The Black Community is in need of a playbook. Something to get us all “on-code”, or in layman’s terms, on one accord.

When I think of the communities of people who have a notable influence and who are able to ban together to strengthen their agenda and uplift one another, I instantly think of the Jewish community and the Asian Community. But why is that? When I think of the Jewish community, I think of a tight-knit group that has their own, stays to themselves, empowers each other, doesn’t rely on the masses to educate their people, and they ensure their generational wealth through entrepreneurial efforts. When I think of the Asian community, I think of business owners, and again, ensuring generational wealth through ownership. I think of close family ties and banning together with one goal in mind as the norm. Why is it that in every black community you can find a beauty supply store, a liquor store, and a nail shop all owned by someone of Asian descent? Why can’t we infiltrate our own communities? Aren’t we as Black people, just as strong in numbers, just as strong in influence, and just as strong in the desire to uplift our communities? The answer is yes, but the main difference is the lack of unity and strategy across the board within the Black community. Now, don’t get me wrong, now more than ever, Black people of all shades and origins are banning together to rally for change and stand unified as we fight the recent displays of injustice in our communities. However, Black unity should not be an isolated occurrence that only takes place during instances of publicized racial disparities and extreme killings. We need to be “on-code” at all times.

our-black-republic-team-work-on-code

We took a deeper look into the Jewish and Asian communities and exactly what it is that they are teaching their own and the “code” by which they follow. Researching their customs and ideologies led us to question ourselves and ask, what would happen if we took a page from their book? How powerful would it be as a people if we took on some of these same ideologies and used them to grow our own communities? It starts with us being able to realize our power and influence and use it to our advantage. It also starts with getting involved and being vocal about our agenda, and that is to progressively move the Black community along and give equal access and opportunity for people of color to thrive in this world.

So, let’s dive in class…

Why is it that America The Great provides approximately $3 billion annually to Israel in foreign aid? A nation of not even 5 million people is getting 3 billion of our dollars every year. That is one fifth of America’s foreign aid going to one place. But why is that?

It’s the power of the Jewish lobby. More and more, we are finding Jewish communities emerging and becoming change makers for their people. They are viewed around the globe as influencers and powerful because they ban together to achieve certain goals that will advance their people. But how do they gain influence?

They are known globally to operate using a system in which they reward their allies and punish anyone who goes against them or who doesn’t support them. This wouldn’t work if the majority of them were not “on-code”. There is power in numbers, and they use their numbers to their advantage. So how do they establish said power?

It starts with making a name for themselves with the community and taking an interest in public affairs that benefit them or put them at a disadvantage. They are vocal about their views and the need to push their community along. They use peer pressure amongst their own communities in order to get everyone on the same page and ignite the flame. They show solidarity and always show up for the cause. The Jewish community are known to embrace their own. They welcome each other and support each other as a standard. Yes, as a people, they have differences, they come from different places, they may even have different ways of life, but they don’t allow those differences to overshadow their agenda. The mere fact that they are Jewish, overshadows it all.

Their entrepreneurial efforts begin early. Trading and owning is a way of life and it is something that their youth grow up surrounded by; therefore, it becomes the norm. They are also extremely confident as a group. Maybe it’s because as a group, they are associated with being successful. There are numerous records of Jewish-Americans making statements along the lines of the fact that other groups do not want to be seen as enemies to their group, simply because of what they stand for and who they are in America. Black people, we need to carry that same energy! You are able to retain power as a group of people if you can come united in your cause and are able to ban together in order to change the world around you to your benefit. So what message are we trying to convey as Black people? Would you say that we are as unified? How does the world view us?

In comparison, the Asian community is similarly “on-code” with growing their own communities from the ground up. Why are there so many Asian business owners dominating so many of the industries that us as Black consumers patronize on a daily basis? There is one theory that focuses on financial openings called the Structural Opportunities theory. This theory basically states that while most White small business owners look to sell their businesses in impoverished areas, the Asian community looks at that as an opportunity to take over those areas. The number of Asian entrepreneurs might also be in part due to the fact that they combat racial discrimination against their community and lack of job opportunities by becoming business owners themselves. This way they determine their own fate and hold the power to be able to empower their community. Much like the Jewish community, they secure their generational wealth because they keep it in the family and keep it in the community. Being an entrepreneur is no easy task. Especially when immigrating to a foreign land; however, they believe in sacrificing for the next generation because it will only make them stronger. The Asian community is able to use their common ethnicity to unite as a people despite differences so that they can network and support one another.

income-and-spending-patterns-among-black-households-chartSo where is our dollar going? The Black community spends approximately $1.2 TRILLION annually. In some markets, we make up more than 50% of the overall spending. Why do we give our money to everyone else but our own? In the words of Dapper Dan, “People want what they can’t get. The mentality associated with luxury and aspiration has to do with things that people can’t afford.” Do you find yourself falling victim to that? The problem is that there are not enough of us in the game. And for those of us that are in the game, we are simply not able to survive without the help of our own community. If Black people can’t unite to push the Black agenda, then who will?

It’s a mindset shift that needs to happen. I have had conversations with my fellow black people and asked why they don’t support black businesses? Time and time again, the response is the same. They say that the products are overpriced. As a black entrepreneur you are already at a disadvantage in comparison to your other culture counterparts, so yes, sometimes the price has to be a little more. But wouldn’t you want to spend the extra buck and know that you are helping to keep that same dollar in your own community versus giving it away to someone else to help their community thrive? Just think, by putting a dollar in their pocket, you are helping to secure the generational wealth of some of the same people that discriminate against your own people. Let’s be clear, the median wealth held by Black families stands at just $17,000 as opposed to our White counterparts who have a median wealth of a whopping $171,000. So that means, for every 10 wealthy White families, there is just one wealthy Black family. Just recently in a 2019 study, it was said that 97% of respondents underestimated this extreme gap.  

So, now what? Use this information to empower yourself and your community. Take opportunities to give back to your own community. Have confidence in yourself and in the power of your people. Teach the youth the importance of ownership. Invest in your own community and help to keep the black dollar circulating. 

And most importantly, take a page from their book and get “on-code”.

References:

Diner, H. (2018, December). Doing Business in America: A Jewish History. Retrieved June 20, 2020, from

https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1019&context=purduepress_previews

Goldberg, J. J. (1996). Jewish Power Inside the American Jewish Establishment. Retrieved June 20, 2020, from
https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/jewishpower.htm

Le, C. N. (2020). Asian Small Businesses & Self Employment : Asian-Nation :: Asian American History, Demographics, & Issues. Retrieved June 20, 2020, from
http://www.asian-nation.org/small-business.shtml

Beyer, D. (2020). The Economic State of Black America in 2020. Retrieved June 20, 2020, from
https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/ccf4dbe2-810a-44f8-b3e7-14f7e5143ba6/economic-state-of-black-america-2020.pdf

Nielsen Homescan. (2018, February). Black Impact: Consumer Categories Where African Americans Move Markets. Retrieved June 20, 2020, from https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2018/black-impact-consumer-categories-where-african-americans-move-markets/


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