Bottom line, we are being ignored because we are ignoring ourselves. The question is, where are we being ignored? I am glad you asked:
Politically – We religiously vote Democrat and then ask for no accountability from who we voted. If we think about it, the real help doesn’t exist in just programs. It must also come by way of government contracts. Can we say that any political party ensures we get the business training for areas of government procurement so we can get a fair play at government contracts? Actually, can we just get equal access to the RFPs? Folks, if we refuse to hold Democrats or black politicians’ feet to the fire when they are in office, we must also leave Republicans or white ones alone when they are in there too.
Commerce – Some people say that a black business should not only rely on the black customer. They say we should focus on the community at-large. That’s just a cop-out to excuse those black folks who don’t support black businesses. At the end of the day, many, many non-black businesses thrive by only “focusing” on their own people. When we decide to patronize them, we are only bonus money. We must support ourselves and stop trying to find an intellectual argument as to why we don’t. Don’t be fooled. Holding back our money will not make them go out of business (maybe downsize but not go out of business) so let’s stop thinking we have such a great weapon as a customer. That weapon is fragile if we are not our own employer.
Religiously – How many of you all’s black churches have maintenance contracts with black businesses? Yet, they ask you (the black congregant) to volunteer to clean up and landscape the grounds in the beginning, only to give the contracts to a non-black business when the cash flow picks up. Is it because you can’t do the work or aren’t reliable? Is it because they also have stereotypes against black entrepreneurs? Or does your church just view you as the one who should “give” the money but not be “given” to. Let’s simplify it even more. How many of your black churches have bank accounts at black banks?
Black entrepreneurs get worn out by unruly, unrealistic black customers. Black employees get frustrated by shiesty black business owners. Black customers get turned off by poorly ran black businesses. Our problem is beyond an ecological problem. It’s more of a psychological problem.
We look in the mirror every morning before we leave our homes but still manage to ignore ourselves once we walk away from that mirror.
It’s no one else’s responsibility to save us.
There is no problem in the black community that black people can’t fix. However, first, we must fix ourselves.