I must admit that one of the most important things that I have ever done for myself involved an extended period of introspection. One of the truths that I now know about myself is that the only thing I find more exasperating than talking to a stupid person is repeating anything, and I do mean anything, to a stupid person; unfortunately, I have learned that the two seem to go hand-in-hand. Meaning that there are so many in our midst who simply do not “get it” the first time you explain it to them that you are forced to repeat yourself over and over again. This fact-of-life has been verified by many in our midst who seemingly do not comprehend why our community must challenge the pervasive economic exploitation that has victimized it over the past four centuries. One does not have to delve very far into economic indicators to view that currently, the Black unemployment rate sits at 11.4% while the white rate is 5.4%. Obviously, you are ‘the last hired and first fired’ within the existing system.
As I am certain that you can imagine, unless you are one of these stupid people that I am referring to, my frustration and ire has been raised significantly as the African-American community attempts to mobilize their financial strength by boycotting non-Black businesses. As an ardent Black Nationalist, I encourage every opportunity for collectivist economics whenever it arises as economic wherewithal is a primary pillar supporting any community. From my perspective, the absence of economic might is a central pillar behind the current listless state of African-American men. The linkage between the current disorganized state of the majority of African-American men and an absence of Black economic power are astounding.
Undoubtedly, within any capitalist society, the very definition of manhood is intimately intertwined with the securing of financial resources to meet personal obligations. Bluntly speaking, the failure to secure financial resources is one of the lynchpins that have led to the demise of the African-American community and family over the last fifty-years. When one considers that in Chicago, Illinois, the unemployment rate for Black males between the ages of 16 – 19 is an incredible 92%, there should be little debate regarding the need for an economic transformation within the Black community. Labor statistics for Black males over the age of 20 throughout the nation are likewise daunting as their unemployment rate exceeded 12% earlier this year. One must remember that the unemployment rate is merely a measure of those who are actively seeking employment, and as we well know there are droves of African-American men who have given up the pursuit of ‘legitimate’ employment opportunities long ago and therefore do not appear in Labor statistics.
Considering the essential nature of economics, it is suicidal for any community to rely upon outsiders to provide employment opportunities; such an arrangement means that African-American males’ ability to provide for their family is totally dependent upon their utility to whites and their economic interests; history dictates to us that those interests are not always synchronized. Put simply, whites are more like to hire within their own group, and who could really blame them, as economics are about survival and taking care of one’s own. And that is the reason that collectivist economics are so very important within any community, including the African-American community.
What are the options for African-American males existing in a system that defines manhood by one’s ability to secure money, yet simultaneously does not provide an opportunity to live up to that definition. Statistics indicate that so many of the aforementioned males end up involved in prison for non-violent drug offenses. The alluded to incarceration rates are astounding:
Incarceration rates for American groups per 100,000 citizens
- Whites are incarcerated at a rate of 380 per 100,000 citizens
- Latino are incarcerated at a rate of 966 per 100,000 citizens
- Blacks are incarcerated at a rate of 2,207 per 100,000 citizens
Put simply, African-American males have found it extremely difficult to successfully engage the mainstream American economic system for myriad reasons. And even those not hampered by any extraneous matter (criminal, psychological, or educational) have found the process of securing gainful and fulfilling employment extremely difficult.
So it begs the question, ‘what are we to do?’ The answer to this query has been, and always will be, collectivist economics; the very process that other groups (Irish, Polish, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Mexican, Cuban) have implemented to satisfy the real world need for taking care of their own. Collectivist economics has and will always work. According to the noted economist Claude Anderson when the institution of slavery ended, only 1% of African-Americans were self-employed, meaning not reliant upon a hostile white community for their material survival. Today, 150 years later, that number has risen to an incredible 2%. Such realities should not only serve as a shame for the entire race, but also spur them towards seriously and scientifically engaging collectivist economics.
I hope that we will embrace this tried-and-true method of group survival, failure to do so, will lead me to continue considering huge swaths of our population too stupid to do for self and therefore save themselves. And as I stated before, I hate talking to stupid people and have lost the ability to continuously repeat the same thing to such a population. So take this message to heart, because I can not guarantee that another will follow, participate in collectivist economics, it is your only path to economic liberation.
James Thomas Jones III, Ph.D., M.A., M.A.
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