reply” feature can cause comments to get buried, let me repeat the response I gave to Anilia’s recent comment:

    Anilia,

    To me it’s very simple: If we (meaning those of us who have some semblance of common sense and self-respect) were representative of the masses of AAs, then the objective statistics about our ethnic group would NOT be what they are.

    Let me be clear: I’m NOT saying that any of what I’m about to describe applies to you.

    But I can tell that a lot of audience members assume that these are solely Black underclass and welfare recipient issues. They’re not. These various issues extend across class lines and have echoes throughout the entire AA collective.

    The high-falutin’ AA professional who would not be caught dead shopping in some slum Korean/Arab store is typically somebody who—just like the Black poor—also does NOT patronize Black businesses. Nor do they hire Black professionals for any of their needs. Somehow, everybody these “sophisticated” AA professional folks use is non-Black: from their doctor, to their dentist, to their tax person, to their real estate broker, to their insurance agent, and so on. There’s only one difference between the middle-class AA person’s unspoken boycott of Black businesses and the poor AA unspoken boycott of Black businesses. That is level of sophistication involved in their rationalization for their behavior.

    Dysfunctions are easier to spot with the Black poor/underclass because they lack the polish to “play it off.” The uneducated AA poor lack the edu-ma-cated fast talk needed to effectively: (1) rationalize what they’re doing; and (2) to conceal their true motives for what they’re doing.

    Let’s take Ms. Drew/Boo-Boo the Fool, for example. She has the vocabulary to play off what she’s doing as if it’s a savvy move on her part. And most AAs reading that article would accept her rationalization for what she’s doing at face value. Even though what she’s doing is quite stupid, and will ultimately be her own downfall. Until Karen and I picked that apart, I would guess that most people—even in this audience—did not question the idea that what she’s doing was a shrewd move for herself. Because Ms. Drew/Boo-Boo the Fool has reasonable-sounding (on the surface) patter to justify what she’s doing.

    Also, from my point of view, there are MASSIVE levels of denial within the AA collective. This denial is a large part of why our collective problems are so far gone and so deeply entrenched. Very few people are willing to ‘fess up about how far removed from human norms the MASSES of AAs have strayed. And so many of us engage in this denial across the board.

    1-Whenever the topic of DBRBM comes up, you will hear so many BW recite the mantra about how their “father, brother, cousin, uncle, nephew, and son” are “good BM.” I question that. The legions of DBRBM are related to somebody! DBRBM didn’t just drop to Earth from the moon. They’re part of some BW’s family. And I suspect that many of them are related to some of these BW who recite the mantra about how good their father, brother, cousin, and so on are.

    And DBRBM aren’t limited to the Black underclass. Some of the worst DBRBM I’ve observed are lawyers, doctors, and judges.

    2-I will also note that it’s not just the AA poor and underclass who patronize these Arab and Korean stores. If we tell the truth, then we know plenty of our peers who shop in those stores. With excuses like “I just stopped in there real quick after work to get some soda/cigarettes/whatever.” Whatever the single item was that they buy on those occassions, the point is that they spent that $2, $3, or $5.00 with people who have contempt for them. And did NOT spend that same money with an AA-owned business. Those $2, $3, or $5.00 purchases add up.

    3-As an AA business owner, I have “skin the game” with this issue. I can’t afford to “trip” about the nature and proclivities of AA consumers. Unlike those naive AA business owners that I’ve seen fail because they were deluded, y’all are NOT going to lull me into business failure by trying to cater to AA slaves who DON’T want to support any visibly Black-owned business!

    Like I said earlier, I refuse to buy into—or peddle—that snake oil. Because I’m not trying to destroy aspiring AA women’s businesses before they even start. Which is the end result of entertaining this “if only more AA-owned and operated businesses would do X,Y, and Z, then more AA consumers would patronize Black-owned businesses” fallacy.

    No, no, no. I want to succeed, and I want other AA businesswomen to succeed. I won’t entertain wishful-thinking-snake oil about the nature of the VAST MAJORITY of AA consumers.

    Expect success!

    • YMB says:

      Khadija,

      I’m responding respond since I was initially impressed with Ms. Drew. I didn’t intend to come across as saying I thought other AA business owners should find new and inventive, but ultimately pointless, ways of catering to AA markets. I was impressed over her having done something other than relying on appealing to AA’s imagined loyalty or consciences over supporting black businesses to save her shop. That was the writing on the wall I assumed she’d seen.

      Perhaps this is a short term solution for her to stay solvent while she makes a back up plan. After she so easily cut her black stylists loose, I’d hope she’s not foolish enough to think she can expect any loyalty from the Dominicans she replaced them with, but that’s beside the point. Maneuvers that will only succeed in making her the last AA beauty shop to go under, and which will aid another non-black group in gaining dominance over the AA hair care industry are nothing to admire or emulate.

      Thank you for making that abundantly clear.

      • YMB,

        You said, “I didn’t intend to come across as saying I thought other AA business owners should find new and inventive, but ultimately pointless, ways of catering to AA markets.”

        Oh no, that’s NOT how I interpreted your comments. Not at all. The people I had in mind are all the AAs I know in real life who have a looong laundry list of demands for Black-owned businesses. Yet, they somehow never patronize the (few) Black businesses that meet these various conditions that they claim are important to them.

        My point is that, during the typical “what Black businesses need to do” conversations, we (AAs) generally come up with all sorts of dishonest/denial-based nonsense for each other that we DON’T apply to outsiders. I believe that any Black business owner who takes that stuff to heart is setting themselves up to invest their money in business features that still WON’T have the desired result of increasing the number of AAs who patronize that business.

        Let me give an example of what I had in mind. I had a conversation with one of my cousins years ago. I don’t know how the topic came up, but we ended up talking about a local NOI-owned restaurant/bakery. [The Salaam Restaurant/Bakery] Well, he launched into this statement about how he had never patronized this particular establishment because he “doesn’t support everything Min. Farrakhan stands for.” After quizzing him, it turned out that he had never: been to a NOI lecture, read the NOI paper (the Final Call), or listened to an interview with Min. Farrakhan.

        Even though he had no objective basis for actually knowing anything at all about “what Min. Farrakhan stands for,” he used this as a pretext for never even investigating that business that the NOI had established in the middle of a relatively depressed AA neighborhood. A neighborhood that did NOT have real bakeries (as in something other than Dunkin Donuts—unlike the independent bakeries that exist in local White and Latino neighborhoods, including poor Latino neighborhoods)—certainly not bright, cheerfully lit bakeries with polite staff. And of course, this cousin claimed that these sorts of conditions (bright, cheerfully lit, polite staff) were extremely important in his shopping decisions. And that if a Black-owned business met these conditions, then he would shop there.

        He had never—not even once—gone into that bakery, even though at one point he lived not far from there.

        Anyhoo, I asked him if he knew what the folks at Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonalds, or the local White-owned chain grocery stores “stood for.” No, he didn’t. Nor did it ever occur to him to interpose “what they stand for” as a barrier to shopping with them or any other NON-Black business. This is one of many examples of what I’m talking about. We come up with demands and barriers to spending money that we ONLY apply to Black-owned businesses.

        In terms of Ms. Drew/Boo-Boo the Fool, my reaction wouldn’t be as harsh if her backstabbing of other AAs looked likely to save her in the end. I would still dislike it, but I wouldn’t be quite as disgusted. I understand self-interest and a person’s attempt to salvage something of their investment in their business.

        There’s a local Black-owned barbeque chain that has been around for many years. Well, from what I can tell, it appears that the BM owner mainly hires Mexican illegal aliens to work in his establishments (which are mainly located in various local Black neighborhoods).

        Now, I’ve always been p*ssed off about this practice of his (and I personally boycott his business for this reason—he also sells pizza and other dishes), but I do understand that maybe hiring easily replaced, illegal aliens for $2/hour is what creates his profit margin. All of which ultimately allows him to stay in business and tool around town in a Rolls Royce.

        Expect Success!

  8. Michele,

    Carry on with what you’re doing—onward and forward!

    Expect Success!

  9. diva says:

    My roads to riches:

    1.Re-reading Think and Grow Rich.
    2. Taking courses on computing etc. to expend my current side-business and not having to rely on my current unreliable source. Reading blogs, books etc. focusing on my business.
    3. Expanding my market base and contacts. Taking advantage of all contacts I get that are beneficial and reciprocal.
    4. Being more assertive in telling people point blank that they will not be given free services. This includes church, colleagues, etc.
    5. I give a person one chance to prove themselves with a task; they don’t follow through and I cut them loose.
    6. As for writers ( in know a few have mentioned this) but: don’t hesitate to write outside the ‘black’ market. Regardless of what publishers say about ‘diversity’ it is a niche market and a good writers should market their good writing to the most profitable places. Many publishing companies give higher advance to ‘mainstream’ (read white) books than black books and it makes more sense to go for the better paid market; esp. when you don’t have much $$$ in the beginning. Also, never rely solely on the writing aspect of the writing biz. Serve the multimedia, publishing, computing, speaking avenues with the $$$.

    • YMB says:

      Diva,

      “As for writers ( in know a few have mentioned this) but: don’t hesitate to write outside the ‘black’ market. Regardless of what publishers say about ‘diversity’ it is a niche market and a good writers should market their good writing to the most profitable places. Many publishing companies give higher advance to ‘mainstream’ (read white) books than black books and it makes more sense to go for the better paid market; esp. when you don’t have much $$$ in the beginning.”

      Especially don’t hesitate to do that considering that, as Khadija pointed out in an earlier post, white writers do not hesitate to get paid from telling the stories of other racial groups. This mentioned in passing in an article earlier this month, http://movies.yahoo.com/news/usmovies.thehollywoodreporter.com/world-trade-center-writer-joins-nwa-film:

      Having a white writer on black-themed projects, especially biopics, is a fairly recent trend. Sheldon Turner penned a draft of the Rick James project “Super Freak,” while Brad Kane wrote the draft of the Richard Pryor project that attracted director Bill Condon.

      Ice Cube is one of the main producers of this film and is apparently using his production company to get it made. I think he probably has enough leverage and pull to insist on getting an AA writer, but also probably doesn’t care about using it to give opportunities to other AAs.

    • KM says:

      6. I agree.

      I’ve been getting my feet wet writing IR stories but I know when I decide to start writing for pay, I’m going to write mainstream (i.e. White) romance stories. Why limit ourselves to niche markets, especially when those niche markets are already pretty full?

  10. Bruce says:

    Congratulations Lisa!

  11. ***Note to Readers***

    In making this new 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. (That meet the commenting guidelines as set forth at the previous blog—those who are unfamiliar can read the comment “box” at the previous blog.)

    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. FYI. Please feel free to talk among yourselves!

    Expect Success!

  12. Loren says:

    I really like the dialogue here.

    Afew things I plan to do:

    I have worked in the beauty industry as a makeup artist for many years. I plan to obtain my comostogolist license and also get license in estetics and nail care. I will open a business that caters to african american natural curly hair.

    A also plan to start a seasonal baking business during the upcoming holiday season.

    I also wanted to add that there are TWO AA business owners that were referenced in WJ article. Ms. Drew does not own the salon she owns Roundbrushhair.com that sells domican hair products. Monica Clark is the salon owner that offers dominican styling.

    I’m pretty new to your blog…so please forgive me if this has been dicussed but I personally consider Domicans to be “black” as in part of the African disapora. So in that vein wouldn’t they still be a “black” business? Or is the differential being american born black? Again I am just trying to gain more understanding of the dynamics of this conversation.

    Thank you for reading my comments.

    L.

  13. Loren,

    Since you’re a new visitor, I’m temporarily dipping back into the conversation to respond to your question. You said, “I’m pretty new to your blog…so please forgive me if this has been dicussed but I personally consider Domicans to be “black” as in part of the African disapora. So in that vein wouldn’t they still be a “black” business? Or is the differential being american born black? Again I am just trying to gain more understanding of the dynamics of this conversation.”

    I’ve discussed my views about this topic in several other posts, but I’ll do a recap here. The purpose of this blog is as stated in the masthead subtitle: Lifestyle optimization for African-American women. Some of the issues discussed have parallels among other types of Black folks, but my primary focus is on furthering the interests of my OWN ethnic group. The same way most non-AA people prioritize their own specific ethnic groups.

    (1) I believe that talk of “African diaspora” sets up African-Americans (AAs) to be manipulated and exploited by other Black ethnic groups. It’s been my experience that most other types of racially Black folks only talk that “African diaspora” talk when they want something from AAs or when there’s something to be gained from talking that talk. In most other contexts, they identify by their specific non-AA ethnic group ONLY.

    It’s very similar to how many, many Latinos only talk that “people of color” talk when they want something from AAs or when there’s something to be gained from talking like that. In most other contexts, most Latinos claim to be White.

    (2)Most AAs are easily duped by the above behavior pattern because most of us have an extremely weak/nonexistent sense of specific AA ethnic identity and a vague (mostly negative) sense of racial identity. Meanwhile, other types of Black people tend to have very strong specific ethnic identities. A specific AA ethnic identity and self-respect was literally beaten out of most AAs during slavery and Jim Crow.

    This is why many AAs conflate “Black” with “African-American.” African-Americans are a racially Black ethnic group. However, the world is filled with other racially Black ethnic groups. AAs are Black, but not all racially Black people are AA.

    [Incidentally, I will also note that there are plenty of Dominicans such as Sammy Sosa, who do NOT consider themselves racially “Black.” No matter how racially “Black” they look/are!]

    This is part of the reason why I try to be precise in my terminology. Even though I’m careful to identify myself racially as “Black,” the use of that term in an ethnic context only serves to obscure what’s going on. The things I’m talking about here are specifically AA concerns. Now, there are often parallel concerns playing themselves out with other types of Black women. But my primary focus is on AA women.

    When we refer to culturally specific AA problems as generalized “Black” problems, that opens the door to Black-skinned outsiders to: (a) rule over us and try to dictate to us how we should go about solving our problems, and (b) contribute perspectives that sometimes have no real application to our specific circumstances.

    (3) Because AAs are confused and have a weak sense of specific AA ethnic identity, we’re often eager (actually frantic) to latch onto other people. Other people such as foreign Blacks and Latinos who are NOT all that eager to latch onto AAs. One example of this is confused AA Negro (mis)leadership that repeats the phrase “Blacks and Latinos” as if it’s a mantra. Meanwhile, when Latino leaders speak, they RARELY (if ever) add AAs to their verbal list of concerns.

    The problem is that all these interactions are all ONE-sided. There’s almost never any reciprocity with these various other people. Latinos (of all racial categories) and foreign Blacks TAKE from AAs and generally give nothing back to us.

    In addition to letting non-Blacks run over us, AAs have an unfortunate tradition of allowing other types of racially Black people to run over us.

    Because we’re so frantic to latch onto other people, AAs traditionally allow NON-Blacks and Black-skinned NON-AAs to have command and control over what are supposed to be our organizations. AAs allowed White men like Kivie Kaplan to be the head of the NAACP at least until the late 1960s. We allowed West Indians like Stokely Carchmichael to run and set policy for our civil rights organizations.

    AAs allow non-AAs to rule over us in our own organizations; nobody else allows AAs to rule over them in their own organizations. Nobody allows AAs to set policy for or have command and control over THEIR ethnic and/or political organizations.

    And I don’t blame others for not allowing AAs to control their critical “stuff.” Only a foolish group of people allows outsiders to set policy for them. No matter how close an alliance is, or how long it’s lasted NO responsible government gives it’s nuclear codes to an allied government. There are certain things that sensible people keep control over restricted to themselves. AAs love to give our “nuclear codes” to non-AAs.

    (4) Because AAs are confused and have a weak sense of specific AA ethnic identity, we assume that other types of Black folks think about ethnic issues the way we do. They DON’T. The various nuances to this angle were discussed during the Pay Attention to Nuances When Black People Say They Don’t Understand What ‘Black’ Means post. As I said there:

    When foreign-origin Blacks make these statements they are, at best, neutral statements reflecting normal human patterns of how people set priorities. It’s normal human nature to take care of folks in this order: self, family, clan, ethnic group. With many people in many countries, “nation” isn’t even on that list. For other people, “race” also is not on that list; their concern only extends as far as their own ethnic group. With most people, outsiders are almost never on the “take care of them” list.

    Most African-Americans have the “take care of them” list backwards compared to every other group of people. We put outsiders first and put ourselves last. African-American women put themselves dead last on the “must be taken care of” list. Our misleaders have programmed most African-Americans to look to create over-arching coalitions with anybody and everybody else . . . in the absence of taking care of self, family, clan, and finally, ethnic group.”(emphasis added).

    In this instance, a number of AAs are focused on including Dominicans in the racially “Black” category. Instead of realizing that the Dominicans are focused on advancing the economic and business interests of their OWN specific “Dominican” ETHNIC group. AA money is flowing into Dominican hands. Are Dominicans looking to spend money with AAs? No. This is yet another NON-reciprocal interaction between AAs and non-AA others. One that benefits Dominican stylists/salon owners. At the expense of AA stylists/salon owners.

    While AAs are focused on the over-arching racial category of “Black,” these other types of Black people are focused on their specific ethnic identities. First and foremost. As I said in the Pay Attention to Nuances post:

    “African-Americans are the only Black ethnic group on the planet that’s so confused about, and often has an active aversion to, having our own ethnic identity.

    I’ve never heard a foreign-origin Black person form their lips to disparage their own ethnic group by saying that they “don’t know what it means to be” Hausa, Jamaican, Panamanian, Dominican, or whatever else they are. African-Americans are the only ones who speak that form of negativity about their own group. You’re the only ones who do that.

    “…Remember, for some foreign-origin Blacks, their level of concern only extends as far as their own particular ethnic group. They only feel connected to: self, family, clan, and ethnic group. Not nation. And not race.

    This means when foreign-origin Blacks throw away the idea of “Black,” almost all of them are still proudly hanging on to their specific ethnic identities as Jamaicans, Hausas and so on. It’s important to note that even the foreign-origin Black folks who say they “don’t know what Black means” still hang on to their particular ethnic identity (such as Hausas, Panamanians, Jamaicans, Dominicans). Even if they aren’t interested in anything “Black,” they never say they’re confused about what it means to be part of their own ethnic groups.

    Meanwhile, when you as an African-American throw away the idea of “Black,” you’re throwing away the only smidgen of identity that you have! This is because most of you never took the time to develop any specifically African-American ethnic identity.”

    “…These other types of Black people have another way of identifying themselves (as Hausas, Jamaicans, Panamanians, and so on). As confused African-Americans, YOU’RE the only Black ethnic group that doesn’t recognize any identity more specific than “Black” for yourselves. You’re the only ones who call yourselves “Black” only. Sometimes, when foreign-origin Blacks are talking negatively about “Black,” they’re talking singularly about African-Americans. They’re talking about YOU.”

    When other Black-skinned people want to take something from—or take advantage of something that’s supposed to belong to AAs—then everybody’s all together in being “Black.” When it’s something that belongs to these other types of racially Black people, then it’s held as belonging specifically to their ethnic group. We often see this in how history is characterized.

    I’ve seen this pattern with a number of the cultural thieves I’ve had the misfortune to encounter. What I notice with Black-skinned, non-AA cultural thieves is that they get all specific when it’s something or somebody from their ethnic heritage. They’re quick to label that person or thing as specifically South African, Jamaican, and so on. But these same people want to get generic “Black” when it’s an AA historical figure they want to lay claim to. The AA person or thing they want to latch onto is then robbed of their specific ethnic identification—suddenly, that AA person or artifact is “Black”-only.

    Loren, I hope this answers your question. Thanks for taking the time to ask! *Smile*

    Expect Success!

  14. sistrunkqueen says:

    The Jewish Holocaust victims took to task the comparison of the Az immigration law to Nazi Germany. Other groups protect their culture and legacy from other groups casting disparaging remarks or comparisons except us.
    What are the blacks in Az doing or saying? Are they out there marching too? They shouldn’t be because it is not their issue. Where were these Hispanics on the MLK holiday and the DWB issues in AZ? See how soon we forget and forgive? I saw some black faces in the protest marches. I thought how stupid! The Jews never forget who their enemies or allies are.

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Arizona’s tough new law against illegal immigration has prompted furious protests and boycotts, but Jewish groups say opponents who compare it with the rise of Nazi Germany are going too far.
    “It diminishes the Holocaust,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Wiesenthal Center, an internationally known Holocaust studies center based in Los Angeles.

    “Survivors and others are very upset about this,” he said Friday. “When you exaggerate, it’s very harmful to them when they know that their mothers and fathers were taken to the gas chambers without any recourse to the law. They lost children.”

    The Arizona law that takes effect in July makes illegal immigration a state as well as a federal crime. It requires police to ask a person about his or her immigration status if there’s “reasonable suspicion” that the person is in the country illegally.

  15. Soaking it all in says:

    **New here, overwhelmed with info that I’ve pondered before, but because the majority didn’t agree, I kept it to myself and wondered if my thoughts were logical afterall.**

    Anyway, to answer your questions:
    Which roads to riches are you willing to follow?
    [b]My own. You know, I am in the medical field and for the longest time, it’s been ideal to follow the majority especially when they show you this ‘proof’ to their reasons for xyz, only to present another ‘proof’ that contradicts the first. I can relate the former to investing. I’ve always been skeptical of 401k’s, but only contributed to them because everyone said it was the best way to save for retirement. I did this without understanding what the heck I was placing my money into. I noticed others around me didn’t understand their contributions, so I really didn’t think much about it, all I knew was that I was going to retire wealthy one day, right?
    Well, what’s not told is one should be debt free or have a minimal amount of debt before contributing because what ends up happening is we place our money in this retirement fund while not increasing our liquid, emergency fund. This can result in one pleading and begging the investment companies to let YOU take YOUR money out to pay for an emergency. If you succeed and receive the money, you are hit with late fees and taxes, but hey, everyone has a 401k, right?
    Our priorities are screwed. We buy tangible things that satisfy us temporarily and we repeat this destructive cycle because we are told we must live this ‘American Dream.’ As we all have witnessed, the American Dream has turned into a nightmare for many. I read about a near retirement couple who lost most of their 401k funds when the economy collapsed to the point that their retirement was not going to happen for them when assumed- they had to keep working. On top of this, there’s talk about increasing the retirement age. The financial gain game is too screwed up for me right now.[/b]

    Which roads to riches are you already following?
    [b]Michelle Singletary’s and Dave Ramsey’s plan of being debt free![/b]

    Which roads to riches are you preparing yourself to follow?

    [b]One to two months before I receive my paychecks, I make goals and plans on how to spend the money. At this point, it’s mainly paying off debt and saving for a minimum of nine months in an emergency fund. On September 26, direct tv is gonna get snipped. I need to read more anyway. That will be almost a $100 savings I can apply to my bills or my savings.[/b]

    [b]You know, while I was in school to become a medical professional, I thought that once I completed this task, that was it. The career I worked so hard to obtain would be all I needed. Screw owning a business or having other avenues of income! I see things so differently now as I’ve gotten older. I can’t spend the next 20+ years working for someone else on their terms. Can’t do it. Since I know I can’t do this, I have been preparing myself in the area of owning my own business(es). I am back in school focusing on foreign languages. I love traveling so this will be an asset for me. I will be taking accounting and other business classes. I plan on going to culinary school, mainly for me. I want to learn how to play a musical instrument, to sew, and paint.

    I have so many business ideas it’s not funny, lol. I would love to open up my own learning, daycare. I have been really considering writing some self-help books. These are just two of the ideas I have.[/b]

    What materials are you reading that are helping you prepare to get on various roads to riches? [If you haven’t already done so, this is a hint to start looking at the materials mentioned during the immediately preceding post

    [b]It’s going to be embarrassing and sad to admit this, but I am just now learning the truth about Black History. For the longest time, I believed the bits and pieces of info taught to me in school about Black people, slavery, Jim Crowe (didn’t hear this term until college), the Civil Rights Era, etc. It was such a shock to my mind when I learned that there was no such event of ‘Thanksgiving’ between the Native Americans (I was told they were called Indians) and the white settlers. All this to say, it has been such a pleasure to delve into my history, to see and understand the greatness I came from even though I can’t personally track my ancestry. Reading books like ‘Black Labor, White Wealth,’ ‘Rebels against Slavery,’ and other books, especially autobiographies such as ‘Having Our Say,’ have shown me that if these black people overcame such atrocities in a time where just them being in existence was considered a travesty, I can definitely get out here and build wealth in ways to where I won’t be so overly dependent on others.

    As stated before, I am a fan of Michelle Singletary and Dave Ramsey, so whenever they speak, I listen. Whatever they publish, I read.

    I will definitely check out the book recommendations made in this post.

    Let me go study my espanol. Take care! [/b]

  16. Soaking It All In,

    Welcome aboard! 🙂

    About the 401(k) situation, let’s just say that you’re not alone in later on discovering some…unpleasant…features of your retirement plan. I was outraged when I finally figured out what you described when you said,

    “Well, what’s not told is one should be debt free or have a minimal amount of debt before contributing because what ends up happening is we place our money in this retirement fund while not increasing our liquid, emergency fund. This can result in one pleading and begging the investment companies to let YOU take YOUR money out to pay for an emergency. If you succeed and receive the money, you are hit with late fees and taxes, but hey, everyone has a 401k, right”

    But I ultimately calmed down and figured better to understand these things late as opposed to never. Unfortunately, there are lots of folks who still haven’t come to this understanding.

    You said, “You know, while I was in school to become a medical professional, I thought that once I completed this task, that was it. The career I worked so hard to obtain would be all I needed. Screw owning a business or having other avenues of income! I see things so differently now as I’ve gotten older. I can’t spend the next 20+ years working for someone else on their terms. Can’t do it. Since I know I can’t do this, I have been preparing myself in the area of owning my own business(es).”

    This is perfect description of the evolution I went through with my thinking from law school to now. My current career choice worked for me for a long time. I’m pleased with the positive contributions I’ve made during my career. But, as you described for your situation, I’m not the same person I was when I graduated from law school years ago. I have different needs and aspirations for myself at this stage of life. And this current career does not work for me anymore. Like you, I’m also preparing myself to transition into another field.

    Onward and forward to a new chapter!

    Expect Success!