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A History of Economic Violence

October 22, 2007

Are you a contributor in the "Economic Violence" our community has suffered?

You may be asking yourself, what is "economic violence"?  And I don’t blame you if you are.  I heard the term today on the Joe Madison show. To be blunt, "economic violence" is the systematic usurpation of black dollars from the black community by means of influx of other peoples businesses in our community and our subsequent patronage of those business instead of black business. 

The discussion of this economic form of violence stemmed from Mr. Madison receiving an article detailing this phenomenon, mainly in reference to Chinese business and the history of Chinese and European economic conflict.  During the conversation a quote struck me.  The first was an excuse given by black people for not patronizing black businesses: "I just want to buy the best products for my family".  A statement, I shamefully must confess I have uttered. The psychology of this statement had eluded me. Inherent in it is an idea that black products and services must be deficient or of less quality than others. 

I regret that I ever participated in this undeniably genocidal way of thinking. I call it genocidal, because a people who cannot control the flow of economics in their community are regulated to the status of an  also-ran.  An "also-ran" is the loser in the race – and if we cannot stem the regular flow of our money out of our community into others, we’re doomed to remain "also-rans".  Look at our neighborhoods, their is an asian carry-out on nearly every corner, a corner store owned by non-blacks on every block and even the McDonald’s work force is non-black.

Just note this. Studies indicate that the black dollar leaves the black community within 15 minutes of its being earned.

This has to change.  In this country and in this world, commerce controls everything.  It is commerce that dictates to the conscience of governments.  This is why Darfur remains a case of genocide, it is why Rawanda was allowed to go on for so long, and it is why we remain in Iraq!  We must replace our communities non-discriminant purchasing with systematic economics.  Economics deliberately intended on our own self-preservation.  How do we do it? We attack the psychology of our people that has changed our value structure from a people proud of their heritage, to a people bent on assimilation.  Patronize the african influenced and maintained restaurant in your neighborhood – put the pizza down.  Go to the Jamaican carry-out and stay away from the shrimp fried rice for a while. That’s how we start the shift. 

One small change at a time.

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