Tag Archives: Black Economics

Donald Trump’s “New Deal”: A Plan to Save Impoverished Black Folk Living in America’s Urban Centers

I must tell you that I laughed aloud when I heard that President-elect Donald Trump planned to give African-Americans a “New Deal.” I fdr-2instantaneously thought that Trump’s use of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s (FDR) iconic campaign slogan to be yet another occurrence of the implementation of the non-specific language that invariably betrayed the original initiatives spirit. However, on second thought it appears that President-elect Trump if he remains true to the spirit of FDR’s “New Deal” may very well be on to something.

When the “New Deal” was created America was in the throes of an unprecedented ‘Great Depression’ that affected the entire globe. It was into this economic mess that FDR stepped and offered the American people a “New Deal.” Most hoped that FDR’s economic policies would both extricate them from their current troubles and put measures in place to prevent its reoccurrence. FDR’s “New Deal” restrained American Capitalists via regulations that significantly curtailed their often risky business dealings and protected American workers via ‘social security’ initiatives that were designed to buttress their confidence in the American economy.

Although FDR’s “New Deal” never pulled the nation out of the Great Depression, it did sway Black voters toward the Democratic Party, a migration that has only strengthened since the tumultuous 1930’s.

For the vast majority of African-Americans, particularly those residing in this nation’s urban centers, economic struggles have been a consistent issue. Most agree that a modern-day Marshall Plan will only eradicate the vast and far-reaching socioeconomic problems found in this country’s cities. Make no mistake about it, America’s urban poor need jobs, housing, health care, better education, and employment training.

The above problems are a formidable opponent to President-elect Trump. To his credit, Trump has publicly vowed to address this situation via an urban renewal program that has taken many of its cues from FDR’s New Deal.

Although African-Americans have been quick to rebuff, if not ignore, Trump’s overtures toward them, even the most stubborn African-American has to agree with him on the following point,

“In election after election, Democratic party leaders take African-American voters for granted, and year after year the condition of Black America gets worse. The conditions in our inner cities today are unacceptable. Too many African-Americans have been left behind.”

Trump’s “New Deal” hinges upon the following key points:

  • Voucher programs for African-American Schoolchildren.trump-10
  • Increased law enforcement presence to reduce crime in Urban America.
  • Tax cuts for business within blighted urban areas, a move to encourage investment in central city areas.
  • Financial reforms aimed at enriching African-American entrepreneurs.
  • Ceasing “trade deficits” that encourage the relocation of jobs from inner-city areas.
  • An abrupt end to illegal immigration — would lessen competition for African-American laborers.
  • Doubling-down on infrastructure investment, a reliable means of employing African-American workers.
  • Increasing protections for “the African American church.”
  • Adoption of an “America First” foreign policy that places American economic interests, including those of Black workers, first.

Trump plans to revitalize American urban centers by offering “…tax holidays for inner-city investment and new tax incentives to get foreign companies to relocate in blighted American neighborhoods…empower cities and states to seek a federal disaster designation for blighted communities to initiate the rebuilding of vital infrastructure, the demolition of abandoned properties, and the increased presence of law enforcement.”

On the surface, Trump’s proposals appear to be significant steps in the correct direction. However, this path of revitalization fails to provide a path toward economic independence for the African-American community. Put simply; it fails to provide a reasonable way to African-Americans controlling the politics, economics, and education within their community.

In fact, Trump’s plan appears to be little more than the positioning of African-American laborers for exploitation from manufacturing Black Power Fist 1companies seeking domestic labor. It is this failure of Trump and his entire administration to realize that it is not merely a job that African-Americans desperately need, it is the harvesting of a sense of community that results from them controlling the areas mentioned above within their community. Anything less than the black man and woman controlling the economics, politics, and education within their community is a continuation of historical economic subjugation and political exploitation.

If there is one thing that I hope that we still agree upon, it is that we must focus on independence in every area of our collective existence. Anything other that that is not even worth pursuing.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

‘Just Say Yes’: How Changing our Perspective is Critical to the Liberation of Black America

Strangely, so much of the current rhetoric occurring within the struggle for Black liberation reminds me of Nancy Reagan’s 1980’s ‘Just Say No’ campaign that was used to discourage children from MLKrecreational drug use. The ‘Just Say No’ campaign was a public relations campaign that allowed Conservatives to ratchet up the “war on drugs” that was initially announced by President Richard Nixon and adopted, expanded, and executed in an unconscionable manner by President Ronald Wilson Reagan. The slogan ‘Just Say No’ was eventually attacked by critics who related that it may be much more beneficial to tell our youth what they should say yes to rather than what they should ‘Just Say No’ to.

In many ways, the raging discourse occurring within Black America regarding the unbridled attacks of law enforcement officers has led far too many of our people to respond emotionally, not strategically in their response to blatant racial injustice. It is this emotional response that has led far too many of our people to scream, holler, protest, and operate under slogans such as ‘Black Lives Matter’ while totally avoiding a more beneficial course of action. Instead of behaving as if they are ‘Just Say(ing) No’ to police brutality, economic exploitation, and political powerlessness, it is now time to teach the energized masses that their current course of action is wholly reactionary and will never cause the current racial hostility that we are experiencing to subside, let alone cease.

Instead of attempting, and I am placing significant emphasis upon attempting, to rally in the wake of the latest racial incident; it is imperative that our community mobilizes its political currency for far greater purposes. If we would only take the energy currently being expended running from one racial incident to the next, we could swiftly organize copious amounts of political power and have it prepared for strategic use.

A similar course of action should be applied to the economic arena. Instead of complaining about ‘the foreigners’ who open up Garveybusinesses within our community, we should have long ago issued a significant challenge, not solely through an economic boycott, rather the opening of a competing African-American owned business. One of my foremost frustrations flows from African-Americans resistance to see the bountiful economic opportunities available to them within their own community.

The realization that we have to either go outside of our community for goods and services or give our money away to those, regardless of race, who have neither vested interest nor desire to aid our community, should be accompanied by a ‘Eureka’ moment of economic opportunity. I eagerly offer the following question that I long ago heard Minister Farrakhan pose to our people; “Can’t you get milk from a cow as well?”

While we are busily running from pillar to post attempting to address this and that racial incident, we are undoubtedly failing to realize that such ‘ambulance chasing’ behavior has seriously compromised the establishment, operation, and fortifying of a Black political party, Black businesses, and the Black community that we are all associated with in one form or another.

Now please do not take my position as one that says that we should not respond to racial incidents, in fact, my position is that the cropped-malcolm-2.jpgdevelopment and organization of politico economic resources, although not exciting work that will get one on CNN, MSNBC, or Fox will nevertheless pave the way for not only a more stringent response to racial incidents, but also the uplifting of the Black community in the face of virulent prejudice, discrimination, and racism. Say yes to building Black businesses, creating an independent progressive political party, and enforcing social responsibility among our people. It would be a glorious reality for Black America.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016.

Please support Independent Black Scholarship; it’s the only way that we are going to free our minds.

Creating Revolution as They Advance: A Historical Narrative of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense

‘Foolish’ Floyd: The Life & Times of an African-American Contrarian

O’Bruni: An African-American Odyssey Home?

Repeating the Past Because We Refuse to Listen to Our Prophets

The National Urban League recently released its annual report on the ‘State of Black America’, this year’s report is titled ‘Locked Out: Education, Jobs, and Justice’. There is no doubt that the title of the report is foreshadowing for its contents as the document reveals a continuation of historic racial disparities across a host of areas: education, housing, employment, wealth, and income.

Marc Morial, the President of the National Urban League, related accentuated the reality that the 2016 report mirrors those from previous periods.

According to Morial, “the similarities of the United States of 1976 and the United States of 2016 are profoundly striking. We are now, as we were then, a nation struggling to overcome the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. We are…facing growing pressure to slash human needs programs for the poor, who are demonized and characterized as lazy slackers trying to cheat the system.”

Morial appropriately issued substantial commentary that highlighted the reality that economic problems are only “one of the many injustices that keep our cities locked out.” However, economic matters continue to be a central issue that much of Black listlessness pivots upon. According to ‘Locked Out: Education, Jobs, and Justice’, African-American employment has consistently existed at a rate that is twice that of whites, this unfortunate reality remains even when one controls for educational background.

The gap between African-American household income and that of whites has remained steady over the past forty-years at 60 cents for every dollar whites earn. Also notable is that the African-American poverty rate has remained nearly unchanged over the past forty-years. More troubling is the fact that the home ownership gap between Blacks and whites has grown six percentage points.

The National Urban League report courageously asks questions regarding the Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama and what it obama2actually means for Black America. According to Morial, “As President Obama wraps up his final months as the nation’s first African-American commander in chief, we begin to assess the progress Black America has made under his administration. How well has the nation recovered from the worst economic crisis it has seen in generations? How much closer are we to the very important goal of universal healthcare coverage has the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – gotten us?

The 2016 National Urban League Equality Index tells an all too familiar story of persistent racial disparities in American life, making clear that the historic Obama presidency has not been a panacea for America’s long-standing race problem.”

There is a popular axiom that states, ‘A fool and his money shall soon part.’ There is quite possibly no more succinct means of describing the current economic state of Black America. Put simply, we have been foolish, if not completely reckless in regards to our collective economic dealings. Things are in such a state of disarray that a reasonable person would question if the term Black unity is an oxymoron.

The issue of economic collectivism among African-Americans is a topic bantered about in venues varying from Black Nationalist gatherings to Black barbershops/beauty salons. All seem to agree that in regards to collectivist economics, the Black Community has been in a downward spiral since our educated class decided that their path to survival was via assimilating with a economically unified white community that has historically displayed via every means possible that they had no desire for any relationship, outside of an economically exploitative one, with Black America.

One is left pondering how Black political leaders, business people, intellectuals, educators, clergymen, the population that William Edward Burghardt Du Bois characterized as the Talented-Tenth allow dubois2this to occur? Were the elite too preoccupied with accumulating material possessions to comprehend the mounds of evidence that made the words assimilation synonymous with economic servitude? Were they focused upon giving their offspring everything they never had and in the process failed to provide them either the crucial elements that facilitated their success or the understanding that the descendants of enslaved people are eternally inextricably linked with each other? It appears that African-American leaders are the only racial/ethnic leadership group that has failed to deliver the point that collectivist economics is crucial to group survival. Failure to understand this reality places African-Americans in the peculiar predicament that the great Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes expounded upon in his poem, I, Too

I, Too 

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother. They send me to eat in the kitchen

When company comes,

But I laugh,

And eat well,

And grow strong.

Tomorrow,hughes2

I’ll be at the table

When company comes.

Nobody’ll dare

Say to me,

“Eat in the kitchen,”

Then.

Besides,

They’ll see how beautiful I am

And be ashamed –

I, too, am America.

(Langston Hughes)

One of the most amazing occurrences in today’s highly contemptuous battle for survival in a rapidly diversifying nation has been African-Americans inability to understand that economic survival, let alone prosperity or winning, hinges upon collectivism and group cooperation; and until those lessons are learned we will continue to dine in the kitchen that Hughes writes about, eagerly waiting for a kind invitation to dine at the table of America. That invite has never, and will never, come out of kindness. Put simply, life is analogous to a board game where players, meaning various races and identities, attempt to increase their holdings [political and economic power] through strategic maneuverings, the ability to coordinate with other players, who are invariably receiving some benefit from the coordination, increases one’s opportunity for success.

Considering this analogy, it appears as if other groups — Alternative Lifestyle [Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Queer], Women [Wealthy, Middle-Class, Working-Class, Asian, Latina, White, Black], Asian [Chinese, Japanese, Filipino] Latina [Mexican, Puerto Rican, Brazilian, Cuban, Dominican] White [Irish, Anglo-Saxon, Russian, Italian, Polish, German] — are able to make decisive logical moves on this crowd game board and forge alliances to advance their interests.

Now, it is not that persons of African descent [Nigerian, Jamaican, African-American, Ghanaian, Black Brits, Haitian, Cuban, Brazilian, Caribbean] are not involved in the game, it is that they are the least likely to forge an alliance with other groups, including their own racial group. Predictably, their attempt to navigate the game of life solo leads to not only frustration, but also the total loss of their political power and total dependence upon others for material survival; they become in a word, parasitic.

In time, this population will make what they consider a logical move to get in the game, a decision that drives home just how uninformed they are in regards to how this game is played, they will shun others in their racial/ethnic group and attempt to join with another group, thinking that such is an appropriate strategy to extricate themselves out of an increasingly deep hole. Little do they realize, they have made what is akin to a Faustian deal that guarantees them nothing more than a few politico economic crumbs that the larger players will offer them once their appetite is satisfied! In their defense, I must add that the primary reason they never turn within their own group to forge coalitions is because they have been taught in classrooms, media, and through experience that, “Niggers don’t know how to handle no business.” The vast majority of movers and shakers within the Race will relate such feelings as they bask in their self-created position as the only Negro who is about making moves; we all know that this fool, thinking that they can take on the world alone, what they invariably discover is that they are simply busy with their myriad pyramid schemes and quick rich scams that are actually enriching other groups.

The reasons for considering African-Americans economically parasitic are obvious, however, a pressing query remains; that being, why does it seem that only persons of African descent remain steeped in these dire straits. And more importantly, what is the solution to reversing this unfortunate reality?

The path for group empowerment is always the same; groups close ranks for a period, mobilize their economic resources, and focus their energies upon hard work and educating their men, women, and children with an eye toward political power, economic self-sufficiency, and a liberating theology.

Despite the reality that such uplift programs occur within the public sphere, many African-Americans are naïve enough to believe in an ethos of individuality. There logic is that if they work diligently as an individual they will succeed; nothing could be further from the truth. I had a professor who once highlight the fallacy of such thought when he remarked, ‘If hard work were all that you needed to succeed in America, Black folk would run this nation because no one has worked harder than us’; hard work and diligent effort, although a part of the equation, is in no way the entire equation. I must admit that I am amused when Conservative groups such as the Tea Party stand in the midst of their collective group and advise others to seek political power and economic freedom individually, please do not be seduced by the lie of either American individualism or laissez faire, let alone trickle-down economic schemes that other groups endorse. They are actually collectively mobilizing their political resources to enjoy the fruits of their labor individually.

Considering the current position of African-Americans, it is foolish for us not to focus our energies upon studying, mobilizing, and then executing a plan to help uplift the race. Failure to do so will most certainly result in a continuation of the dire consequences currently affecting the community.

Please remember that life is like a game, with multiple players with the same goal, securing as much political power and money to not only operate today, but also to flex theirmuscles when need be and force others to do what is not necessarily in their best interests. It will not be until we understand that other groups are not only organized and executing plans that not only accentuate their strengths, but also exploit our collective weaknesses that we will even begin to be prepared for this game. The question is, how long will we allow the game to operate before we begin mobilizing our game pieces and develop a plan to decisively enter the game in a way that matters?

So the question remains, are African-Americans prepared to not only understand the game, but also participate in it at its highest levels? Or will they continue to serve as little more than relatively insignificant pawns in a chess game. It is only through issuing a significant challenge to the prevailing economic power structure that African-Americans have any chance of surviving, let alone flourishing, economically. And there is no doubt that it is impossible to even issue a challenge until we are able to unife, close ranks, strategize collectively, develop and then execute a logical plan aimed at uplifting the race. Failure to do so, will eventually lead us to be wiped completely off of the board of this game called life and signal our collective failure at issuing any challenge to the prevailing economic tyranny that we have experienced since integration occurred.

James Thomas Jones III

©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016.

Please support Independent Black Scholarship; it’s the only way that we are going to free our minds.

Author, Creating Revolution as They Advance: A Historical Narrative of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense
Author, ‘Foolish’ Floyd: The Life & Times of an African-American Contrarian
Author, O’Bruni: An African-American Odyssey Home?

HOW WE KILL THE BLACK ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT BY NOT SUPPORTING OUR OWN

During my time on this planet, I have come to believe that there is a significant difference between reading about a process and actually experiencing it. This belief has led me to not only reading and researching issues, but also experiencing much of what this life has to offer. I have traveled around the world, developed a zest for quality music (jazz and Rap Music being my favorites), expanded my culinary interests, and actually developed a ‘bucket list’. An endless love for African-Americans sits at the epicenter of this life that I have consciously chosen for myself. It is this unconditional love that has led me to a desperate pursuit to uplift my people out of the multiple illiteracies (economic, historical, political, social, cultural) that have plagued them for far too long.

I am certain that you could imagine my excitement when I was provided an opportunity to aid a member of our 2community as she started a new business venture titled, Creative Gifts by Shawna; a business venture that was already doing phenomenal business by the word of mouth form of advertising. I was provided an opportunity to help when this beautiful young lady decided to secure a physical location for her business.

I intuitively realized that this was an unprecedented opportunity to help the entrepreneurial urges of someone within our community. I was so busy working to transform her space into a venue where business could be conducted, I apparently forgot a lesson that innumerable elders told me to never forget if I intended to liberate the Black community; that being, “Black people will break your heart repeatedly when you try to point them toward any form of freedom.” I’ve learned that there is no greater truism.

After a months long process, Creative Gifts by Shawna debuted. I found the opening to be particularly exhilarating and extremely insightful as it provided an opportunity to participate in a process that I had only read/heard about via books, lectures, articles, etc.

Now I must say that the vast majority of individuals who entered the venue immediately fell in love with the handcrafted items and eagerly placed orders for 8future events and took business cards with them to share with others in their circle who they knew could, and would, make great use of the services offered. For a first-time business, I would term the opening a resounding success as a multi-racial coalition of consumers patronized the business; every race, hue, and color was represented, except one; African-Americans. Apparently, not even the quality of the work being offered trumped the astounding self-hatred and loathing that Blacks reserve for other Black folk.

Although I knew the admonishments of Carter G. Woodson when he stated in his magnum opus the MisEducation of the Negro, published in 1933, that we should never expect Blacks to support other Blacks in any economic endeavor as they did not have sense enough to support their own as other races do. I also heard Marcus Garvey’s even earlier lamentations that cited self-hatred, a psychological illness, as the primary catalyst behind persons of African descent refusing to aid one another regardless of where they were located. More recently Claude Anderson has advanced economic truths that Black people’s hatred for one another exceeds even the economic chains that ensnare them. Put simply, they prefer for the entire race to be economically destitute rather than risking that one of their own could experience some semblance of financial freedom. African-Americans economic inefficiency has led to not only their collective economic slavery, but also parasitic status within the American economy.

We have the dishonor of historically being the ultimate consumer and the least likely to provide anything of value to the world. We are the only population that will not term the educational process that our children participate in a resounding success unless they are able to secure a job with a white company or corporation.

As I watched innumerable African-Americans stroll past Creative Gifts by Shawna, diverting their eyes by looking in the opposite direction or towards the ground as if they were aware, yet ashamed, of the action that they were undertaking at that particular moment. One family with a child wearing a Prairie View A & M University T-shirt, a Historically Black College, patronized the businesses on either side of the African-American business, one run by a Muslim Family and the other a White lady, and never glanced toward the Black business. I would 5have understood such a move, if it were part-and-parcel of a staunch boycott that called for Blacks to refuse to even peruse a venue that had historically exploited and oppressed their people; however, their actions were inexplicable and illogical as this castigation was repeatedly hurled by Blacks at their own. I simply shook my head when I observed an inter-racial couple walking past the front door and the white lady rushed in to look at gifts that she loudly stated were “so cute”, her beau remained outside the entire time.

The entire scene reminded me of a statement that the Honorable Louis Farrakhan once made in one of his most insightful speeches. Farrakhan stated, and of course I am paraphrasing, that the Black community is like a big nutritious breast that every immigrant group that comes to America immediately latches onto until they are 3strong enough to leave it. And before long, the next group of immigrants will arrive and latch onto it until they are economically stable enough to release it and parlay the riches that it got off of it into bigger and better things. The entire time, the poor Black businessman is trying to get his mouth near the nipple so that he can latch on with hopes of growing big and strong like the aforementioned immigrants, however, the Black community, his community, moves the nipple each time he gets anywhere near it for innumerable reasons (poor service, inferior products, cost of product, because they are a Black business, or just because of self-hatred). From Minister Farrakhan’s position, the aforementioned scenario is one of the primary reasons that Black folk are still begging white folk for jobs and the rest of the world for technology to use in the 21st Century.

So as we are weeks away from yet another “Black Friday”, I have absolutely no faith whatsoever that the vast majority of Blacks will not run out and spend money that they do not have. Unfortunately, very few, if any, of those dollars will reach the pockets of Black businesses. And for that reason, and many 6others, they should be ashamed of their Black selves. Instead of running around calling themselves Moors, Christians, Muslims, and alleging that a secret society such as the Illuminati, Jews, or white folk in general are conspiring and plotting to keep them down, it may be time to ‘look at the man in the mirror’ and return to basic economic strategies; the same strategies that those groups use to build economic power that they then use to take care of their own. For those who do not understand what I mean, let me ‘make it plain’ for you. Just follow these steps.

Step A: Find a Black Business.

Step B: Select an item from that Business.

Step C: Purchase the item.

Step D: Repeat Step A.

Black people, Negroes, African-Americans, Africans in America, Moors, Black Christians, Gods and Earths, Muslims, Moslems, Black Muslims it is way past time for the in-fighting and the inefficient theoretical dogmatism to end. While you are having year long building sessions that amount to little more than ‘mental masturbation’ sessions, other groups are actually operating businesses and securing your community’s funds while you continue to talk about what we need or are ‘finna do.’

If I were provided the opportunity to do so, I would state the following to my people, try tangibly supporting your own economically for once in your life. Trust me, it will work. It works for the rest of the globe; it has only been our own population that has behaved as if we are too darn stupid to do it ourselves.

Sincerely,

Black Claus

©Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2015.

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#AfricanAmericanNewsandIssues

WHY THE BOYCOTT CHRISTMAS MOVEMENT IS DESTINED FOR FAILURE

We are approaching that magical time of year when Americans spend money that they do not have in an effort to shower their loved one’s with gifts. As with most things, African-Americans have a peculiar relationship with SANTA1Christmas. Many within our community not only embrace the occasion, but also take every opportunity to joyously remind you that “Jesus is the reason for the season”, while others take an oppositional position that would make Ebenezer Scrooge blush.

Those who have politicized the Christmas season propagate their belief that African-Americans participation in the Holiday works against their best interests as it causes them to support the very people and system that has oppressed them for nearly 400 years.

I think that the calls for African-Americans to abstain from Christmas are at their best foolhardy and unrealistic. Those segments of our community making this call are going to find themselves as frustrated this year as they have been in past years and are destined to be in the future. Dare I say that they are slightly crazy because they fail to understand that “If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got.” In their case, they have received failure every year as droves of African-Americans spend their money Christmas shopping.

It is time for the Nationalist community that has repeatedly attempted to get African-Americans to stop supporting those who have not only worked to ensure, but also profited from their marginal politico economic status to abandon their current course that reminds one of Nancy Reagan’s infamous ‘Just Say No’ campaign.

A much more productive tactic is to instruct African-Americans what they should say yes to. Considering that the ultimate goal of Black Nationalists economic plan is to circulate the Black dollar within the African-American SANTAcommunity, a much more productive tactic is to propose a 1-to-1 ratio, heck even a 10-to-1 ratio would be an improvement in regards to the monies Blacks spend outside and inside of the community. Put simply, maybe we should consider a campaign prodding those who are bound to extend the tradition of spending truckloads of money this coming Christmas to spend a portion of those dollars within the African-American community. A call could be made that requests that for every $10 African-Americans spend with businesses outside of the community that they voluntarily spend $1 with a black business.

Now I am certain that many are aiming for a total boycott of Christmas and there is no doubt that they have valid points, however, at SANTA4this moment such a staunch stance is going to result in continual failure. Many African-Americans are either unaware of or paying little attention to their demand. The only way of salvaging the spirit behind the Boycott Christmas movement is to approach it via a milder form that encourages those who are spending their monies this holiday season to make a concerted effort to circulate a few of those dollars among their own.

James Thomas Jones III, Ph. D.

©Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2015.

#ManhoodRaceCulture

#African-AmericanNews&Issues