Okay, soapbox again. I came across a piece lauding the first African to own a Rolls Royce dealership. I guess that’s okay and it’s good to see us owning stuff. That being said, how many Afrikans can or will be able in their lifetime with the present economic structure be able to afford a Rolls Royce? Why is it that those Afrikans who are “lucky” enough or chosen to get economic resources and have enough of a consciousness and the training to go INTO business and entrepreneurship never supply the things that we actually buy? That’s right I AM talking hair care products, fried chicken, alcohol, tennis shoes, cheaper autos..now I am NOT saying that this is what we SHOULD be spending a majority of our money on; these disposable, non-productive items. I am simply saying that if we ARE going to buy them, against better judgment, why do we not SELL them and retain those resources within the community? I keep going back to a comment made by an “unconscious” friend of mine that bothered me when he made it and still bothers me, but now I know WHY. We were talking reparations and I was expounding on how I thought hell would have to freeze over before we would ever get such a payment. My friend turned the conversation to a hypothetical “what if”. He said “what if such a payment WAS made?” So I started talking about how we would need a collective economic agenda, and he listened and then said “look, what I would do is open up the 3W franchise”. I said 3W? “Weed, Wings, and Weave”. Now at the time I was irritated. I was irritated then because I thought he was mocking the community and the discussion, but more and more I think he was more realistic than I was. He simply understood that if a damaged people are going to throw resources away, those who are slightly more aware would be wise in finding some creative way to make those resources stay in the community. Think about his idea now. Marijuana is slowly becoming legal and as it does, how much additional money is going to fly out of our communities TO OTHERS on that product? Chicken? I won’t even comment. And hair is one of our greatest collective expenditures. In the long term, we can say we want to raise the collective consciousness of the people about their economic behavior. But in the short term we have to redirect the resources to those who know what to do with them and that means dealing with the PRESENT economic behavior. There is simply no reason we don’t have a nationally successful Afrikan chicken chain when everybody’s home church makes better chicken dinners than anything you getting from wherever you going outside the community. And if we got to buy hair care products there is no reason Leroy’s Beauty Supply can’t be next to Sun Lee’s Hair Emporium (no disrespect to those who saw a market and smartly moved to exploit when we did not, by the way). Just thinking aloud here.
I keep going back to Dr. Clarke’s diatribe and Dr. Khalid Muhammad’s lament that we did not make toilet paper. Sounds like a mundane, trivial item but 1 billion Afrikans need toilet paper and are going to get it from someone. Why not us? We sometimes miss the trees for the forest.