Sunday, November 18, 2018

Economic empowerment; Well done beats well said every time.

October 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Money, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( You know, we talk a real good game when it comes to economic empowerment. We talk about what we need to do, what we should do, what we can do, and even what we will do. We get together, usually in someone else’s hotel or meeting place, and discuss our economic plight and how we are finally going to take control of our economic destiny. We are tired of the White man running things and keeping us out of the game. We are really upset, this time, and we are going to leave this meeting, go home, and do the things we discussed – this time. And yet, when it’s all said and done; a lot more is said than done.

Haven’t you seen it all before? Haven’t you heard it all before? Aren’t you tired of emotionalism, feel-good speakers, rap and clap sessions, and the sheer madness of pursuing rhetorical symbolic solutions rather than implementing practical substantive strategies that will achieve true economic self-reliance? Aren’t you finally ready to do good rather than merely feel good? I know I am and have been for a long time.visionsofblackeconomicempowerment

Economic empowerment is not simply about making us feel good; more importantly, it is about making us do good, because well done beats well said every time. We can spend the rest of our lives getting ready to, fixin’ to, and being about to. Just look at our past and see how much time we have wasted gettin’ ready to overcome rather than overcoming. We are still singing, “We Shall Overcome.” When?

As quiet as it’s kept, we will overcome when WE decide to overcome. As our dear Brother, Amos Wilson, wrote in his book, Afrikan-Centered Consciousness Versus the New World Order, “Recognize that power ultimately has to do with a relationship between people and that the White man’s so called power is to a large degree based on the nature of the relationship he has with the Black man. We empower him by the nature of our own behavior and attitudes as a people. He cannot be what he is unless we are what we are.”

Brother Wilson continues, “We waste a lot of time trying to transform them (Whites) when through transforming ourselves they will be transformed automatically. The power is in our hands.” Don’t you agree with Amos Wilson, especially when you consider how much time we have wasted gettin’ ready?

When it comes to economic empowerment we have wasted at least 50 years, if not more. The night before Dr. King was assassinated, he was instructing us on what to do economically in order to change the relationship we had with those oppressive people in Memphis, and I am sure he was speaking to the rest of as well, no matter where we lived. Since that fateful night on April 4, 1968, instead of continuing on the path he discussed, we decided to take that other road – that road called political empowerment.

Five decades later, we have thousands of Black folks in public office, and we get so excited and hyped about that next election. But we have spent and continue to spend little time doing anything about our collective economic empowerment. Politically, we are living large, or some would have us believe. Economically, we are no further up the ladder than we were in 1968. As a matter of fact, according to the latest reports, Black households were better off in 1968 than they are now. If we could muster the same energy and enthusiasm for economics as we do for politics, we would be in so much better shape and a much stronger position to exact reciprocity in exchange for our $1trillion annual “spending weakness.”

We have had 50 years of leadership that has talked about doing something about the collective economic plight of Black folks, 50 years of leaders getting their own individual economic “thang” together, 50 years of speeches, threats, protests, scandals, and rip-offs, but virtually no progress on building an economic legacy for our children, virtually no ownership and control of income producing assets, and virtually no means even to provide the very basics of life for our children without depending on the very people about whom we complain. This does not negate in any way the progress made by individual Black business owners; many of them have done well, and I really appreciate and respect them, but collectively we have much work to do.

Our collective charge must be the business of working together to capture niches in various industries, like the Vietnamese have done in the nail salon business, and supporting our businesses a lot more than we do now. We had better start teaching our children about entrepreneurship. We had better move from the demand side to the supply side of economics. We had better start pooling our money and going into businesses that supply our sustenance. We had better take a breather from the partying, the conspicuous consumption, and the emotion-laden get-togethers, and we had better start DOING things that will strengthen our economic future.

Don’t just talk about economic empowerment; be about economic empowerment. Because, well done beats well said every time!

Written By James E. Clingman

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3 Responses to “Economic empowerment; Well done beats well said every time.”
  1. Another great article by Brother Clingman, but how many of us will read this article or even comment on it? More importantly, how many of us will heed his words and turn them into actions? Unfortunately, our so called leaders aren’t even focused on this most important issue. They still want us to keep begging the government for more crumbs rather than talking about us doing for ourselves. There lies the problem. But I truly believe that we will eventually wake up from this nightmare and finally come together to solve our own problems.

    Black Unity means financial independence and happiness

  2. Julie says:

    This article is thorough and excellent!

  3. toomanygrandkids says:

    Preach, brother!

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