Contradictory Thinking in the Black Community, by Vanessa Jean Louis

Black Culture critics typically don’t get as much airtime as those who perpetuate victim hood. However, if we are to make progress as people of color, we must combat some of the counter-intuitive and counterproductive views that plague our communities. Shedding light on the issues is only one of a series of steps that must be taken to foment an “Urban Conservative” counter culture.

“Low-skilled jobs typically held by minorities in the inner city are being outsourced, yet let’s continue to support/vote for Democrats so they can raise taxes on the rich to close the economic gap.”

Leftists call it “greed,” I call it “common sense”. Most corporations get into business to make a profit and share the dividends of theirs profit with their shareholders. In the midst of making money allocating scarce goods and resources (capitalism), these corporations hire people giving these employees means of economic subsistence. Since the 1960s, because of increased labor costs, many corporations have outsourced their companies into countries where the cost of operating is cheaper. In other words, as prices to operate business in America go up, profit margins go down-so it only makes sense that these businesses harbor in places that will help increase their profit margins. That’s not greed, that’s Business 101.

During the Great Depression, whatever toils experienced by White America were felt at least two-fold by those in the Black community. The same holds true today. While the national unemployment rate hovers around 10 percent, it’s over 50 % higher in the Black Community. Understanding how tax policy and regulation can have a retardant or stimulative effect on the economy is pivotal. Hence why Conservatives like Jack Kemp wanted the Federal Government to play an integral part in “Enterprise Zones/Communities”. In Enterprise Zones/Communities, states and federal taxes are lowered temporarily. Moreover, regulation that would otherwise be confiscatory is lifted in order to foment economic activity and increase employment in areas with high poverty and other social maladies that are often correlated with decrepit social conditions.

I always ask my liberal brothers and sisters to explain the contradictory nature of complaining about lack of jobs and opportunities when they support a political ideology that supports raising taxes and increasing the regulatory burdens placed by bureaucrats–which has an inevitable effect on employment opportunities. So, if low employment opportunities are a huge problem, why support politicians who are for hurting the small business owners who are most likely to employ low-skilled workers who disproportionately represent the inner city cohort?

Moreover, many business owners assert that since demand is low due to the recession, the temporary “tax-credits” that are being offered by the Obama administration aren’t going to be enough of an incentive for small businesses to hire new workers.

Black Conservatives and Republicans are “sell-outs”, but the criminals involved in the penal system aren’t?

After years of working in the inner city, some people who have come to know me through my writings have called me a “sell-out” by virtue of not identifying with the Black monolith, politically. As unabashed Black Conservatives and/or Republicans, it’s just the name of the game that we have to deal with. I must admit, it’s growing on me (like fungus would grow on a host)-albeit very uncomfortable since I pride myself in being a “conscious” (semi-Afrocentric) Conservative…never mind the fact that I’m in the trenches everyday…

How is it that the criminals and the street thugs who terrorize their neighborhoods aren’t considered “sell-outs”? I’ve grappled with this for a while. I’ve read the writings of other black/urban conservatives lamenting on this very issue. I can’t seem to understand how my “blackness” is constantly questioned, but those who kill, maim, and get people who look like me addicted to drugs aren’t ever really questioned about their allegiance to the Black community? What’s even more ironic is how rappers who glorify the “thug life” (who have helped in part produce a generation of what I call the “un-conscious”) rarely have their “blackness” questioned. I find most disheartening the members of the Black Intelligentsia who defend these culprits involved in the penal system as “victims”—when the people who they oppress by their actions are really the ones we need to worry about.

“Despite centuries of oppression that only ended in the past few decades, Black people are incredibly resilient BUT the proverbial “system” has enough power to hold us back?

The resiliency of Black folks is something that should never go unspoken. With over 250 years of chattel slavery, and decades of Jim-Crow- the Black family managed to stay virtually intact (until the 1960s) ONLY through faith in Christ, and self-sufficiency coupled with mutual aid networks. The fact that the “Black Wall Street” (Greenwood, Tulsa Oklahoma) was rebuilt to bring about another economic resurgence in the 1950s after it was burned by angry White men in the 1920s (who envied the economic prosperity that the free markets and capitalism brought to blacks) is also testament to that fact.

If we are such “victims” of a purported establishment, why were we able to accomplish so much before it became politically opportunistic to help us? I’m not in any way diminishing the role of Government when it came to acting as a fiduciary for Black civil rights. What I’m saying is, what excuses do we really have in 2010 when there are hoards of programs in higher education actively (to the point of frivolous lawsuits) seeking more and more members to add to the growing numbers of the Black Intelligentsia?

In addition to many minority recruitment initiatives, when it comes to small business development, there are special set asides for minorities to start their own businesses. The fact is that our progenitors who opened up their own businesses didn’t have the opportunities that we have today.

Moreover, if we are indeed resilient how can we believe that our economic, social, and political achievements can be stifled…in 2010? I’m not deluding myself about there being barriers to success; I just refuse to believe that those blockades can stop us (in theory and in practice).

Unfortunately, any attempts to say “Enough is enough” are clouded by culture apologists who are more comfortable with the status quo because it cements their position as power brokers and “leaders” in the Black community. While I don’t necessarily automatically discount the validity of some of the views I feel are contradictory to our objectives as people of color, I think it’s important to shine light on these blatant contradictions for the sole purpose of our social advancement. As an urban conservative, I experience first hand how the liberal side seems to dominate the dialogue and thus the agenda. That needs to stop.


One response

  1. D. H.

    A lot of what you said I agree with, but I would just say that I think the black community
    should become a more private community, we should start the process of dedicating our
    community to education and cleaning up our environment across this country. we need
    to become a more close nit community, were to spread out and we need to start the process
    of getting to know each other and learn how to help other. I think that we need to choose the
    charter school system so we have more of a say so in our childrens school curriculum such as
    two classes of math and science, reading and writing classes through high school and
    technology.We must start cleaning our environment regardless of your economic situation
    immediately, this have to stop. every one must get envolved, and we have to start now
    and start weeding out the drug dealers and the gangs that’s tearing the fabric of our community
    apart, and if we have to form our own private security agencies to accomplish it so be it.
    I will be writing more about this subject in the book I’m working on, stay tuned.

    August 27, 2010 at 5:02 am

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