Building wealth within the Black community is one of the hottest topics of discussion and debate going on right now within the community. This comes at a time when The Nation reports that it'll take 228 years for the average Black family to build the wealth equal to what the average White family has today.
Much of the racial wealth gap that currently exists in America is based off of decades of racial bias and exclusion that prevented the Black community from participating in wealth growth that Whites were given access to. Lack of access and an overall lack of upward mobility in the Black community also plays a major role, but is related to what was mentioned before which is racial privileges given to certain communities over others.
What the article fails to mention however is the ability for the Black community as a whole to collectively pool what little money we have to build things in the community that the government and private investors won't build. Due to the fact that we don't have Black billionaires growing from trees who can finance this agenda directly themselves, it means that going forward Black people will have to take a different approach. It means we'll have to get creative and use new technology to find ways to employ group economics tactics.
The best way to do this is to crowdfund. If we can get 10% of the Black community, which means some 4.6 million people, to commit to investing in the Black community for 1 year...or 2 years, then within a short period of time we can build a wealth base of $1 billion and start from there. 4.6 million Black people investing $10.00/month can generate $46 million monthly. That's $552 million yearly! Like I just said though, this should be seen as an investment. However people can't be petty, and this is where the paradigm shift comes into play.
Right now in the Black community, I feel like there's a collective schizophrenia - a detachment from reality that is doing serious harm to our people. Right now we live in this "post-racial" mythological reality which plays down the dire straights our people are really in. This is an idea pushed intentionally by the establishment (which includes politicians and media) because their policies are directly responsible for our present condition and they don't want to own up to that, much less fix it. So this detachment from reality has a lot of Black people believing that we're doing better than we really are. We see the Jay-Z's, the Oprah's, the athletes, etc and think that somehow trickles down to the rest of us - that couldn't be further from the truth and deep down inside people know this is an illusion. A real life Jedi Mind Trick. It is past time for us to wake up to the reality of our present condition...only then will we begin to go through a much-needed paradigm shift.
Like I stated above, we can't be petty and think that this investment will directly mean profits for us personally. I mean it could theoretically as you can be both an investor and still gain access to the funds if you have a business or idea (this is explained in more detail below). This is a community-based investment...so you're giving your money with the express intention of that money being used to build certain things the community needs. What things you ask? Well that will depend on whatever we vote for. You see, I see this endeavor as needing to be democratic in nature. One way this could fail, assuming it ever gets off the ground, is if this were an operation controlled by one person. One person having access to so much wealth is asking for abuse of the funds collected by said person. Not because they'd be evil people or anything, but because that's human nature. We don't want to see the organizer of an agenda like this on social media showing us his/her new house and new car once the crowdfunding campaign has generated millions of dollars because he/she dipped his/her hands into the cookie jar and started taking money from the fund unethically. That would destroy investor confidence and the agenda would be trashed online where it's support is needed most.
No, this has to be democratically-controlled. The funds should be controlled by a revolving committee of, let's just say for the sake of discussion, twelve Black people. These people would be democratically-elected by those who are investing. The investors would have a vote every couple years on a new committee. Funds are not used unless a majority in the committee decided that the funds would be used. Ideally, after a year or two of crowdfunding, a series of construction options would be placed on the table for the Committee to vote on. This could range from financing a black film with serious capitol or building a black school. The funds could go into buying land and/or directly financing Black-owned businesses. We could build grocery stores to feed the community without the need of the government or people in the dominant white society. The options are nearly limitless due to the amount of money that investors will be putting into the operation.
As I stated above, you shouldn't be an investor thinking you're going to be personally rewarded, it's about the community being rewarded collectively. However one could apply for credit from the treasure chest of the funds that have been accumulated already if they wanted to start a business and didn't have the money themselves. Matter of fact, we could design it in a way that would make getting approved for credit faster and easier if one were already an investor. The same concept would apply for buying land and/or commercial properties, etc. Of course the details would need to be ironed out and I don't intend to draft the entire policy in this blog entry, but you get the idea.
So, basically we need a New Age Talented Tenth. Not identical to the Talented Tenth theory put forth by W.E.B. DuBois so many years ago which saw black progress coming through a group of learned Black men and women via higher education. No, this New Age Black Tenth will be those investors who will work to financially prop-up the black community...as best they can. Devoid of the "negro mentality" that is overly pessimistic, defeatist and apathetic. This 'New Age Black Tenth' will be optimistic, creative and always at the cutting edge. They'll contribute to the growth of schools and businesses, and will see to the buying of land and buildings for sale. The funds collected by this awakened 'Black Tenth' can even be given to help put politicians into office that share our goals. Not sellout Democrats who sell us on hopes and dreams, just to get into office and do the opposite of what they said they'd do. We can run 3rd party candidates on the local and state level and with the money from the crowdfunding campaign, we can give them a legitimate shot of winning and the ability to get their message out because they'll have enough money to compete.
This is not impossible. Remember, you can contribute anything. $10 would be ideal, $5 is something and better than nothing, while $20 or more would be incredible. That means maybe you don't make as many trips to the local fast food joint, maybe you buy one less shirt, maybe you buy one less blu-ray DVD. However don't tell me this isn't possible. It requires sacrifice yes, but not major sacrifice. I think for the future of our community, we should be able to sacrifice at least a little if it means we'll be able to survive. We have to stop being petty and only thinking about ourselves and our careers. If we don't begin making moves immediately, I dread to think where our community will be in 100 years.
This 'Black Tenth' agenda is about survival plain and simple. Survival in a vampiric plutocratic society that routinely feeds off of black bodies. Everyone is eating good off of black labor and black mass incarceration. Everyone eats good, but us...and I'm tired of it. I'm tired of my community being the stepping stool for immigrants who come here and leap frog us and do better than us financially. Not because we're incapable of doing better, but because we're not trying hard enough. Yes, there's racism and bigotry, xenophobia and white supremacy. Yes, there are acts of state violence and gross unconstitutional human rights violations occurring on a daily basis. Yes, we demand reparations and should not even have to explain why we don't want it, but desperately need it. However those things are not going away anytime soon and unless we get a Green Party President in office and/or a Green majority in Congress...reparations aren't likely coming this generation either. Maybe 3-4 generations from now if we start pushing this paradigm shift right this second, but definitely not anytime within the next 10-20 years. I'm just keeping it real. Black crowdfunding is one of the best options at our disposal right now.
Black crowdfunding will require very little startup capitol and we could honestly use a crowdfunding platform that already exists. We'd need a website and we'd need potential Committee members to run similarly to how people run for office. Positions should be open to anyone who is black and preferably progressive on ideas of politics and economics. Once the committee is formed, then sub-committee's should also be formed afterward. These sub-committee's would carry out various tasks designed to grow and operate the overall campaign on a day-to-day basis. For instance the Marketing subcommittee would spread the word through all methods of communication. Online, radio, television, etc with the express intention of this completely grassroots campaign going viral. After a few early successes, we will have something to hang our hat on to show detractors and doubters that what we're doing is real and is producing real results.
After a few years of successfully funding different projects and potentially putting politicians into office, we will be the talk of America. It would be a sign that Black people are getting on their collective game, getting on code and getting stuff done. People would start noticing us and the word will spread like wildfire. What right wing billionaires like the Koch Brothers did for the Tea Party, we could do for the Black Left. Maybe not in as short of a time as they did it, maybe it takes us 20 years instead of a few years, but we can do it. The demographics are trending long-term in our favor and many Black people will be living in "minority-majority" cities and towns - if they're not already. All we need to do is take over a city with real progressives, put a Mayor into office and take over the City Council. We can change the police department overnight, we can create black economic spaces in downtown areas. We can work with credit unions or start a Black credit union to further pool our resources on a whole new level independent from the crowd-funding campaign. Why have one source of funds when you can have multiple?
All of this is possible, but we need to start with the basics first and that is the crowdfunding campaign. If you're Black and reading this blog entry, you can be the seed of Black America's future - a member of the 'New Age Black Tenth.' All it requires is something equivalent to what you already spend on a daily basis on gas or paying your monthly Netflix subscription. Get your family involved. All it requires is a little over 1.26 million families of 3 (assuming there's a mother and father and a child that's not generating an income). One family can generate $20 a month between the mother and the father. Again, this is bare minimum and should be seen as a fun investment full of black pride. We'd literally be investing in our future...what can be more fun than that?
As I invest in penny stocks and as I've made good money doing so, I've come to learn the importance of having patience and holding a position for future reward. When that reward comes, it is the most pleasing and fruitful feeling you'll ever have. I make money out of no money simply by investing in stocks and option contracts.
Our future is our collective stock and that stock has been on a downtrend for far too long. It is time we began to truly invest in our future and give a crap about where we're headed. Quantum consciousness teaches us that there are limitless possibilities. That we CAN create the reality we want to live in and that we deserve to live in. We are Black people living in a White reality. A reality not crafted by us, so it's not dominated by us. Why WOULD we dominate a reality we did not create? This reality began coming into fruition after the 1500's during the early modern period of European history when Europeans began circumnavigating the globe, when the Moors were driven out of Europe and slavery kicked into overddrive. When our independent kingdoms and Empires collapsed in Africa and came under imperialistic attack after their economies crashed...furthering the sin of slavery and colonialism even more. Let's not forget when the Inquisition in Europe began seeding the early foundations for what would eventually become white supremacy. This White reality began in those early years centuries ago and continues to this day and defines the lives of all Black men and women, especially in America. The only way we begin to shape our OWN reality is to change our mental paradigm, pool our money and invest in our future. It's really as simple as that.