It is no secret that other ethnicities consider doing business with themselves first, and others later. Considering the statistical evidence that is not hidden, Black folks are the least to do such. One thing for sure is that we are born in a skin color we cannot change and the only thing we can best change is our attitude. Attitude about ourselves and attitude about the world and people around us. For too long others have been allowed to define us, and therefore it has worked in many instances to change our attitudes about ourselves. As I go through many profiles on BBS I notice people more than willing to state they are 51% Black-owned, but very few show they are a Black Business Builder!
This puzzles me?
I know it is not the cost to support Lee, this platform and the effort to provide an area on cyberspace for us to constructively network becasue the fee is nominal. The fact of the matter is we pay more for cellphone, electricity, rent/mortgages, fastfood, gas,,,,, per month than it cost to financially support this effort one time. Having observed whites and others, I see how they are willing to pay hundreds of dollars annually to their Chambers of Commerce; even though Chambers normally do not ‘give’ away any services or products. There are fees to advertise with them, attend their banquets, and they operate on a premise of seeking out and doing business with Chamber members first; before going outside the network. One can simply look at them and their progress brought about by collective support and then look at ourselves and compare. Sometimes Black folks take ‘free’ too much for granted.
I am anti-nobody, but I choose to seek out Black first. That is my option and I have my own reasons for doing so. Most here will probably pay more for an item someone will not respect, a child will break or a person can’t fit into this holiday season and yet reject supporting a network finacially such as Black Business Space and NBBTA. I choose Black restaurants over Asian and Italian. I buy gas from UNOI, contract with Black carpet cleaners, plumbers, and electricians; even though they are not member of BBS or our state Black Chamber. I have to spend to live and therefore I choose to spend with a purpose. I have never been let down (almost) by my choice.
The living conditions of our Black masses will not change until our giving and buying attitude change. To think differently is like believing in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. We will be coralled into the conversation on who will be president, congressperson, mayors, councilmembers and commissioners and regardless of who has come before in these circles, our collective condition continues. We can look all we want in all the wrong places, but in the end we will continue to get the same results; unless we become serious and change our ATTITUDE. One thing no one else can dictate.
Each year we may pray for change, but not act as change agents. We continue to do the same thing and expect different results. We have prefabricated excuses when challenged to be Black supporters; in light of everybody else supporting themselves.
There is a term ‘breaking the cycle’, and it is real. The cycle is like the hamster on the treadmill. Going nowhere fast; although expending a lot of energy. The products we promote to each other will remain useless to the overall big picture unless the attitudes of the seller and receiver of the message change as well. So the next tiime you are out eating by yourself or with others, at the Asian, Mexican, Italian, bigbox restaurant,,,, notice if people who look like you are working there and if you giving them your money will make a true difference toward Black Business Empowerment? When you hand over $60 to fill your gas tank, $20 for your food, $100 for your dress or $500 for your suit,,,, ask yourself is this what our struggle for equity in the past was fought for. Seek deep into your own mind to ponder if our role is to empower everyone else, and then ask yourself if it cause the conditions in which we live?
We can eat, sleep and live with; or next to all the non-Black folks we want, but at the end of the day, decade or millennium, our actions will be what have spoken for our words.
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