In the black community, we are reactive. We do not often respond to a situation until it’s too late. In addition we don’t often use that opportunity to enforce a change, we let it die off and move on until the next problem occurs. This is not always the case but we wanted to point out 10 things that fit the description that we are speaking of…These are the things that as black people we CAN’T keep ignoring…
1. The Need to Continue Education
Don’t you find it amazing that some of us will stand in line all night and fight for our places to buy a new pair of Jordans with our rent money but we won’t sign up for FREE Community College? In some states they even PAY you to go to college with whatever is left over from financial aid. Many corporations like to keep their employees stuck so that they can’t leave and they can’t stay. Assigning them crazy hours so they can’t do much else but work but there is STILL a way to get around that. We tend to be reactive instead of proactive. The radio industry is about to DRASTICALLY change in the next couple of years and we keep telling broadcasters to take online classes NOW to prepare but anyone else can do the same thing. Two classes a semester can add up to a degree quicker than you think.
2. The High Drop Out Rate of Black Boys
It’s a very sad day for many black males as the high school drop out rate continues to grow. As most of us know a college degree is not even enough for a black man what can he do without a high school diploma? Many young black males have all but given up on any careers other than sports, hip hop or the streets and there is a middle MAN that’s missing in this scenario. Black men already make up a disproportionate amount of prisoners in the United States and the high school drop out rate for black men will only exacerbate the problem to record highs. What options does a black man have once he’s been charged with a federal crime? Not much, the opportunity for him to find ANY kind of job coupled with the fact that he is a black man will be nil. It’s no wonder the rate is recidivism is so high. It’s not enough for us to shrug our shoulders if it’s possible to find a way to change this problem with black boys are young enough to have their minds changed. The first step… show some interest in him. Are black boys actually confirming the often white perception that black men are lazy?
3. Diseases that Disproportionately Affect Black People
There are several diseases that dominate the black community that continue to plague us more than other races and we continue to ignore them:
- High Blood Pressure
- Mental Illness
If you don’t know of at least three black people who have suffered from one or more of the diseases above you are already dead yourself. Radio USED to be our foghorn for community issues but they no longer seem to care about what takes place in the local black communities around the country so it’s left up to us to spread the word on not just taking care of ourselves but suggesting treatment options and offering compassion and concern to those affected instead of ignoring them or finding humor in these situations. People seemed to think Whitney Houston’s drug addition was hilarious…until she finally died from it. Put yourself in that person’s shoes, would you want people to ignore of laugh at you if you had one of these problems?
4. Blind Faith and The Hypocrisy of Some Black Churches
A black woman is frustrated because her son has no father figure in his life. As a mother she can only do so much to raise him. She tries to raise him right and takes him to church. The black male minster shows interest in the young fatherless black boys and the mother is thrilled. He preaches against homosexuality as a sin so the mother thinks he is a great role model for her son. The predator approaches her about taking her son on a tip to Japan with him. She thinks this is the opportunity of a lifetime for her son, this is something that she could never do for him. She jumps at the opportunity and says yes and he takes her son to Japan and has sex with him. FOR YEARS. Some of these transgressions are finally revealed and the women in the church who have sons leave the church but everyone else STAYS and still believes in this minister? One or two boys can be excused as opportunists, even if it’s still true but FIVE to FIFTEEN YOUNG MEN? Why are we so addicted to prophets even when they are false? Why is it so hard for us to understand there is a God ALREADY in us and we don’t need another man or a woman to justify or verify that.
5. Supporting Other Black Businesses
We often complain about how tacky other black businesses are. Nasty attitudes, high prices and poor service but isn’t that what you also get at high-end department stores that sell designer clothes when you’re black? When it comes to black businesses we will forgive all of that poor service and nasty attitude for some great soul food in the hood or on the other end some designer threads. We will even step on a roach while peeling the skin off a chicken wing with our teeth as we lick our fingers if the food is good enough and we will tolerate being ignored in a high end store until the clerk feels like taking care of us. One ore point…. as an entrepreneur, I often notice we want slashed prices, unreasonable discounts and “hook up” rates from other black business people but we want to charge a premium for our own services?
6. Investing in our Futures
A LOT of people of ALL colors lost money on the housing market but this is the BEST time to make a long-term investment and buy a house RIGHT NOW. I can’t tell you how many savvy businesspeople that I know of who made their money during the bubble BUT kept their main house or properties and they are now sitting on a ton of money waiting for the banks to decide what they are going to do with the slew of houses just sitting on the market. Some have purchased homes directly from the bank and others are looking at other ways to invest like technology. Many say we don’t like to read or do research and we are always looking for instant gratification which is what will almost always get you in trouble. Could this be true?
7. Never Being to Busy to Love Our Children
For the longest time I didn’t believe there was an issue with skin tone in the black community. I do remember growing up and my very fair skinned babysitter would discipline her dark skinned daughter by saying… “(her name) Get yo BLAAAAAAAAAACK ass over here and do your homework.” Her daughter, now a grown woman in her 40s has a SEVERE complex with her skin tone now and I can see why. Why would you call your child names? There is no excuse for that and a hug goes a thousand miles. It tells a child, you are loved, you are worthy, you are protected, you are important and I am there for you. A simple HUG! We should never be too busy to hug and love our children.
8. Second Opinions
So a doctor tells you you have breast cancer… is he your lord and savior Jesus Christ? Never put your complete trust and faith in one person. No matter WHAT the situation is do your research and ask questions and get other opinions whether its going to a doctor or buying a car. Don’t you love it when you call customer service and you ask to speak to speak to a supervisor and the rep tells you…”They are going to tell you the same thing” how in the hell do they know? Never settle for that and make that your reason for demanding a supervisor. Finally NEVER sign a contract based on someone explaining what each paragraph means. Being a real estate agent I learned that lesson the hard way. A friend was having surgery and the nurse was telling her what everything meant and she was busy signing away. I told her to wait and I read over the paper and there was a page that the nurse said “This means that you are giving us permission to do the surgery” the page actually stated that the patient agrees to allow a film crew in the room during the surgery to use the film for college training FOR FREE. She was not being paid as an actress and by signing that paper she was giving up all her rights. NEVER and I mean NEVER let someone interpret what ANYTHING that you sign means. READ IT YOURSELF and TAKE YOUR TIME even if they get pissed. Why do you think we are in the real estate mess we are in today? PEOPLE DID NOT READ WHAT THEY WERE SIGNING.
9. Spending Wisely?
Going back to example one, we love LOVE status symbols and will buy a great looking car, something that will depreciate in value VS a home, something that will APPRECIATE in value. When something appreciates in value that means it will be worth MORE than you paid for it so….impress YOURSELF by preparing for your future to hell with trying to fit in and not having anything to eat when you get home.
10. Complaining and Not Taking Action
We LOVE to moan, grown and complain. We will complain about the sun being too bright on a beautiful day and we will complain about someone else who complains about someone else who complains. The best way to ensure a life of frustration and loneliness… is to complain, always have the answer for everything and bring people down with your problems and negative energy. People have their own lives to deal with and the more you complain the less people you will have to complain to so you can now complain to your few remaining friends about how everyone has abandoned you and you should be COMPLETELY alone within 30 days after that. Let’s face it, we almost ALWAYS have the answer to our problems in advance, perhaps we just like to hear ourselves … I don’t know…complain