If you worked as hard for yourself as you did for your employer, you would be a multi-millionaire – Asad
1: supreme power especially over a body politic
2: freedom from external control, autonomy
3: controlling influence
Economic Sovereignty – our ability to control the economy of our community in response to our own needs – is the first principle of this organization. Just as the definition above states, our goal is supreme power over our own personal and collective economies with freedom from external control and exploitation. Alot of people debate over what the biggest problem facing Blacks here in America is, and without a doubt it is ECONOMIC.
If one doubts that, here are three reasons that Economic Sovereignty is the first principle and priority of United Black America:
First, when the American economy goes into recession, Black America goes into a depression. In the most recent economic downturn, unemployment for our Black men reached a 25-year high of 18.7 (the white unemployment rate hovered around 9 percent), we collectively suffered a 50 percent poverty rate amongst black children, we make up 50% of the homeless population (despite being only 12 percent of the overall population), and we are three times more likely than whites to live below the poverty level as a whole. Even prior to the recession, the Boston based non-profit company United for a Fair Economy found the following:
“that Blacks and Hispanics are three times as likely to be poor as whites; that blacks earn 62 cents for every dollar whites earn; and that the family median net worth of whites in 2007 was $170,400, compared with $27,800 for blacks and Hispanics.” – United for a Fair Economy
The root cause of these statistics cannot be explained away by [the Black American's] low high school and college graduation rates, our disproportionately high incarceration rates, or any other social illness that pundits would argue are the main cause of our condition. The real cause is the economic and political system that is put into place for those that benefit from our condition of poverty to continue to prosper. We continue to suffer and slave and scrape to preserve the way of life for those at the top of the pyramid that is the workforce. We incorrectly believe that if we go through college and get a “good” job, we will be ok, when in reality nothing can be farther from the truth. This system of reliance on government and corporations to provide for us does not work out to our benefit.
Second, the necessity for us as Black Americans to become economically sovereign becomes more urgent every day, as more and more signs point to the American economy’s decline and eminent collapse. For instance:
- The stronger the US Dollar is, the lower the price of gold. Over the past 5 years, the price of gold has risen 177% as the dollar continued its landslide in value. CNN has even reported that gold vending ATMs will soon be made available
- Homes used to be the most valuable investment a person could make, and represented the grand majority of personalwealth. However, with the recent collapse of the housing market, homeowners saw a 10 to 20 per cent decrease in property values that wiped out the equity of homeowners or left them owing more on their mortgage than the house was worth
- Despite efforts at health care reform, the American health care system is collapsing, hospitals are going under, and insurance premiums are going up, further robbing the American people of their hard earned dollars
- Shrinking personal incomes combined with skyrocketing food prices led to worldwide food riots between 2007 and 2008 (Haiti’s food riots actually led to the overthrow of then Prime Minister Alexis). The man who predicted the 1987 stock market crash and the fall of the Soviet Union is now forecasting revolution in America, food riots and tax rebellions – all within four years.
For us as Black Americans to trust our economic well being to this country’s system is as dangerous as putting our money in a safe on the Titanic.
Lastly, Capitalism as an American ideal has put Black America into a financial matrix. We invest an outrageous amount of money attending colleges and universities that leave us further in debt and without any valuable skills. The college “education” that we so value only trains us to be another replaceable clone in a workforce that supports corporate interests over the welfare of the individual worker. We then beg for jobs, beg for benefits, tolerate being paid the lowest possible wages for spending most of our waking hours behind a desk, or engaging in manual labor, or busying ourself with projects that have absolutely no value to humanity. And for 40 years we work 40 hours in the hopes that we will be able to retire. This is 21st century slavery.
A few of us wake up to this fact and start to seek out new means of income generation. Get rich quick schemes, lotteries, and multi-level marketing companies have made millions upon millions by taking advantage of those looking for a way out of financial bondage.
Rethinking Our Role
With the coming collapse of America’s economic system, the fact that Blacks here in America suffer considerably more during economic downturns, and the realization that the way to long term success and stability can never come from any “job”, its time for us United Black Americans to rethink our role. We have, unlike other immigrant and minority groups, allowed the fate of our economy to rest in the hands of “foreign” politicians and corporations. The result has been It is time for us to jump-start our own economies, to produce our own jobs, and to become the producers and providers within our communities. Accomplishing these three goals is the true path to the economic sovereignty of Blacks in America.
1. Become a producer and provider
Armed with a determination to learn and succeed, Djehuty Maat-Ra started a multi-million dollar herbal supplement operation out of his home. D Herbs now serves hundreds of customers a month with natural alternatives to artificially engineered medicine, as well as empowering informational products that offer as much entertainment as they do education. Mr. Maat-Ra is just one example of an individual’s ability to support themselves by leveraging their passions. Compare these producers and providers with the average Black worker whose livelihood is controlled by an dependent on their jobs. These workers are told when to clock in and clock out, what to do, how to do it, and the maximum amount of compensation that they can receive in return for their efforts. Again, this is 21st Century slavery.
You can escape this fate and learn to do for self by producing, marketing, and selling goods and services based on your passion, hobby, or your recognition of an unfulfilled need. It wont always be fun and there is some risk involved in living outside of “the matrix”, but you will be rewarded with true independence and a valuable legacy that can be passed on for generations. If you dont think thats possible, remember Black Wall Street!
Look at ”Chinatowns” as well as Jewish, Mexican, and Somalian neighborhoods. All of these communities start with nothing, build businesses based on their cultures, and build their neighborhoods and communities to the point that the local language even changes (you can always tell what part of the city you are in by the language of the store signs!) .
These communities consist, first, of religious establishments, restaurants and grocery stores and eventually diversify into family clinics, clothing stores, general supply stores, bookstores, entertainment venues, and service provision offices. These immigrants don’t plead for integration or equality, they are not interested in assimilating with mainstream America, and they make the most of what they have until their small neighborhoods become thriving and economically sovereign communities. All this from individual producers and providers that meet the needs of customers right in their neighborhoods.
Keep in mind that the formula for success is failure + persistence, and soon you could be in charge of your own multi-million dollar operation.
2. Become an employer
The Nation of Islam owns hundreds of businesses and hundreds of acres of farmland that put thousands of its members to work. The aforementioned D Herbs, Douglas Home and Office Services in Culver City, California, and Phoenix Publications in the Bronx are other examples of black owned employers. The power of small operations is evident: small businesses employ more than half of the U.S. workforce, pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll, and have generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years. By applying your newfound skills as a producer to starting a small enterprise, you can contribute to our collective economic prosperity and get some of these positive statistics working for us.
3. Bring back the buy black philosophy
“You Black people just don’t understand. It is not the money, but the fact that we only buy from our own. Only you Blacks will buy from any and everyone.” – Asian consumer in response to a black salesperson, from PowerNomics : The National Plan to Empower Black America
Once you have begun to produce and provide goods and services based on your unique passions, talents, or perceived needs and you have started a small scale operation with a handful of employees, the final step is to link up with and patronize other black businesses. Statistics have shown that only 4% of African American’s dollars are spent with Black owned and operated companies, and in the words of Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu“You cannot give 96% of your income away and blame 100% of your problems on someone else”.
If you own a black bookstore, seek out black writers and black owned and operated publishers. If you own a fruit stand, seek out black family farms. If you are a black blogger, seek out black web designers and programmers. Even if you havent launched your operation, seek out and shop black owned and operated companies.
United Black America’s aim is to make every individual and every community in Black America economically sovereign if they so choose to be. By applying these principles to your life and in your community, you are taking steps to finally realize the dream of a United Black America.
Demographics of the United States. Wikipedia. Web. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States#Race_and_ethnicity
Food Riots or Food Rebellions? Web. March 25, 2010. http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/03/25-11
Celente Predicts Revolution, Food Riots, Tax Rebellions By 2012. November 13, 2008. N.p. http://www.infowars.com/celente-predicts-revolution-food-riots-tax-rebellions-by-2012/
SBA Office of Advocacy Frequently Asked Questions, n.p., http://www.sba.gov/advo/stats/sbfaq.pdf
Kunjufu, Jawanza. Solutions for Black America. Chicago: African American Images, 2004. Print.