Featured, Finances, Race & Politics

“Black People Would Be Wealthy If We Stopped Buying Jordans And Weave” Has Always Been And Will Always Be Bullshit

Whenever a large group of Black people happen to come together — and this could be on Facebook, at a BBQ, during a happy hour, or perhaps even while teaching a Kappa how to throw a football — conversations about economic empowerment are not particularly uncommon. They don’t always happen — sometimes you just want to talk about baked chicken and Charles Oakley — but they happen enough. And, when they happen, invariably you’ll have a few people who’ll lament the disproportionate amounts of money we spend on Jordans and weave and car leases and rims and apartment rentals; either implying or explicitly stating that this affinity for the type of depreciating assets that make us look wealthier than we actually are is what’s keeping us from actually building wealth. And perhaps, to make their point stick, they’ll even cite White people or Jewish people or Koreans as an example of who we need to model ourselves after.

It’s an argument that persists because it retains the romantic veneer of pragmatism, logic, and pro-Blackness. It’s also attractive. Building wealth — and the flexibility and freedom it often leads to — is a good thing. Also, it does sometimes seem like we (collectively) place too much of a premium on looking financially healthy instead of actually being it. And kids from the hood with $200 sneakers and women with hundreds of dollars of artificial hair in their heads (hair purchased from Koreans!) and men with $50,000-a-year incomes with $60,000 cars do make for convenient and conspicuous examples of the type of backwards and self-defeating thinking holding us back.

But as rational and empowering as it seems, this argument actually exists in an invisible morass of anti-Blackness, as it ignores the multitude of socioeconomic factors contributing to our collective lack of wealth. And it implies that the appreciation for depreciating goods is a uniquely Black pathology. Basically, we’re fucked up because y’all niggas love shiny shit more than anyone else does.

It has always been and will always be an argument based on low information and a latent belief that Black culture specifically cultivates an affinity for economic endangerment; one that was recently and thoroughly debunked by a study called “The Asset Value of Whiteness: Understanding the Racial Wealth Gap

From “The Big Reason Whites Are Richer Than Blacks in America

A new study trashes most of the conventional explanations—and solutions—for the wealth gap. It’s called The Asset Value of Whiteness: Understanding the Racial Wealth Gap. It’s by researchers at Brandeis University and a public policy group called Demos. The table of contents says it all:

  • Attending college does not close the racial wealth gap.

  • Raising children in a two-parent household does not close the racial wealth gap.

  • Working full time does not close the racial wealth gap.

  • Spending less does not close the racial wealth gap.

So, what about the idea that we (Black people) spend more of our income on useless assets than others?

It’s natural to assume that if blacks have less wealth it’s because they’re doing less saving—i.e., more of each dollar of income is going to consumption. The opposite is the case, according to a Duke University study published last year and cited by the authors. At every income level, blacks spend less than similarly situated whites, the Duke researchers found: “Retail desertification in racially segregated neighborhoods, restricted access to affordable credit for blacks, and consumer racial discrimination, we argue, result in lower overall spending for blacks at all income levels,” they said.

Shit, so we actually spend less money on sneakers and cars and shit than White people do? Wow. So, if this is all true, where does this humongous discrepancy actually come from?

So what does account for the racial gap in wealth? Traub admits that “we haven’t fully penetrated the mystery.” One powerful factor seems to be that whites are five times as likely as blacks to receive substantial gifts and inheritances, and the sums they get tend to be much larger. The money “can be used to jump-start further wealth accumulation, for example, by enabling white families to buy homes and begin acquiring equity earlier in their lives,” the study says.

The result is that whites’ wealth advantage—and blacks’ disadvantage—gets passed down from generation to generation. Which means that forms of racial discrimination “that happened in the past, like redlining, continue to show up in bank accounts today,” says Traub.

Damn.

Of course, this truth is much harder to swallow than the notion that the only thing between us and financial freedom is a $300 pair of Black Cement Jordan 3s, so I get why that argument is so seductive. Its also much easier to scapegoat the people around you than the largely invisible factors causing the gulfs in wealth. (And those endless lines and fights for new Js aint the best look at all.)

But this type of dangerous and subtly classist anti-Blackness — rooted in falsehoods and dependent on a notion of specifically Black pathology — is just as racist as the conditions causing the wealth gap.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • MsCee

    Can we add all my married friends who insist that my lack of a desire to be married right now somehow damages the Black community and my ability to build real generational wealth. Yeah, this conversation actually happened.

    • kingpinenut

      They ain’t living your life.

      *If* you do decide to get married wait until after 40.

      No shame is waiting…

      • MsCee

        Dayum, AFTER 40? I’m 26 so I was thinking early 30.

        • kingpinenut

          Lots to learn about yourself before getting tied up with somebody else.

          • Valerie

            “Lots to learn about yourself before getting tied up with somebody else.”
            Yassss.

        • grownandsexy2

          Till death do you part can be a long dayum time, so yeah, after 40. lol

      • Rewind4ThatBehind

        There’s so much to see before that ring really holds value anyway.

      • La Bandita

        After 40? When you’re used up and set in your ways, lol.

        • cdj

          Hey now! Im 40 and not used up yet. I am set in my ways, though :-)

          • La Bandita

            Not you! You’re a lady person. You haven’t even sexually peeked yet. Im talking el hermanos.

            • cdj

              Good, just checking! I’m exercising, trying to get healthy and fine. Good to know it’s not for nothing :-)

            • kingpinenut

              El hermanos will wear some *redacted* out….

              • La Bandita

                haha

        • kingpinenut

          Used up??? Nah.

          Set in one’s way??? Maybe

    • HouseOfBonnets

      Where are these friends…. Are they in a secret fb marriage hotep group?

      • MsCee

        Girl they were all thotties in college but moved to different states and got married. I was committed allllll 4 years of college. Chile, I’m not marrying anyone before I live a little more life.

        • Rewind4ThatBehind

          Get it girl.

          Because I bet 4 out of 5 of them have been on the phone with you complaining about their great marriages.

      • Furious Styles

        LOL. There should be a post about those.

    • miss t-lee

      You haven’t cussed them out yet?

    • Tam
    • siante?

      I’m sorry you had to endure such foolishness smh

    • NonyaB?

      Whet? You need new friends whose lines of thinking and capability for logic actually elevates you. Seriously.

    • Brooklyn_Bruin

      *sprays self with Tom Ford*
      I’m not interested in your BMI or waist to hip ratio, what’s that portfolio talking bout

      • MsCee

        I got a couple ASSets…physically and financially. Lol

    • I know a dude who said every black mans duty is to marry and have children with a black woman.

      • MsCee

        Where do people come up with these things?

      • NonyaB?

        I mean, it’s any man’s duty to please that booty but this heyuh? LMAO

        • I’m not about that parenting life.

          • NonyaB?

            And who wants to be married out of duty? One would like to think that partners are chosen for more compelling reasons than obligation.

            • Exactly. I’d rather be married in a business arrangement than to be married cause I got a woman knocked up.

      • Brooklyn_Bruin

        *Gets in this line, alone*

      • Ed

        The key is black women not black men.

      • KNeale

        I wish it were every black man’s duty to respect and protect black women regardless of your relationship with them. If yall can agree to that we’ll let the marriage thing go.

        How Bow Dah?!

    • Ed

      I’ve had the discussion with peers before. The discussion always end up with an eugenics element to it that makes me a little uncomfortable.

      Basically the thinking is that “good” blacks are being outbred by “bad” blacks. Thus the community skews towards the “bad” blacks.

      • MsCee

        Smh. I just can’t.

    • Question

      Blah blah. Marriage ain’t all its cracked to be. Hubby pissed me the eff off a few days ago. He’s been eating cereal for dinner for 3 days now.

      • MsCee

        Get in there and cook wifey, lol. Four days is cruel and unusual punishment.

        • Question

          Ehh…he’s getting his fiber. HA!

          • Respectcostsnothing

            Serves him right. He won’t Roget that in a hurry.?

      • Mary Burrell

        They say the woman must submit to the man. The man is the head of the household. That’s what someone told me.

        • grownandsexy2

          A lot of churches preach this. I have a girlfriend who’s about that life. Her and hubby are deep in church. Good for them. If it works for you, I’m happy. I’ve always had a problem with the word “submit.” When I was a child, I submitted to my parent’s authority. But that’s it. And not every man is fit to lead/be head of the household.

          • pls

            I could write a book on this topic stg.

            My mother is the bossest human I know on Earth yet the bible has her caught up. she only joined the church after moving to the south to meet people but she stuck with it…

            She bought into the wife-submits-to-husband mess and lets her husband act a plum fool bc jesus.

            Now my brother is accusing his soon to be wife of not knowing her place as a Christian wife nor his role as a Christian man. I almost came through the phone while he complained about her defying him “on purpose”.

            Be a man worth following and you won’t have to worry about submission. Be a team.

          • Respectcostsnothing

            Key word, man. Just because the man is the head doesn’t mean he bosses me about. There men who will always ask their wife’s opinion before making decisions and such men are easy to submit to. The truth is if you respect a real man, you will probably be running the home anyway, but it’s not for the world to know.

      • Blueberry01

        Oop!

    • Those are some rude people.

    • grownandsexy2

      Have they ever shared how it damages the black community? And are they building real generational wealth? If so, ask for receipts. I don’t understand why people think we all want to travel the same path on this journey. Not everyone wants to be married. There is no one way to live your life.

    • Mrs_diabolique

      I’m 40, divorced and still get beat up and I have a kid in college. Somehow I’m still depriving the black community.

    • Mrs_diabolique

      I had a friend actually state that maybe with 45 in office black people will be forced to get married so we can all join forces and wealth. I think I vomited in my mouth.

    • Furious Styles

      Divorce from an incompatible marriage chosen in reaction to social pressure can’t be good for the Black community. Or your paper.

      • MsCee

        I must add this to my line up of subtle shade. Bless you.

        • Furious Styles

          Hey. I work for you…

  • Negro Libre

    Wealth = Assets > Liabilities.

    It’s always been pretty simple, the reason why we have these never ending conversations, is because, well, people aren’t satisfied with fundamental answers, and most of our academics and statisticians often find themselves looking for never-ending data generation to rationalize our preferred mode of understanding things: conspiracy.

    As for people who think African Americans are materialistic for buying Jordans and Expensive cars:

    https://media.giphy.com/media/5YF9dwGZ29rVe/giphy.gif

    STFU and travel more, and see if you can still say that nonsense with a straight face, after you see how people ball in ways that would make rappers blush.

    • Brown Rose

      Exhibit A, B,C,D in regards to excess= anywhere in Asia.

      • Rewind4ThatBehind

        Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan

        Asia is a site to be hold when it comes to ballin out of control.

        • Brown Rose

          Yup. Libre is right. Americans are virtual peasants when it comes to excess. All of Asia and I include India, had a few thousand years to perfect their game.

          • Rewind4ThatBehind

            Indeed. They may emulate how we make wealth look but then they just took that caricature and turned into an entirely different beast altogether.

        • Negro Libre

          People have no idea.

          A family friend was out in Singapore the other day, and decided to have breakfast at a Diner, kind of like our version of IHOP. She went with just one other person. By the end of the meal, the waiter dropped the bill for $97.

          Fortunately, they had the decency not to ask for a tip.

          • Tam

            Yikes!!

        • SB

          Can we through in the UAE/Middle East? I read an article about the editor of Vogue Arabia and the gist of it was don’t let the burkas and abbays fool you, those ladies are wearing couture underneath and stunting.

          • Rewind4ThatBehind

            I fully believe it. We don’t know sh*t about sh*t when it comes to that side of the world. We’ve let all the stereotypes blind us and the media take away every chance of knowing facts without going yourself.

    • miss t-lee

      “STFU and travel more, and see if you can still say that nonsense with a straight face, after you see how people ball in ways that would make rappers blush…on a much lower budget I might add.”

      I believe it.
      We don’t have the monopoly on stunting.

    • Glo

      The money that some people spend on individual meals makes Jordans seem like a solid investment.

      • Negro Libre

        Plus Jordans have a decent resale value. There was a doc awhile back about a kid in NYC whose whole business model was buying and selling used Jordans. The problem isn’t what people spend their money on as much as what people use their money to invest in for the future.

  • MsCee

    “The money “can be used to jump-start further wealth accumulation, for example, by enabling white families to buy homes and begin acquiring equity earlier in their lives,” Literally, ALL OF THIS. I work in the mortgage industry so the topic of home buying comes up often in conversations. I find it very interesting that ALL of my whyte coworkers were either given their homes upon marriage OR received a substantial inheritance that allowed them to purchase a home.

    • RaeNBow

      once had a co-worker say, “oh you cant just ask your parents for it?” ….”it” was $30,000. no, man. no, I cannot.

      • Rewind4ThatBehind

        I’ve had people ask that too and I’m like

        http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lmv8wjScDd1qewe5lo1_400.gif

        • Cheech

          No shyt.

      • MsCee

        It’s so funny to just listen to them talk sometimes. Two of my white male coworkers both owned homes pretty much fresh out of college. They don’t seem to understand that it wasn’t their “hard work” it was their inheritance that gave them the advantage. Smh, I don’t even try to explain anymore.

        • Rewind4ThatBehind

          That’s the problem with being out of touch.

          I mean, it can happen to any race, so I can never fully say it’s them being White.

          It’s their lack of struggle, their lack of appreciation and their lack of understanding the foundation that was already laid out for them. It irks me how callous they can be about what you have but how disrespectfully stupid they are about what their parents/family gave them that they claim they earned.

          • MsCee

            That’s the part that pisses me off. Like, son, you didn’t earn a DAYUM thing. Your parents paid your tuition (no student loan debt) your parents paid for your wedding and then gave you a down payment on a home. You say you “worked your way up” at this company but you were hired in as a manager under your dad’s long time friend. Please do me a favor and fawk off.

            • Rewind4ThatBehind

              EXACTLY.

              I’m like…..you didn’t work your way out of a damn thing except your dad’s ball sack & your mom’s t w a t, quit lying.

              • MsCee

                LMFAO Rewind for the W!

                • Rewind4ThatBehind

                  hahaha I got so heated one time because this my neighborhood is gentrified and I heard this white couple speaking on trying to buy property.

                  The guy says “damn the Black people who still live here have it easy. I worked hard to get out here and now it’s going to cost me so much to stay”.

                  The girl goes “well you know my dad is giving us a down payment on my next place. I worked really hard for that money”.

                  I’m like

                  http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk34/feministing/2013%20number%202/hclinton-stilltalking_zps405f68f5.gif

                  • Blueberry01

                    Oh Brooklyn….

            • miss t-lee

              ” Please do me a favor and fawk off”

              Twice.

            • cdj

              Even if they get in on the ground floor of the company, they don’t acknowledge that not having that debt burden has allowed them more choices in how they live their life. When your family is helping you, you can take that unpaid internship and make valuable connections. You can make career moves that might be risky, but end up paying off. And meanwhile, kids from families without that support need to make mental/financial calculations that allow us to be self- supporting, while our opportunities are more limited.

              I graduated from college and moved to a new city at 21. Stayed with friends while I temped for a few months. Got my first real job, and even then I knew to make sure it had benefits, cause God forbid I got sick, I will always have a place to rest my head at mom’s house, but that’s It! No $$$. Also, i would’ve liked to have had time to look for something more suited to my abilities, but i was already feeling pressure, because there was no cash cushion.

              • MsCee

                Who are you? And how do you know my life? All of THIS!

                • cdj

                  My wake-up call came at 15, when my mom and I were talking about college scholarships. I asked her, “Do you have like a college fund for me or something?”

                  Girl, she straight up laughed in my face, like HAHAHA! I could see her back teeth.

                  I think they would irk me less if they would just admit they are not “self- made” and didn’t bootstrap it, and stop with these other fairytales they tell themselves to justify why we are where we are and they are where they are.

                  • Janelle Doe

                    Exactly.

                    My mom and I were watching a country musician who said this and then as the interview progressed you find out hos dad was a producer in Nashville and his mom did A&R or something so he was always surrounded by the industry and song writers and stuff

              • MsSula

                I always tell this to some of my African friends who schooled in the US. You cannot compare yourself homie. Some of us went to school with our tuitions paid in full and we got internships back home while vacationing, yes they were unpaid but you were living at the family house and being dropped off at work. And you can add that “International” experience to your resume.

                You could always count on family to send you something when you needed supplemental income. So hush your mouth. And recognize your bloody privilege.

          • Tam

            Even as someone who is working, I have to carefully consider how to spend money these days. I can’t even use the excuse of being entry level.

            • Rewind4ThatBehind

              It’s extremely hard to be financially responsible when 2 decades ago, the same job you’re doing now used to pay for everything you needed and an investment for the future amongst 2-3 people.

        • MsKeisha23

          THIS RIGHT HERE!

        • Cheech

          Call them on it, though, and they’ll say, indignantly, “Well, my DAD EARNED THAT.” (Or granddad, or great granddad, or what have you.) And they’ll get extra indignant if granddad or great granddad came here with nothing, fled persecution, what have you. Give you the hard work speech.

          They’re always a lot quieter when asked, “yeah? What have YOU earned?”

          • MsCee

            Yep, so true.”My granddad came here from Ireland with NOTHING.” Ok, but your granddad did however have a fair chance at starting a business, owning a home, and then passing down his wealth to you entitled ayus.

            • Cheech

              There was a kid at Princeton a couple of years ago who wrote something really indignant and entitled (but heavily footnoted) talking about how his “privilege” came from the hard work of his grandfather, a penniless Holocaust survivor who arrived here and thrived. Not a shred of self-awareness about it. It was widely lauded in conservative circles.

    • Glo

      LISSSEN: I went to a Christian high school in a relatively small town in SoCal. Everyone there started getting married at age 18-19. Most of them were given houses as their wedding gifts. It was mind boggling to me.

      • MsCee

        Glo, don’t stress yourself trying to understand the ways of this here world.

    • grownandsexy2

      I bought my first house at 24, because that was what I was used to living in and plan to leave my current home to my granddaughter when I leave this world. My mom actually bought a house in the 40s, pre-marriage.

  • AlwaysPi7

    All I can do is agree here.

  • Brown Rose

    White Americans have had a tremendous help in the last 300 years with racism, redlining, and programs that specifically targeted them in order to build their wealth. However, Americans in general are pretty bad at saving and maintaining wealth. A lot of whites who are high earners don’t actually have that much wealth . They are a few pay checks away from the almshouse, but it is much easier to focus on the assumed fundamental stupidity of Black people in order to maintain their precarious status quo.

    • Negro Libre

      Our economy doesn’t incentivize high savings, due to low interest rates. If you want people to save more, well, you raise the interest rates. Low interest rates favor people who already own assets, over those who don’t. Thus our modern day dilemma with wealth inequality.

      • Brown Rose

        Solid point. I think also the archaic notion that owning a house is the centerpiece of asset building.

        • Negro Libre

          Yeah, the idea that a house is an asset is nothing more than government hustle. I posted a video that showed, that when you calculate for inflation, the increase in prices in a house pretty much are constant. To put it simply, you get a better return in buying a 30-year bond, than you get buying a home.

          A home is a beautiful thing to own, but it simply isn’t an asset.

          • Hugh Akston

            I agree to a certain extent

            Where I may differ is that if you can flip the house or use it as an investment it can definitely be used as an asset

            Was trying to buy house and the folks that owned those properties had multiple when I tried to pick their brains it became quite clear for a lot of them they buy the houses on foreclosure on the cheap flip it or rent it for several years and then sell it for five times the price they bought it for and able to put their kids through college or that start up cost for a new business

            • Negro Libre

              Oh I agree, you can hustle houses for income, I mean, duh Trump lol. However, owning a home, in and of itself isn’t a long term investment. You still have to understand the mix of market and government conditions and how they play a role in the price of what you’re buying or selling.

              • Hugh Akston

                Oh I agree 100% lol

              • Madam CJ_Skywalker

                I love it when you guys talk that real money talk.
                I’m sitting here taking notes…

        • miss t-lee

          So archaic.
          Folks also need to realize that owning a house is not everyone’s dream.

          • Brown Rose

            Its also a losing value. Its not worth it—unless as Hugh noted below you are going to invest to flip it or as a rental stream.

            • miss t-lee

              Yup.
              I can see how some folks are able to borrow against it and xyz, however you have to be in the home long enough for it to build that equity to borrow against.

              • Brown Rose

                Its precarious calculus–hence redlines, property taxes and values to inflate their home values. That system can’t last forever and why White people more than anything fear a Mad Max dystopia. They would be a*sed out without these institutional forces that allow them to build and keep their wealth.

                • miss t-lee

                  Totally agree.
                  Totally.

        • Brooklyn_Bruin

          Owning a house is smart….if you can monetize it.

          Instead people just live in it.

          But an apartment above the garage is a start.

      • MsSula

        “Our economy doesn’t incentivize high savings, due to low interest rates”

        This is very true. My husband has never lived in America. He has spent some months visiting but never really lived.
        Yesterday we were watching Middle of Nowhere by Ava Duvernay (great work by the way) and at some point, the main character needed to borrow money and it was hard for her to do. It was $750, so he asked how much it was in our currency. I told him. He was surprised that she needed to borrow it, but moreso that it was so hard to ask that sum to her own mother.

        When you have not lived in the US, it’s really hard to grasp how difficult it is to save. The money is used to live. I have worked in both systems. I have been able to save triple the amount I saved in half the time I worked when I moved back (accounting for the fact that I am now married so shared expenses and the level of seniority I have now commands a higher wage). But I am not sure 1 system is inherently superior to the other. My not saving in the US meant I lived and UTILIZED my money. I travelled more, ate out a lot and shopped a lot more. There is also value to be associated to these things.

        Anyways excuse the rambling but I guess I am trying to say, not saving is not necessarily the scrooge it is often painted as being.

  • KNeale

    Thanks for putting me on to this study. Want to follow up with my favorite part: college education doesn’t close wealth gap. This is what I been trying to tell folks. Of course I’m bitter because people continue to forget about the ‘working class’ people out there. The people that may not be on public benefits but have no actual wealth or savings and are by no means living a true middle class lifestyle but living paycheck to paycheck. But folks (including black folks) like to try and squeeze fit everything into a preapproved narrative. My mother and her mother were college educated and we are still not middle class. I am one of the ones in my family doing ‘better’ and I live paycheck to paycheck on a decent salary with my no credit, high debt, rent is too damb high lookin azz! The energy bill is going to keep coming no matter what I do or how much I make so I’m going to take care of me first booboo!

    • `Abdu’l-Karim Ewing-Boyd

      I am constantly pulling fellow educators to the side and asking them to stop with the ‘everyone is going to college’ speech with kids. Four years piling debt in a liberal arts college is NOT necessarily the best bet for folks (plus more time and money for graduate study). How about four years as an apprentice at your local union, during which you get paid AND experience AND job placement? Booker T. and W. E. B. might have both been right.

      • TheOtherJerome

        What union? Most are gone now?

      • Brooklyn_Bruin

        What local union?

        • `Abdu’l-Karim Ewing-Boyd

          Take a look at the information available on the DC Department of Employment Services’ ‘How to be an Apprentice’ site.

      • Tell the babies to learn coding!

        • Rewind4ThatBehind

          Coding is that future proof wave right now

          • Brooklyn_Bruin

            Trump is currently raising the dollar amount on h1b visas.

            That is actually going to force companies to go overseas more.

            India got a million folks already doing JavaScript and Ruby

            Software and automation is where it’s all going, but current political climate suggests the being able to provide food, water, and shelter outside of the market economy will be more important.

      • MsKeisha23

        I’ve been encouraging some of the youngsters in my communities to take advantage of local opportunities with the Dept of Water and Power, different trades, apprenticeship programs, etc. Those are GOOD jobs, steady jobs, don’t require a formal education and will learn on the job. As older workers age out of those, we’ll need more people with those skills to handle our infrastructure needs. There are programs out there available for that kind of thing if you know where to look and who to talk to. Huge leg up to not end up having to pay off loans for umpteen years after school. More people might be better off if tuition and textbooks weren’t so damn expensive…but that’s another racket/discussion entirely.

        • `Abdu’l-Karim Ewing-Boyd

          Five people go in on the book, cut it from the bindings, run it through a scanner. Everybody gets a pdf. This ain’t hard, folks.

      • Manny

        Do any careers even offer apprenticeships tho? Nowadays that’s called an un-paid internship.

        • `Abdu’l-Karim Ewing-Boyd

          Yes. Skilled trades are still there and they are professional careers. I have a homie (check the spelling, Panama) who is a locksmith; stays paid. A cousin who is an electrician; has rental property. Another cousin who can drive everything lighter than a military personnel carrier; stays paid. Good friend of the family who is the ‘fix everything in your house’ dude and a master electrician; backbone of four generations right now AND throwing work to guys and gals he trained.

          Not all careers are office – based, folks. Look at all the money starting to slide into boutique agriculture. Booker T deserves another second look.

          • Hilary B.

            Yessir! Trade school graduate myself and just bought my first home. I continue to tell ppl, trade schools are the new wave!

    • KKlaRue

      https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/billion-dollar-bets/481320/?utm_source=fbb

      Nearly 70% of children born to parents in the bottom 40 % of incomes remain in the economy’s basement—regardless of whether they “work hard and play by the rules”. Even for hardworking black families who have managed to climb to the middle rung, it’s still more likely than not that their children will slide back down the ladder. Nearly 7 out of 10 African Americans born at the middle-income quintile will fall into one of the bottom two quintiles as adults.

    • Glo

      I was happy with myself for having somewhat of a savings a couple of years ago, and then I had an allergic reaction. Insurance would only cover a portion of the ER visit, so the rest pretty much wiped out my savings account.

      That experience freaked me out quite a bit. While I have more money saved up again, I’m constantly aware of how easy it is to lose it when you don’t have any sort of built up wealth from your parents to rely on.

  • Mary Burrell

    Yeah this is a pretty tired meme on some black social media sites. Hoteps always preaching to black women about buying fake hair and makeup. And how black folks will never have financial wealth because we black woman make the Asians rich. And how our priorities are in the wrong place. It’s a tired and done to death meme.

    • HouseOfBonnets

      While ignoring the entire fact that black women are entrepreneurs in the field….. You can tell they don’t believe in Google and research.

      • Mary Burrell

        Yes and Amen

    • cakes_and_pies

      Wasn’t that Boyce Watkins spewing that trash argument?

      • Mary Burrell

        Yes I don’t know what to do with some of the stuff he says. I try to listen to him and not discard him just yet.

    • NotyoKneeGrow

      word. white women buy tons of weave and still got dough….i doubt that weave is accounting for the loss of personal wealth in our community compared to say the housing crisis, which wiped out black and brown folks’ most valuable assets…

      • Brooklyn_Bruin

        She probably attracting Tom, Richard, and Harry with that weave. Creating familial wealth the old-fashioned way

        • NotyoKneeGrow

          now I ain’t sayin she a gold digger…

      • Mary Burrell

        Checking out your screen name, did you see the documentary yet?

        • NotyoKneeGrow

          I did and Baldwin been by guy for a minute…..you see it yet? whatchu think?

          • Mary Burrell

            Got to get Fences and Moonlight under my belt. Maybe Netflix will pick it up.

          • Blueberry01

            I saw it. Very powerful.

    • NonyaB?

      I think a standard protocol should be adapted to deal with hoteps: They should be addressed with gasoline and a lit match but that’s just me. *Shrugs*

      • Mary Burrell

        You always make me laugh ???

        • NonyaB?

          I do it for the people!

  • Val
    • Brown Rose

      That’s what I said below, but of course MLK said it way better. Take it all away and they would be worse then nothing.

    • TheOtherJerome

      Bless you for posting this. If we would have gotten those 40 acres literally everything would have changed. Of course the first “Blacks need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps type, andrew johnson (also known as satan) put a stop to that.

      • Yeah, you gotta have boots first.

        • Mary Burrell

          That’s what I said in a discussion on this very same topic on another site. There were some negroes on this one site saying we black Americans always playing the victim and looking for handouts. I get weary of those responses.

          • Question

            You know what’s funny – that mess always comes from people who themselves are a paycheck away from the house of cards falling apart. I’ve NEVER heard a black person whose made it (in the flesh – dumb celebrities and Ben Carson don’t count) say that nonsense.

            • Mary Burrell

              Ben Carson is such a huge disappointment I just can’t believe this is who he is. It just blows my mind. And growing up his mother had to have government assistance. And Clarence Thomas is another one. These assimilationist negros are just sad.

              • Anajarrington

                Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours & have longer with friends and family! !sr65c:
                On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
                !sr65c:
                ??
                ??;?? http://GoogleFinancialCashJobs355DirectNovaGetPaid$97/Hour ????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!sr65c:….,……

              • Snowtalady

                You just figured that?

              • DizzyLizzyGyal

                I don’t know where the phrase comes from, but it fits these negros to a tee: “The illusion of inclusion.” Very real and very dangerous.

      • Question

        It all makes sense, though. Cuz think about it – at the time Abraham Lincoln granted reparations for 4.5 seconds, we DID know how to farm. Matter of fact, at the time, we were the only people who did.

        Andrew Johnson saved white supremacy.

        • HoneyRose

          Hoshit…I never thought about it like that before.

    • Medium Meech

      [Black Fist Emoji]

    • I need the film on this so I can show this to my students next time I teach!

      • `Abdu’l-Karim Ewing-Boyd
        • Bwhy

          “In this campaign, we’re coming to get our check.”

          And that, right there, is how you become an enemy of the state. It wasn’t about voting, or schools, or buses, or lunch counters. The minute MLK realized America had been dodging black folks like we were the landlady on the 5th, somebody decided he had to go.

        • Blueberry01

          It’s interesting that when he “changed his tone” on civil rights is when he was assasinated.

      • AsamiSato

        I use the documentary Race the Power of an Illusion Part 3 “The House we Live In” starting around 25:00. I showed that in class a couple weeks ago and a white Trump supporter raised his hand and was like I had no idea that this had happened and ranted a bit about how messed up it was. Very satisfying.

    • Mary Burrell

      Dr. King knew what time it was. MLK and Malcolm X both knew what the obstacles were and it was the system of white supremacy. I wonder will we get those reparations? Probably not in my lifetime I am thinking.

      • PinkRose

        We’ll never get reparations, we’ve only been human for about 50 years.

        • Mary Burrell

          Wow, even Native Americans get a check.

        • R

          White people would get reparations too. Is that ok with you? Don’t forget, there were some slaves that went white after the war and so some white people would be eligible. They did have slave ancestors too. And as far as the spending and not having. It just takes one person to not buy a new car , but get that loan and put it into the bank and pay it off. Then when you kid is 21 they have something. Our instead of straight selling y’all mama house for quick money, keep it. Build from it. If it’s paid for that’s saved money on rent. It all boils down to good decision making. What’s done is done. The past can’t be changed. Live for the future.

          • PinkRose

            The White descendants of White slaves got their 40 acres and a muthaf**kin mule, mkay? So loose me with your bull$hit about the past and go play on the acela tracks.

            • R

              I’m talking about white descendants of black slaves. There r some

      • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

        That’s true.

    • Courtney Wheeler

      This got to me…man…

    • Diego Duarte

      Capitalism has always had an implicit racial bias in favor of whites. Notice how billions of dollars in subsidies to companies that are already successful is catalogued as a smart move, whereas barely millions in food stamps and relief for black folk is labelled down as waste, fraud and abuse.

      • jfenbauer

        not to even go into the fact that the vast majority of people on any kind of assistance – but particularly SNAP – are white. but if one points that out then the whites don’t have anyone to blame for “taking all the welfare”. can’t stay in power without a common enemy.

    • Question

      Damn, Val. I’ve read this like 6 times and each time, can only shake my head. If that ain’t it in a nutshell. Thanks for posting.

      • Janelle Doe

        Indeed. It has levels.
        And for those who would argue differently- starting w employment. even if we both started at zero today. Yt person gets a million to my 700k as a BW regardless of whether we both end up as VP or CEO (which as y’all know is unlikely).

        • Question

          At least LinkedIn has helped remove some of the shock when you walk in for your interview/conversation/meeting and they realize for the first time that you’re Black.

          • Janelle Doe

            This is true.
            Unfortunately i still get hit with the young and inexperienced…
            I mean it is not our fault that we don’t crack. And anyway age is not equal to experience (as we will learn in many ways over the next four years)

            • Question

              Yea, I was gonna edit my post and say LinkedIn is a double edged sword cuz now they know you’re Black.

              • PinkRose

                I say it’s better to get eliminated from the get go, than after you’ve started the new gig.

    • Candace Driver

      I love you.

    • Tam
      • Janelle Doe

        Tam, help Ed up thread just said BP have no work ethics and can’t be trained.
        Is Ed trolling?

        • Tam

          I think he is one who has bought the kool aid. It is worse because he grew up in a home with former colonials.

          • Janelle Doe

            K. Tks. Happy almost the weekend.
            :-)
            *waving goodbye

      • Val

        “I heard he lost everything in the Bowling Green Massacre,”

        Lol!

        They are trolling him so well. I love it.

        • L8Comer

          Lmao!

    • ?? KortAlmighty??

      #AllFaxNoPrinters

    • Annalise Keating
    • Mary Burrell

      You need your own YouTube channel.

      • Val

        Lol Definitely not my style, Mary.

    • FeeFee

      That’s why he got killed. He saw the writing on the wall.

    • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

      Excellent Points.

    • Blueberry01

      :Slow Clap:

    • Gail

      Any questions from the audience? No.

      Seriously, these gifs are all that needs to be said. The so called mystery is as plain as white rice. The average black man makes 74cents to every 1 dollar a white or Asian male makes, and the average woman of color make 65cents to every dollar a white or Asian woman makes does. Upward mobilty even with in salaried jobs is far harder for blacks than whites and Asians. There is far too much to go into. This b.s. argument will always be flawed and the answer is entrenched in our country’s history.

    • mcentral

      This has a lot of powerful points, but I don’t really get the main argument. You say the assertion is that black people spend more than they should on useless, shiny, depreciating stuff. Then you show that study that shows that black people actually spend less of their total money than white people do. But that doesn’t answer the central question of what people are spending their money on. I don’t know the answer, but I don’t see it in your argument. Spending less could say a lot of things, including a lot of very positive things. I don’t see that information.

  • La Bandita

    BM in America have an high unemployment rate across the board and on every income level. And very high homelessness in older age. That’s why its important for them to accept feminism (equal pay for men & women) and be in stable relationships. That’s the 1st half of solution.

    • MsCee

      Well this is a perspective I haven’t seen before. Do elaborate.

      • La Bandita

        From what I understand the ‘for profit prisons’ have a high demand for BM bodies, so if he can get thur high school, Uni and safely into a job w/out going to prison is hard. There will be unemployment during that time regardless. If he gets court up in the prison system his income after is greatly reduce and only a relationship with a woman with a job will keep him from homelessness.

        • MsCee

          I don’t know you…but I think I like you. Very interesting perspective indeed. So basically the woman takes on head of household and the man is the additional support?

          • La Bandita

            If he starts berating feminism then he’s homeless, because he didn’t work long enough to put into social security.

    • NotyoKneeGrow

      and the second half…?

      • La Bandita

        Reperatations in the form of free Uni education for all qualified Blacks. And down payments for 1st time home payments in ANY neighborhood of your choice.

        That’s all I have. I need help from the visionaries in the comments. Anyone??

        • NotyoKneeGrow

          I think if you don’t deal with the system and white supremacy you can easily have wealth wiped out by a single “hiccup” in the market. black and brown people have to learn policy and/or run for local, state, national office. IMO

  • clownFace Prod.

    Exactly. The wealth is passed down. A lot of it acquired when it was easier to victimize minorities and laborers. Some of it acquired by Whites who were given opportunities from the Whites who still have the wealth from that time period. When people wonder how these young white kids can afford these 400K+ homes in the currently-being-gentrified South Philly, it’s because the money is coming from parents and/or opportunities still easily afforded to them because of race. At my job, everyone in upper management is white and they all got their jobs because of relation or friendship, and any company we subcontract gets those contracts because of the same reasons.

    • MsCee

      Can’t even agree enough so I’ll just pass around the collection plate in your honor.

    • LeeLee

      “At my job, everyone in upper management is white and they all got their jobs because of relation or friendship.”

      Same. And its weird… some black folk look down or are extra cautious about referring our own. And perhaps they’ve been burned, then paint everyone with the same scorched brush. But for me…. as long as your resume is tight and you have solid references, I will put in a good word for my own.

      • `Abdu’l-Karim Ewing-Boyd

        My granddaddy told me that nepotism is only bad if you don’t know nobody.

        • Cheech

          And one of my inlaws told me that the theory of relativity is that everything is for relatives.

      • Cheech

        Remember, though, they’re against affirmative action. They’re all about meritocracy. And test scores.

        • LeeLee

          *snickers*……I’m actually writing an op-ed about this very subject for a speechwriter fellowship.

        • Wild Cougar

          They got the hook up, covered their tracks, floated the meritocracy lie to convince Black folks that getting the hook up is morally wrong.

          • Cheech

            WC! Where you been?

        • Wise Old Owl

          Legacy Admissions are good, especially when Black folks could not even attend racist schools such as Rice, when good old grandpa was a Freshman…however, Affirmative Action for Black folks is bad and goes against the very fabric of America…can we just all get along and watch the Big Bang Theory and Friends reruns…

          • Cheech

            *chuckles and shakes head sadly ….

            Slightly adjacent, I often find myself about to use “grandfathered” in conversation, and then I remember where that came from.

        • legitimate_soul

          I get your point, and confirming your sarcasm that in all reality they are not about meritocracy. A lot of Affirmative Action is gate-keeping and monitoring who gets in the door. With college admissions and jobs, there is no looking at ability to do the work required and the fact that those appointed to positions are qualified or OVER-qualified. Folks mad because ‘x’ underrepresented people got admitted to a university. There is no looking at how ‘x’ underrepresented that got admitted GRADUATED. The anger about Affirmative Action is the anger about some not being able to continue their entitlement. Because prior to an opportunity becoming available, there was absolutely no discussion about representation or access. Kinda of how #AllLivesMatter is never protesting in support for any lives whatsoever. Bunch of b.s.!

      • Valerie

        I always put in a good word for people too.

    • siante?

      “At my job, everyone in upper management is white and they all got their jobs because of relation or friendship,”
      Same here. The company I work for is family owned & began when a German immigrant came here 80+ years ago so it doesn’t shock me that there are zero powerful black men in leadership there.

    • Mary Burrell

      I wish I could give you a hundred up votes.

    • pls

      They be going to college just for the experience -_-
      They be buying a whole house for their kids acting like the kid is self made -_-
      They be puttin on airs living outside of their means as well -_-
      They be lyin B -_________________________________-

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