Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Yes, A Hard Head Makes a Soft Behind.

June 24, 2013 by  
Filed under Money, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) “Stop that! I’m not going to tell you again.” I am sure many of you have heard your parents say those words more than once. Why? Because you always repeated what they told you not to do, right? Now that we are adults ourselves, we who are consciously aware of the state of the Black economy in this nation are saying the same thing to our people. “Stop that!” Stop spending so much and start producing more. Stop creating wealth for every other group and virtually none for ourselves. Stop capitulating to the whimsical and dangerous malaise of “instant gratification.” Stop!

The latest piece of information that made me scream at our people when I read it was a well-written article, by Jeneba Ghatt, and featured in the online magazine, Politics 365. The title itself, Black Spending Power to Hit $1Trillion by 2015, But Black Wealth is Dropping, conjures up an immediate, “Say what?” and “What the…?” The inference I drew from the title comprised a StopThatconundrum, an enigma, a paradox, an oxymoron, an irony, an inconsistency, a contradiction, and just plain out of order.

My penchant for yelling, “Stop it!” has come from two decades of writing essentially what Sister Ghatt delineated in her article. And let me commend Dr. Claud Anderson, Tony Brown, and others who have been yelling a lot longer than I have about the foolishness of Black folks bragging about, or buying into others who brag about, so-called “Black Spending (Purchasing, Consumption, or Buying) Power.” It may be power, but only for those with whom we spend our trillion dollars; it’s definitely a weakness for us.

Can you see the untenable and downright ridiculous economic position Black people are in vis-à-vis having a $1 trillion annual income versus not having built a commensurate level of wealth with such a great deal of money? What sense does it make to even discuss Black spending power if we are not willing to leverage that $1trillion into wealth for ourselves and our children? It’s similar to how we brag about how “powerful” our votes are, but we get very little in return for them.

Here is an excerpt from Jeneba Ghatt’s article: “Although Blacks make up 13% of the US population, they own merely 5% of all US firms and only 1.8% of companies that employ more than one person… More than half of Black-owned businesses had less than $10,000 in business receipts in 2002, compared with one-third of White-owned firms and 28.8 percent of Asian-owned firms.” Question: What does that say about our support of Black businesses with Black dollars? A trillion in income but embarrassingly low business receipts.

Stop it! I’m not going to tell you again.” That is, until the next time I tell you the same thing, and the times after that, just as any good parent does out of love for their children. But in addition to my continuing to rave about our economic condition, and offer ways to ameliorate our situation, I will continue to encourage folks like Ms. Ghatt to enlighten us. It’s the same message with a different messenger, but all in the line of stalwarts from Booker T., Garvey, Bethune, DuBois, Maria Stewart, Elijah Muhammad, Luke Edwards, to the Harvard MBA Preacher who founded the Collective Banking Group, Jonathan Weaver.

In his own inimitable style, Dr. Claud Anderson, author of Powernomics, responded to the article in part by saying, “Bragging about how much Blacks consume is like a crack addict bragging about how much money he spends to consume crack. It’s the producers and sellers of crack that have the power, not the consuming addict. All the crack addict has is a bad habit that consumes brain tissue and wealth. Like the crack addict, we as a race, simply consume what others produce. We have enriched every racial, religious, and ethnic group on this earth except ourselves.”

I am sure Claud’s parents told him a hard head makes a soft behind, and he is constantly telling us the same thing, calling for us to wake up and have our dollars start making some sense by putting them to work for us rather than for everybody else.

Ms. Ghatt ended her piece by also offering some wise words: “[The Nielsen Report] should be…a call to arms to better educate ourselves on saving and growing money so that it lasts longer than one pay period.”

I continue to say, “Stop the madness, folks.” It’s way past time for us to grow up, despite what was done to us in the early years of this country; it’s time we take charge of our own economic empowerment by sharing more of our $1 trillion with one another, first.

“The eagle flies on Friday, and Saturday I go out to play; Sunday I go to church and kneel down on my knees and pray.” Yes, they call it stormy Monday. I wonder why. Could it be because we are broke – or, just broken?

Written By James E. Clingman

Official website; http://www.blackonomics.com/




3 Responses to “Yes, A Hard Head Makes a Soft Behind.”
  1. wishuwould247 says:

    @Deeann you are right, it is hope but only for a small number is us ( I say that sadly). I see black men standing outside over night to buy a pair of $200 sneakers. When I go out anywhere whether its a black crowd or white crowd, I see black women with silky weaves and wigs on and I know thats are not cheap. Its scary, alot of black people don’t have a clue. I know brothers that are married that go out more than me and I’m single, and chase and waste money on sluts when they should be putting that money back into their families by saving or investing. On the flip side I do know a couple of black people that are during the right thing with their money. Hopefully most of us will change but I doubt if it will be anytime soon. I’m teaching my 10yr old daughter now the value of a dollar. I’m also helping her realize her inner beauty so she won’t be out in the world spending all her money trying to be someone else other than herself. So again You are right, it is hope.

  2. Ramses says:

    You know what’s really sad……..when we talk of black people, it seems as if we’re talking about children when we discuss matters like this. Adults (or people masquerading as adults) control the spending power, not little children. So why can’t adults use their resources wisely? Because there exists something in black people that they don’t want to admit: a lack of self-esteem. Black people have a confrontational nature (especially with one another) because they hate themselves.

    This hatred of self stems from a lack of cultural identity. We have documentaries like “Dark Girls” that gives the impression that dark-skinned women are not appealing to men. This is not true. Of course you’re not gonna be what everyman wants, but there are plenty of men out here who find dark women attractive. If men out here prefer a light-skinned woman, is it necessarily that they hate themselves because of this choice?

    If a man says he likes dark-skinned women, we don’t say “he hates himself. As I watch this documentary, the same crap is always used an excuse. You can’t compare 1865 to 2013 I’m sorry. A chick I used to deal with years ago complained about Essence magazine using white models in it (it was bought out by Viacom). I said “well if you black women would support the magazine, maybe Susan Taylor would would not have needed to sell it.” People in slavery didn’t have magazines showing their beauty. Blacks have had these things for quite some time. So in terms of having a self-concept, present-day blacks have had more freedom to form their own self-concept.

    When Chinese first came to this country, Warner Bros. made overt racists cartoons just like the ones made against blacks. Did the Chinese sit back, whine and complain about not being loved by whites? Nope. They got to work and studied capitalism not just as immigrants, but as a nation as well. And you know what happened? They are poised to be the number one economy in the world in a short time. Two people who have had traumatic experiences, yet one chose to build up a defense (community) to insulate itself from outside threats, while the other one chose to integrate with the very people it claimed hates them. Which is why until blacks address their own self-hate issues, collective economics will not happen.

    It’s funny how this “Dark Girls” documentary displays black women experiences as being rejected because of their skin tone, when many black women are the main culprits of this very same behavior. I have seen dark-skinned black women attacking light-skinned solely because of their tone of skin. Yet, we have documentaries like this that gives the impression that only dark-skinned women experience or are not responsible for this experience. I have heard mothers denigrate their own daughters for being light or dark. “Girl shut yo’ high-yella ass up. Sit yo black ass down.” These are some of the things they have said about their own daughters. So these daughters are then put into the world with low self-esteem caused by the very woman who is supposed to teach them how to be a lady and what attributes that causes you not to be a lady. For instance, Indie Arie has put out a lot of positive music over the years from a dark-skinned woman’s perspective.

    However, black women, through her album sales, prove how much they don’t support any of the positive things they claim they want. It’s obvious that this “black” concept needs to be reassessed because if “black” is really something set in stone, then why is there so much drama with light-skinned and dark-skinned people? They don’t see each other as family obviously so there needs to be a reassessment of the notion of them being ‘black.” Now I’m not stupid. I have seen ignorant light-skinned and dark-skinned women. Both have the capacity to be buttholes.

    But there is a difference. Light-skinned women tend to think they are special because they are light and thinks everyone wants them. Dark-skinned women, if they are really attractive, will doll themselves up to be pursued only to feel empowered by rejecting potential suitors. It’s like they make men now, who are interested in them, suffer for feeling rejected when they were younger when these men had nothing to do with it. It’s weird. Overall, collective economics stems from a sense of pride and this is something black people lack as a group. I’ve never participated in the light/dark skinned thing myself. beauty is beauty to me whether you are either one. But how can you have any unity with people who everyday, when they wake up, are feeling hatred towards themselves for being what they biologically born to be?

    I’ve seen 300 pound women get married so if they can get married, how can a woman with an hourglass figure, no matter if she light or dark not be? They said black women are the least coupled people in the US and 41 percent of black women have never been married as opposed to 20 percent of white women. Many black women take pride in rejecting potential suitors because they want revenge or payback for what has happened to them when they were young. This is sick. How can you form any community with this mentality? Any businesses? Stop blaming whitey because it’s your responsibility to deal with your issues.

  3. Deeann D. Mathews says:

    Thank you, Mr. Clingman; great article! I have spent several days watching members of my community quietly getting themselves together… there is hope!

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