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‘Economic freedom’ should be rallying cry

James Clingman | 2/17/2014, 9:38 a.m.
James Clingman

Because the Negro does not own and control retail establishments in his own community, he is unable to stabilize his community … The Negro must pool his capital in order to help himself … This will enable him to solve his own problems. – S.B. Fuller

(NNPA) – Has the thought ever occurred to you that despite having the highest unemployment rate in this country, our job creation rate is perched at the other end of that spectrum? That’s right, Blacks are some of the best job creators in this nation. We have created jobs in the clothing industry, the entertainment industry, the communications industry, the food industry, the liquor industry, the music industry and, oh yes, the prison industry. There are many other areas I could name but I am sure you get what I’m driving at by now.

Amos Wilson, in his book, Afrikan-Centered Consciousness Versus the New World Order, posits: “How different our education would be if we sent our children to school to create jobs for themselves, to create their own economic and political systems, to see themselves as the major source of their own employment.” He continued, “… I heard about some people protesting for jobs and pushing other people for jobs. I asked the question: Do we know how many jobs we really create for other people?”

No, Brother Wilson, I don’t think we do. Paradoxically, and much to my chagrin, Black folks, the very ones who need jobs the most are too busy “ma-chin’” and begging someone else for jobs rather than using the same money we spend to create jobs for others to create jobs for ourselves. In other words, we, the unemployed, are virtually employing others via our silly response tactics and our ridiculous spending habits.

We live our lives vicariously by buying a $500 bottle of vodka because we want to run in Diddy’s circle of friends. We hoist a bottle of outrageously expensive cognac up in “da club” trying to be Jay-Z, a guy who could buy and sell most of us in a heartbeat. These celebrities and others hawk the wares of folks who make a very good living from the $1.1 trillion Black people earn each year. We provide the profit margins for several industries, thereby, keeping many people employed.

The other point is that high profile Blacks, mainly entertainers and athletes, earn a large portion of their money by being entrepreneurs. They sell stuff, some of which creates jobs for others, but all of which allows them to fly on private jets and drink high-priced liquor. We cannot do that, and all the fake, pretentious, wannabe spending in the world will not make that possible; what it does is continue the cycle of the unemployed creating jobs and keeping others employed.

Economic freedom, not “economic equality” must be our goal. Equality requires measurement; it requires the party seeking equality, by default, to elevate someone else and seek his standard and his approval. It also requires an effort to be accepted by the party to which one aspires. It makes little sense to get into that game because every time we reach that standard it can be – and will be – changed to an even higher standard.