African Americans; Physically Free, Economically Enslaved.

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Consumerism and worship of material goods has been a grave hinderance to the progression of African Americans. Modern leaders fail to speak of this problem due to their own addiction to materialism. Our greatest leaders Harriet Tubman, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael and Fred Hampton were paupers, focusing on the development of the people and not their bank accounts. Modern social and religious leaders are focused on book sales, high fees for speaking engagements, and interior decorations of their mansions instead of the improvement of the people. For all defenders of these money-hungry hypocrites, I am not professing that anyone should live in poverty. I am only saying their lust for material goods trumps their supposed yearning to lead the people.

African Americans play an exclusive role in our disenfranchisement due to our generational financial illiteracy and spending habits. Too many equate wealth or financial progression with the purchasing of goods. According to NYU economist Edward Wolff, the average African American’s net worth is under $2,000. We are addicted to presenting ourselves to the public as financially secure instead of sacrificing to be financially secure.

Wealth in America usually derives from business ventures and investments and is maintained through inheritance and estate transfers. Our generation must lay a foundation for our children to build upon. We must be entrepreneurial visionaries instead of mindless consumers. The creators of the Great Wall of China or Egyptian pyramids did not create for themselves but for later generations.

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Please comment if this is untrue but when African Americans receive their pay, they rush to give the money away, trapping themselves in the vicious cycle of work and spend. I have personally heard a Jewish merchant explain his love for his African American customers’ spending habits, who have funded his comfortable lifestyle and paid for his children’s college education.

Consumerism must be purged from our minds if we are to make any form of progress. African Americans are always complaining about systematic oppression in America yet strive to live the same life of those oppressing them.

Physical confrontations are pointless and wasteful, shame on all those pseudo-militants who profess violent resistance in America. The only way to rock the boat is through economic protest. We curse, criticize, write memes, and everything else, yet we still spend our earnings predominately with the same corporations owned by our ‘oppressors’. African Americans want to still dress in the latest clothes, eat ourselves straight into bouts of diabetes and hypertension, while singing ‘ better must come.’

The cocktail of self-hate and dependency has made zombies out of most African Americans. We are so addicted to the taste and culture given to us we will do everything needed to get that European brand apparel or accessory but will not use that same vigor and drive to support African American industry, assisting in the self-sufficiency we claim we want. These actions exemplify the magnitude of self-hate and disgust we have for ourselves. Self preservation is supposed to exist in a healthy homo-sapien yet African Americans seem to have lost this trait.

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What are you willing to sacrifice so that your children or grandchildren may have a better life? Will you drive an economy car instead of luxury vehicle so your child can receive a better education? Will you skip a couple club nights so you can pay your bills on time avoiding unnecessary debt and stress? Will you trade your entertainment system for a library with books that teach your children about industry and their history?

Are you willing to cut off the idiot box that is brainwashing you, telling you how to live, what to eat, what to wear, how to raise your children? What are you willing to sacrifice to improve yourself? Change takes place in the home. We must take responsibility for the development of ourselves and our families. Revolution is not about bloodshed or a million people walking and shouting, but changing one’s mind and actions. Our generation must move from the unproductive habit of ‘words without works’; we need less talking and more action.

Staff Writer; Linton Hinds Jr.