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Economic Spoils - Heru-Ka Anu

Why African American Consumers Don’t Patronize African American businesses

Did you ever try to answer why African American consumers don’t buy from African American businesses. I’m certain you have and if you are like most people you might have a clue yet are not sure of the answer. Well, if you think you can tolerate knowing why, the answer is give below. 

To appreciate the answer you must understand that control of Black peoples wealth and resources is the force behind their behavior.

Slavery in this hemisphere was founded on the idea that ‘free (slave) labor’ put to work on the land would generate wealth for the enslaver. That theory proved true. Though chattel slavery no longer exist the idea of controlling Black labor to generate White wealth continues.  To this end White people created the practices of (slave) sharecropping, chain gangs, and segregation as methods to control Black peoples ability to work and produce resources. The ongoing objectives have been, even if force was necessary, to keep Black people working for white people for as little cost as possible with the intent of generating as much White wealth as possible.

African Americans that were successful at controlling their own labor and generating wealth for themselves were attacked either outright by White mobs  - including the KKK and Police – or strategically by coalitions between White government (IRS), Businesses (including banks), and organized crime gangs from various White ethnic groups (Italians, Jews, English, etc).  For example, during the 1920’s numerous Black towns and businesses across this nation were destroyed by White force and connivance. In most instances African Americans were not able to recover.

To keep African Americans disadvantaged White people used segregation and violence (ala police) to exclude Black people from access to resources. Black people could not sell to white people, were limited in the occupations they could pursue, were excluded from learning and practicing skills, were refused funding to help their projects. Black people were steered into menial employment (servitude) relationships with White people. Consequently Black people remained poor while White people became wealthier.

With the advent of the Black Power and Civil Rights movement Black people began to do more for themselves and to demand access to resources to improve their conditions. As a result African Americans began to create more businesses and wealth. White people in response joined forces to ‘regain’ and protect their control of Black labor and wealth.

To this end they launched an all out attack on the Black community. For its part the US government initiated an attack called ‘Cointelpro’ (Counter Intelligence Program). The objectives of these attacks were to eliminate the various type of leadership, institutions and programs of Black people rendering their control into White hands.  

Consequently Black political leaders were murdered, imprisoned, brutalized, harassed, and scared off. Black leaders in other areas faced the same.

Economically, Whites government went on the attack using, among many actions, the IRS against Black business owners.  Black businesses found themselves falsely accused, stymied, harassed and scared. White government on all levels partnered with White businesses to generate ways of steering Black wealth into White hands. For example, White banks financed the creation of shopping malls and ‘super stores’ as a way to help White businesses create larger businesses, offer lower prices, lore Black consumers and eliminate Black businesses as a competitor, all the while denying Black business owners and entrepreneurs access to loans or any support.

Consequently African American businesses across the nation began to fail as African American consumers bought the hype of ‘lower prices’ and ‘integration’. Cointelpro successfully defeated African Americans on all major fronts - political, economic, education, social, cultural, etc.

By the 1980’s the control of Black labor and wealth was securely back in the hands of White people. To ensure that the control would be a lasting one, Whites escalated their war of racist propaganda against Black people in all areas of media, and especially in the schools. There, references to African American achievements and ambitions were eliminated from the curriculum, while images of Whites in business as owners, creators, and bosses were projected to Black people (again) without end.

 Twenty years later, without leadership, with a generation of spending with White people, with a generation born into the ideas and beliefs that only Whites can do it, and that it is all right to spend with Whites and boycott Blacks businesses now see Black people spending their wealth (glaring examples are athletes and entertainers) and seeking lower-level employment (in spite of degrees and experience) with Whites (and others) unchecked. 

Today all major political, social, economic, educational, recreational, and legal institutions that impact Black life are, in spite of Black symbolism, safely in the control of White hands.

Today fewer Black people than ever know or understand why they spend their money with White people, or why they would rather work a menial job for Whites than own their own business. Many more Black people than not accept the situation of economic domination as though it were their god-given fate. Often enough we hear: “ Well, that’s just the way it is”.

In summation African Americans consumers don’t patronize African American businesses because we lost the war (political, social,   and economic) that says we should.

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