There are 45 million Blacks in the United States. If Black America was a country, we’d be the 33rd most populous country in the world. Nonetheless, only 14 countries have a bigger economy than us. We collectively have an annual spending amount of $1 trillion. If we took 20 cents out of every dollar spent ($200 billion), we could pay off the external debt of every African nation. If we took 1.4 cents out of every dollar spent, the accumulated $14 billion could pay for Haiti’s reconstruction cost. If 2 cents out of every dollar spent was put aside for scholarships, ($19 billion), every Black person could go to college on a full free scholarship.
But guess where our money goes instead. An old 2010 statistic for our 2009 spending showed we spent:
- $29 billion on clothes
- $3 billion on liquor
- $29 billion on cars
- $6.1 billion on electronics
- $65.2 billion on food
- $23.6 billion on healthcare
- $3.3 billion on tobacco products
- $995 billion on sports and recreational products
- $321 on books
Presumably on non-Black-owned companies. But you’re so woke though. I’m starting to see why some celebs don’t speak out about issues. Why should they when we all buck dance to an extent with our spending habits? But I know you didn’t know. Neither does the occasional celebrity that makes a public Sambo statement out of ignorance as opposed to a sincere attempt to bootlick their unconsciously racist crossover fanbase who prefer you “shut up and dibble” or rap, sing, dance, or act.
Most apolitical celebs probably don’t speak out because they have enough self-awareness to know their rap, singing, or sports skills don’t make them socio political scholars with the ability to make eloquent statements on race relations. So they stay silent and give money to Black causes instead. Some of you don’t have enough self-awareness to see the hypocrisy of self-righteous indignation at apolitical celebs while not being mindful of where your dollars are going.
Does Increasing Black Buying Power Improve Black Communities?
Even though American Blacks make up only 0.5 percent of the world population, we control 1.4 percent of its capital resources. Our $1 trillion spending habit could create 12.2 million jobs if we let our dollar circulate in our community as opposed to giving it away to others. The community the dollar leaves becomes poorer, and the community it enters becomes richer. That’s why we have run down neighborhoods in ghettos and joblessness in some segments of Black America. But maybe Michael Jordan, Oprah, Jay-Z, and Beyonce will come to their senses and “lead” us with their $3 billion net worth that’s dwarfed by our collective $1 trillion in net worthless annual spending.
If our collective income created industries that led to Black Fortune 500 companies, media empires, and corporate power houses, we could buy the politicians into obliging our needs, negate police brutality with our corporate power, and create celebrity sponsorships that force celebrities to stick to anti-racism talking points. This would curtail the current racist institution that forces some famous people to stick to We Sick Boss Sambo talking points or remain apolitical. In essence, be less focused on vilifying famous Sambos, and more focused on economically destroying the powerhouse that employs the Sambos.
Besides being mindful of our spending, there’s nothing stopping you and me from organizing grassroots activism, leadership, and economic development from our remote corners of the country as non-rich average joes. If you think you’re only required to work your day job and then come home and enjoy leisure time while only looking out for family, then why can’t rich, famous folks do the same when they leave the court, field, or studio? You don’t want to inconvenience yourself by driving several miles to a Black-owned business when an Arab corner store is across the street from you. So why should a celebrity inconvenience his or herself with public conscious comments that will jeopardize his or her brand just to make you feel good? Rich and famous folks aren’t the only ones with power to make change.
The Call to Action
If you like this article, don’t praise me for being conscious. I’m a buck dancing Sambo as well when I spend frivolously while not seeking out Black-owned companies. I used to also engage in the imaginary keeping-up-with-the-joneses competition while enriching white companies at the expense of my own people’s companies. I don’t ‘just’ want your stamp of approval with a #facts or ‘#3D North Star’ for president” in the comment section of this article as I get a go in this American Woke Brother competition. I want you all to audition as future successful contestants. This is a call to action, Black people. Let’s go!