I have always been of the opinion that financial independence was one of the best tools that black Americans could use to effectively counter white racism.
You know you don’t have to like me but you better damn well respect my financial prowess? Okay, I am nevertheless clear-eyed that poverty in black communities is tied to myriad issues some of which are out of the control of the people.
In the absence of economic power, the next best thing it seems to me is education and skills training, not that education or specific skills training are mutually exclusive to wealth. I am not suggesting that every black person should go to college, I am painfully aware that-that is utopian, even though it would be nice.
What I am saying is that where possible our people need to get trained in critical skills which are readily marketable.
This is particularly important at this time, not only because of how our politics have devolved but because of the changes in the marketplace. Innovation has taken a hatchet to certain disciplines on the one hand and globalization on the other have been removing other jobs from the economy.
Librarians, toll-collectors, factory workers, bank-tellers, supermarket cashiers, typists, secretaries, stenographers, calligraphers, Photographers and the list goes on and on. Jobs are systematically removed from the economy even as we fawn over the latest technological innovations.
The choices we face are not optional they are existential, adapt and survive, fail and suffer the consequences. The marketplace of the future is high tech, this economy will require highly skilled workers to make the economy function. Silicone Valley has no shortage of jobs, in fact, the tech industry is desperate for the US State Department to grant enough workers visas to fill existing positions in that sector. These are high-tech jobs which are available but there is a shortage of software engineers and other specialists to fill these jobs.
The attack on Basketball phenom Lebron James by the occupant of the white house is telling on several levels. As Lebron talks about building a school for at-risk young people in one Ohio Town and is being castigated by Trump it is important to note the steadfastness and laser-like focus with which James has set out on his life’s journey.
On the one had Lebron is building schools to educate young people Donald Trump is locking children in cages to fulfill his sick agenda. James seeks to use sports to build bridges, to peace and understanding, Trump demagogues, malign, demean and disrespect sports stars who use their platforms to draw attention to social and societal ills.
On Sunday, August 5th I could not help noticing that throughout the day literally, all the networks outside of the propaganda arm of the GOP were talking about the sharp contrast between James and Trump.
I remarked to my wife, “They don’t have to love you but they damn sure better respect your body of work”, she agreed.
I am not suggesting that everyone will have access to the financial resources and fame of Lebron James, far from it. In fact, the opposite is guaranteed. As such we must do the next best thing and get the education required, the best vehicle out of poverty and the best bet for wealth retention.
Neither am I saying that all of us can have the platform of James, Curry or even Kaepernick. Nevertheless, if we make better life decisions and go to college, trade schools find jobs and create startups and spend our money in our communities we become the masters of our own destiny.
If our young men can see value in themselves enough to stay out of jail they have a chance of making something of themselves.
Those who invest in jails are certainly free to do so, our young people can choose to become lawyers, doctors, nurses and scientists, electricians and refrigeration technicians and yes coders. If we stick to that game plan pretty soon those who invest in prison stocks will have to find other stocks to purchase.
Donald Trump seeks to demonize James, as he does NFL players because he is a pathetic bully. Bullies will not stop until someone stand up to them. James has the resources and the chops to do so. In every category, Lebron James has outpaced Donald Trump though he never inherited any money from his daddy.
Donald Trump is terrified of successful black men, his lying defamatory campaign against the first African-American president was only one example of that fear. There is a long history of that fear and insecurity dating back to the Central Park five and even further back than that embarrassing debacle for which he has still not apologized.
He only conceded that President Barack Obama was a legitimate American when he thought it was in his best interest to do so in his quest to attain the presidency.
Predictably, as a soon as he was installed in the presidency he went right back to his Obama derangement syndrome.
Trump is not alone, he is the megaphone for the deep-seated animus which exists against people of color and black men in particular. Trump is conversant with this, hence his “I could shoot anyone on 5th avenue and I wouldn’t lose a single supporter” comment.
In fact, his base of support may have expanded as a result of his outright racism. Many people who harbor racist, xenophobic views are now emboldened to act out those tendencies.
When NFL players kneel to bring attention to police abuse and execution of black people, white people know damn well it has nothing to do with a flag or military (as if the flag and military are to be worshiped as a God).
Creating a false narrative serves to distract from the issue, arguing that it is unpatriotic is demagogic, it brings hatred to the athletes and that’s exactly what they want to accomplish.