Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Marginalization of the Black Community

Blacks Don't Know How Powerful They Are

The Black community controls 10% of the buying power in America yet bottoms out the lowest income bracket.cite   Until Blacks actual pool their resources and consciously agregate their buying power and political muscle, they will accomplish nothing given the current trend in marginalizing the Black community.  The national and local media constantly bombards the Black community with negative images of itself.cite   National entertainment outlets also applauds the worst in the Black community, leaving the younger generation to aspire to nothing more than rappers with known criminal backgrounds; athletes with questionable ethics and morals; or Black individuals with a complete lack of intellect or financial education.cite   Blacks are portrayed as dumb, going nowhere and fit only to be killed in movies.cite   Until we Blacks make our own movies and t.v. shows dealing with REAL Black issues that we define, we will constantly be marginalized in the media.

The Damage to the Younger Generation

If you repeat a lie long enough, people will tend to believe it as fact.  The Black community is constantly bombarded with images of Black males as being the originators of crime.  Time and again, study after study has shown that Blacks are no more criminal than any other race.cite   However, Blacks are 90% more likely to be portrayed in the media as being criminals and / or being arrested for crimes, regardless of their guilt or innocence.cite   The general population, being law abiding citizens, then think that those portrayed in the media as being primary suspects in a criminal case, deserve nothing less than jail or some form of punishment.  It stands to reason that since they are the chief suspects that they deserve to be suspected.  However, while the media portrays Blacks as being the normal criminal suspect of police, they never retract any of their stories, should the person be proven to be innocent.cite   This constant barrage of Black suspects then, ingrains itself into the brain of those who watch it and people then come to expect Blacks to always be the primary suspects in criminal cases.  After some time, this becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

Young Blacks are bombarded with images of Blacks being criminals.  The next step is to cast Black artists in the images of criminals and have them praise their own fake criminal backgrounds.cite   As sure as the day is long, this recipe comes to fruition and idiot Black youth start acting out the very images they see in video and in movies.

Years ago when the mafia movies first started coming out, there was a minor group that protested the movies, saying that they glorified violence, and the criminal element.cite   They were against white Italians being portrayed as criminals and the movies glorifying crime.cite   Hollywood of course never listened.  So to the various groups chagrin, Italians were permanently cast as being mafioso.  However, the vehement fight the groups put up left an indelible impression on me, that we should always fight when the national media and entertainment outlets seeks to define an entire race or country of origin of a group of people.

In a country where young Black kids are constantly bombarded with images of Black men being IN prison or an idiot rapper glorifying his criminal past, it is no wonder that Black youth first seek to resort to a criminal option to a situation.  In fact, it is now considered a part of a Black manly identity if you dress, act and think like a prison inmate.cite   The Black male group thinks it weak if you do not disrespect women.  The Black male group thinks it weak if you don't act like a "thug".  In fact the word "thug" has completely been usurped by the Black male group.  Instead it being a male criminal, normally of Italian origin, it has been recast to mean a Black male individual.  Also being a "thug" is now seen as being both cool and sexy.

The Destruction from Without

From the highest office in the land, Blacks are now the prime target for incarceration. cite According to research, president Nixon conducted a national study and then changed the results to reflect that Blacks were the originators of all of the unrest in the country. Knowing full well that the entire country was against his Vietnam war, he nevertheless targeted Blacks as the chief source of unrest.cite He then started his "war on drugs" with the primary target being Blacks.cite 90% of all Blacks in prison right now are there due to some form of a drug charge.cite Meanwhile drugs were being introduced into the Black community from a mysterious outside source. Before the 60s there was no drug presence to speak of in the Black communities across the land.cite But, after this time drugs in the Black community became rampant and readily available. For a community that was generally isolated, having rare, imported drugs being spread wide and readily available is suspect all by itself.  No Black leader has ever raised the issue of where any of these drugs have come from, nor has any media outlet ever let on that drugs were not a "Black thing" before.  For all intents and purposes, Black history month goes more along the lines of Black fantasy month, because they never show how financially sound, well adjusted and progressive the Black community was before civil rights.  Study after study has shown that the income gap, the educational gap and the buying power was aggressively decreasing before desegregation, while now it is widening at an alarming rate.cite  No Black leader wants to admit that desegregation and civil rights destroyed the Black community, not build it up.cite

The Financial Miseducation of Blacks

Wells Fargo has been the current love child of predatory lending and wiping out Black wealth.  While calling a house an asset is a misnomer, 90% of all Black wealth is derived from their family house.  In other words, of all the assets you can use to judge a Black families financial worth, their house is usually the only "asset" a Black family has.  That being said, if you were to concoct a scheme to swindle a Black family out of their house, you could wipe out nearly all Black wealth in the nation.  Wells Fargo is under investigation for just that very thing.cite  They systematically targeted Blacks, based on the fact that Blacks are completely financially ignorant, for predatory lending.cite

What is predatory lending?  Unscrupulous actions carried out by a lender to entice, induce and/or assist a borrower in taking a mortgage that carries high fees, a high interest rate, strips the borrower of equity, or places the borrower in a lower credit rated loan to the benefit of the lender. As with most things of a dishonest nature, new and different predatory lending schemes frequently arise.cite

The easiest way to completely avoid predatory lending is to SHOP AROUND.  Remember that song?  Even the most financially ignorant person can hedge their bets that they will not be "taken" if they simply shop around.  Normally the loan scam starts by either, the bank coming to the doorstep of the person, or if they're buying a house, the realtor suggesting the bank. The buyer then signs the loan with that bank without ever looking at another bank or lender for better terms.  It would completely disrupt the scam if the buyer simply went to at least 5 other banks, credit unions, or lenders to compare terms.  However, no Black leader or Black organization, *cough*NAACP*cough*, ever brings a law suit on behalf of a Black community that has been the target of predatory lending.cite   Right off the top of my head, Memphis has born the brunt of Wells Fargo's predatory lending campaign.cite   It took city leaders to bring a lawsuit against them.  Seems Jesse and friends have been completely silent on the issue.  And, why would I say Blacks were the target?  Because, employees of the company have signed affidavits attesting to the fact that supervisors in the bank specifically said to target Blacks because they are not financially savvy.  They had Blacks sign mortgages with 29% interest when they qualified for 5% interest.cite   They had Blacks strip themselves of all the equity in their home, saying it was a lower interest loan to consolidate ALL of their debt, when in fact it was an interest only with a balloon payment mortgage, or adjustable-rate mortgage.cite 

What is an ARM?  An adjustable-rate mortgage is a type of mortgage in which the interest rate paid on the outstanding balance varies according to a specific benchmark. The initial interest rate is normally fixed for a period of time after which it is reset periodically, often every month. The interest rate paid by the borrower will be based on a benchmark plus an additional spread, called an ARM margin.  For example a 2/28 arm loan would have you pay a very low interest rate for 2 years, however for the next 28 years that interest rate would keep adjusting up and up, even monthly.cite

Black communities like Memphis, were wiped out by predatory lending and the sub-prime mortgage crash.  The Black wealth was completely robbed.  Where white wealth was not wiped out, the biggest losers have been the Black community, across all racial boards.

What Has to Happen

First and foremost, we as a community have to acknowledge what has happened.  Until we can come to terms with the factors that are leading to our downfall, we cannot hope to progress.
  • Blacks are constantly the butt of crime
  • Blacks are portrayed as criminals
  • Black entertainers glorify crime
  • Black males glorify being a criminal
  • Blacks are portrayed in movies as being criminals
  • Blacks are portrayed in movies as being unintelligent
  • Blacks are never portrayed as a bad guy with tremendous intellect, i.e. a nemesis or arch-enemy
  • the Black community before desegregation was on tract to close the income gap between Blacks and whites
  • Blacks are the chief target of predatory lending
  • Blacks are never educated financially
  • Blacks have suffured the most in the sub-prime crash
  • due to complete financial ignorance, Blacks signed sub-prime loans when they qualified for low interest prime loans
  • the current economic crash wiped out nearly 50% of Black wealth in the entire nation
  • due to a general lack of Black owned and operated businesses, Black unemployment is triple the national average, in some sectors it is nearly 50%
  • due to a general lack of Black reinvestment into the community there are less and less Black businesses
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