“When white people are just rich, they’re rich forever and ever. Even their kids are rich. But when a black gets rich, it’s countdown to when he’s poor again.” — Comedian Louis C.K.
The newspaper headline blared the question: “How Have Blacks Fared Under Trump’s First 100 Days?” The news report described blacks in their traditional place — doing poorly in America, as if we’d been better off during the first 100 days of Obama, or the last hundred of George Bush’s presidency. Under Donald Trump — just like under Barack Obama, George Bush, Bill Clinton and others of the past 30 years — blacks have been falling behind.
Blacks are doing no better, or worse, during the Trump presidency. In America today, the richest 1 percent of households own 37 percent of all wealth. The median net worth of white families is $134,000. The median net worth of African-American families is $11,000. For every $1 of wealth for white families, black families had just 12 cents. If current economic trends continue, the average black household will need 228 years to accumulate as much wealth as their white counterparts hold today.
Blacks are politically impotent. Just as past public policies created the racial wealth gap, current policy widens it. The wealth and income divide runs along racial and ethnic lines. The typical black household has just 6 percent of the wealth of the typical white household. No matter who was president, blacks have been falling further behind whites in wealth. Short of a revolution, among society, or themselves, blacks will never achieve parity with whites.
The American dream concept of economic development is likely across staple and progressive communities with unlimited educational opportunities, regardless race, creed, color or sex. Our agendas are much alike, except, white America has a different way in which they exercise their demand for an agenda. The difference between the “white agenda” is that they aspire for economic dominance. Most blacks just want a simple slice of “the dream” and to survive, living in peace and harmony. Until black Americans comprise a functioning market segment, we’ll continue getting “back of the bus” treatment.
Black Americans lack the ability to support one another, instead ascribing our plight to “white racism” and their prejudices without ever considering our roles toward the quandary black Americans are in. Blacks are behind economically because we don’t understand nor utilize capitalism. Across the board blacks miss the significance of building wealth. Blacks must liberate themselves, take responsibility and participate in commerce and basic exchange of money for goods or services. Our actions show, most blacks to be adverse to buying and banking black. Many rationalize their dysfunctional acts saying: “What if I were to say I’m only buying from Polish or white people? I understand spending in your community and places where you believe it will go to good, but only ‘buying black’ is racism.”
When will African-Americans come to cognitive realization that the fundamental rule among functional groups is to keep the money within your group? As Jews build businesses, they invest in their group and its ventures. They hire from among Jews. They buy and spend Jewish. These are acts blacks cannot comprehend nor follow. Statistics show that the Jews’ money changes hands an average of 18 times before leaving their community; for blacks, it is not even once. This is why Jews are at the top and blacks at the bottom of every economic gauge. Blacks must leave a legacy that helps build enduring wealth for our future. Instead of pursuing “post-racial” America, liberated blacks are about totally eliminating the racial wealth gap.
It’s time for each of us to tell ourselves the truth: When it comes to economics, wealth-building and power politics, blacks are a bust. We’ve all got to look in the mirror and admit to false, and dysfunctional, pride and premises. It’s time to start a national conversation to evolve a Black Agenda. Saving is just one step on the road to wealth building. You can build black wealth and power by: buying from blacks, banking with blacks and voting blacks’ interests’
William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via Busxchng@his.com.