Yes, you read the title right! Stop fighting racism. Black people in Amerika focus way too much on wanting to be accepted by the majority. They are under the illusion that non-Black people, more specifically White people, will understand our plight and will eventually help us. It is not going to happen. That plan of action needs to be modified immediately.
To begin with, many Black people in Amerika are attending college and choosing majors that will result in having a career that will produce very little wealth for themselves and their families. I know for a fact, one of the primary reasons many Black people major in the social sciences and education in college is because they want to help underprivileged people, who happen to be disproportionately Black and Latino. I was a Social Science major who had the goal of reforming a broken system. One of the biggest mistakes I ever made in life was thinking a career in the public sector would uplift underserved and marginalized communities when I graduated college. Some people may say I was one of those people who thought they were going to “save the world.”
The truth is many Black and Latino people who have careers related to the social science, and education field are not actually helping marginalized people in underserved communities. On the contrary, we are helping maintain marginalized people within a broken system that is supposedly designed to uplift them. I highly recommend that Latino and Black people who have careers in either law enforcement, the prison industrial complex, education, or Child Protective Services become familiar with how policies that are supposed to result in positive outcomes for marginalized people, negatively impact them. Once we start familiarizing ourselves with how the system is failing Black and Latino people, we will understand Black and Latino people working within the same system are not helping, saving, or rehabilitating a collective group of marginalized people.
After years of reading and studying about the plight of Black Amerikans, I learned Black Amerikans can overcome racism by simultaneously becoming financially independent and participating in cooperative economics. How does this begin? I’m glad you asked. It starts with Black Amerikans understanding the value of education and the importance of either majoring in STEM, attending law school, medical school, or pursuing a vocational trade. These choices will more than likely result in more wealth and political power for Black Amerikans. Economics is the only thing that matters when it comes to…everything. Economics! Economics! Economics!
Instead of dedicating your entire career to “helping people” in the public sector, choosing a major that will pay you well once you graduate college is probably a better option. From there, you can mentor and invest in impoverished communities. Over the years, I read several articles about successful young adults who majored in STEM, business finance, or economics and decided to take their savings to invest in underserved communities. Additionally, many lawyers dedicate their career to fighting for justice in the court room after years of practicing in a private law firm. Some of these young adults quit their job to pursue social justice issues full time, while others used their personal savings to start non-profits and/or occasionally mentor youth in underserved communities. In addition, since many of these young adults worked at Fortune 500 companies, their employer sponsored social justice events they were involved with, and/or the employer would make large monetary donations to their cause. At the end of the day, these young adults utilized their economic power to address social injustices and racism as they saw fit and used their connections to wealth to assist them. I believe this is more or less the key to overcoming racism in Amerika. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that racism will be eliminated if we become more economically sufficient and stable. I am also not saying Black people shouldn’t pursue careers in the public sector. I am saying we need more Black Amerikans to choose majors that will result in more lucrative careers. With more wealth in the Black community and collective economics being utilized as it should, Black people will gain more respect and power. Show me any community in Amerika that practices cooperative economics, has wealthy individuals, is disrespected, and does not get what they want when they want.
I know many of you will disagree with this blog piece because it is easier to believe the little bit of help you provide people working in the “broken system” will eventually result in a miracle at some point. Or you don’t think money is really the key to eliminating the different forms of institutionalized racism that exist (medical racism, environmental racism, food deserts, racial profiling, etc.). However, history shows thriving Black neighborhoods had one common factor…cooperative economics.
Sidenote: Yes, many of these neighborhoods were destroyed by the U.S. government and White supremacists, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t focus on the results of the bigger picture. Preserving wealth in Black communities is a conversation for another day. Let us focus on building first.
I would also like to see evidence that Black people working in Child Protective Services, law enforcement, education, and the prison industrial complex have contributed to the building of a strong Black nation in Amerika. If these careers in the public sector employ us at a high number and the system is designed to help us, how come Black people are either overrepresented or underrepresented within all areas of the system? That’s the million-dollar question.
Anybody who knows me knows that I’m a huge fan of Malcolm X and Booker T. Washington. I genuinely believe they were on to something when they focused more on building within the Black community and focused less on fighting racism and integration. Booker T. Washington was an advocate of Black people making, building, and growing their own. He believed that if you became exceptional at building, making, or growing your own, your services will be in demand regardless of your race. I do think there is some truth to that. If we are honest with ourselves, living in Amerika, we all have different groups of people that come to mind because of their reputation for delivering services or outcomes. Even if we don’t speak the same language or like their race, we will hire them to do a particular job because we believe they will do it the best or must hire them because they dominate a specific industry.
Earlier in the blog piece, I mentioned a vocational trade as an alternative route to building Black wealth because college isn’t for everyone, realistically speaking. Additionally, a vocational career, similar to STEM, is universal. You can get a job almost anywhere in the world with a certain trade skill, and more importantly, skilled labor is in demand.
I am not saying transitioning in this direction will be easy. I know building a wealthy Black nation in Amerika will not happen overnight, but we’ve been lied to for so long about why we should choose specific careers and how we can be the catalyst to change if we pursue specific careers. It’s about time somebody tells us choosing a career that is “helping people” and working within the system to change the system is a myth and a distraction. The system has convinced Black people, the most oppressed group of people in Amerika, that helping a few Black people here and there is progress. Enough with the band-aids for deep cuts….
There can be no social justice without economic justice. There can be no economic justice without reparations.