The Decline of Home Ownership: Yet Another Sign that the Black Conscious Community has Little to Offer Beyond Phrase-Mongering

There is a famous saying within the American lexicon that “no news is good news.” Far too often, this lack of news provides an unwarranted sense of comfort for persons and groups such as the so-called ‘conscious community’ who know in their heart of heart’s that if they even gave a slight glance at certain portions of their material existence that the ugly truth would be unbearable. However, there is another favorite saying of “you cannot change what you do not acknowledge” that not only counter-balances the initial statement of “no news is good news,” but also should be the guiding post for those seeking to uplift the African-American community.

There is little room to debate the harsh reality that within Capitalist America, nothing, not even politics, matters more than financial might. Hence, the accumulation of money should be considered the critical lynchpin in the struggle to improve the lives of African-Americans individually and collectively. Put simply; until Black America addresses the various factors surrounding its economic marginality, none of the different strategies designed to achieve liberation will make a significant impact.

Financial advisors overwhelmingly agree that for most Americans, particularly historically marginalized groups such as African-Americans, homeownership is the cornerstone of wealth accumulation. Hence, it is critical that African-Americans not only purchase homes but also make the alluded to buy in their early adult life. We must never forget that time is the most important component for any investment.

Consequently, a report recently released by the Urban Institute relates that African-Americans have lost significant ground in the homeownership arena. It is this matter that should have immediately garnered the undivided attention of the so-called ‘conscious community.’ According to the referenced study, in regards to home ownership African-Americans have lost significant ground since the turn of the century. The alluded to decline in homeownership rates for Black America reveal that the current homeownership rates have fallen beneath that achieved nearly a half-century ago.

Incredibly, the current rate of homeownership for blacks (46.3%) is less than one percent greater than the rate for whites in 1940. Since 1940, nearly twice as many African-Americans (41.2% — down from 47.3% in 2000) have managed to gain ownership of their homes. However, that number is extremely disappointing when compared to a white growth from 45.6% to 71.1% over the same period.

As previously mentioned, within a Capitalist nation, financial wherewithal matters mightily. So the losing of ground in the arena of homeownership should be the center of discussion within the African-American community, sadly it is not. Clearly the absence of such conversations among the majority of the community reflects a continuing failure to prioritize pressing financial matters away from incredibly trivial popular culture junk, unbelievable conspiracy theories, or the substantiation of one’s identity as a Moor, God, Earth, Christian, Hebrew, or some other non-sense that has no weight in the real world. It is evident to anyone who cares to examine the so-called ‘conscious community’ that they have displayed a proclivity to refuse to emerge from a self-constructed fantasy world that reminds one of a Dungeons-n-Dragons role-playing game and engage their opponents in arenas that hold the potential of liberating Black America.

When considered from a macro-level, these delusions of grandeur that all too often ensnare the minds of African-Americans are little more than ‘mental masturbation sessions’ that reek of cowardice.

It is the time for the so-called ‘conscious community’ abandon these ridiculous patterns of ineptitude and take a realistic look at the problems facing our community. It is only through such an examination that realistic plans to address our issues can be formulated. Please consider this a reminder that investment in a philosophy that “no news is good news” is going to be the death of many of us.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, and Culture 2017

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