Hello UI. I hope you are ready for the third installment of our UI financial series because it’s going to be a special one. Many of us have experienced life in financial turmoil. Although there are many of us who may be doing okay in today’s times, we were not always doing so well. Some of us came from and still are living in the lower middle class to living at or under the poverty line. Generations of this practice has left us as Black people feeling that the American dream is not possible for us, and that we are not entitled to having the best possible life afforded to us. I had a conversation with a person who told me… “Aww man you can’t be mad about being broke after paying rent… You supposed to be broke after paying rent.” I looked at him as if he were crazy. He then told me… “Look, we Black. All that house and car with the kids goin to private school ain’t fa us mayne. I’m hood and foreva will be about tha hood ya dig?” I did not dig this at all. As a matter of fact it made me sad that my own people did not want more for themselves and were complacent with poverty and substandard living.
A huge problem and reason for this way of thinking is that businesses that provide products and services do not do anything to cultivate better thinking in our communities. Unfortunately this translates into us not doing what we can to encourage better thinking amongst Blacks in our communities. Media suggestion is powerful, but it seems as if the big business corporations have forgotten about us. Some of s chalk this up to racism and have given up on it all together claiming no hope and no justice for Blacks in America… However, is it really a matter of racism? Or is it a matter of MONEY? Big business is in the practice of making money nothing more. It does not matter where the money comes from, as long as it is coming in. Fact… The target demographic in America is White males between the ages of 18-35. The reason for this is not simply “Big businesses don’t like blacks…” The reason is that this demographic makes up over 89% of America’s Middle to upper middle class. These are the people that big businesses cater to because they consume close to 95 percent of the products and services. This puts them in a position of power and influence with these companies. Let me also let you in on a little something… These companies also have big influence in the government that rules over us and makes our laws that e abide by every day. Just think about that in conjunction with all that has happened in the media with police violence and the lack of action taken by the government to do anything.
The point I’m trying to make is for us to matter again in this country. The only way to do that is for Black people in America to move into the middle class to upper middle class. We should not only move into a new class of people… But to now take over the population of that class and become the NEW target demographic. The only way to do that is to become financially able to do so. If we are able to then OUR concerns and fears will be addressed because we not only affect the bottom line… But we ARE the bottom line. Here are 5 solid tips on helping you move into Middle America, and beyond.
- Do not be afraid of moving away from an impoverished neighborhood to a better more suburban one. I know you will get the “You sold out” and “Build our community first” stuff from people but honestly it will not only help you get a better job, help your kids go to better schools, and help aid in your efforts to better your living situation, it also helps our youth and your own kids see that there is life outside the ghetto and that they can have the life that they want without restriction. It will also cost you less money in the long run because homeowners insurance is much cheaper in the burbs and the access to more high quality organic foods and products is much more accessible. What’s even more so is the quality of rentable housing is higher. Because the city codes for health and safety are adhered to and are scrutinized with a fine toothed comb it is highly unlikely that you have the same building issues as living in an area where you barely see the police. A better living situation is what we all strive for… Why not live it?
- Changing your style of dress is important. We have all seen it. Women with crazy hair colors and textures, nails that look more like a Crayola crayon activity set, men wearing oversized basketball shorts, Steve Harvey baggy suits… Your first impression says a lot. It may not be everything, but it is at last enough to see is people want to take you seriously or not. Why give them a barrier to try and see who you really are through what you have on? If you are intelligent on the inside… Dress intelligently. If you are a strong leader on the inside… Dress like a strong leader. Ask yourself. Would you follow a man into a board room with a baseball cap and gaudy prints of a ridiculously expensive fashion designer? Or would you follow the man or woman who is about business and even in their casual life still letting you know that the business is not a game but a way of life? Even if it’s not you… Look the part. You will get much further with a polo from Walmart and a crisp pair of khaki shorts that you ever will with basketball shorts, long socks, Jordan flip flops and a shirt that says. ”I got dat work”.
- The company you keep can lift you… Or tear you down. This is one that is a touchy subject, however must be addressed. We all love our friends and family. Without them we would not be the people we are today. Our natural reaction is when we get some success then we should bring them with us. It is only natural to feel this way. Unfortunately in this life that is not always the best thing for us, because not everyone is meant to be in your life for the rest of your life. When we surround ourselves with likeminded people who strive to achieve greatness or at bare minimum success, we find that progress is made. We also see growth and stability. Not everyone is one the same page. You will still have those people who no matter how much time passes or how old they get; they will stay in the same place as when you met them. If you are on the success train and are moving along… But your friend does not want the same success or financial stability… it’ time to either cut ties or place that person to the side so that you can continue moving forward. Let no one or nothing stand in your way of achieving your goals. Even their mere presence at times will be cancerous. The others who are on your level will see you as being like the person stuck on level 1 and may not take you with them on their way up in the world. Your network of associates is very important to your success. Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. If you are more successful, then the friends you might have left behind will see you as an example and will follow in turn. If not… They never wanted it to begin with.
- Stop referring financial success, living in a better neighborhood, kids attending good schools, being able to buy quality goods and services, taking vacations, etc… as WHITE CULTURE. If you continue to see it this way, you will never have anything to speak of. It is not white culture to be successful nor is it “white” to want for something better than the hood. It is the human condition to want better for you and your family. I have seen it happen. A friend of mine actually got a taste of the good life. He was at a big accounting firm and was asked out by his boss to a party where he would meet the CIO and CEO of the company. He had a hard time fitting in simply because he felt the situation was too “white” for him. Do NOT let this stupid belief hold you back from what’s the best for your family and career. In my mind the “Black” thing to do is achieve in spite of the many disadvantages that befall us. In my world the “Black” thing to do is seize power as much as possible because we cannot wait on whites to “even the score” and give it to us. Success is the new Black…Let’s wear it.
- The devil you know… It is no secret that whites in America do not like us. There’s no punchline to that… it’s just reality. However this does not mean that we need to separate ourselves from them or for us to be antagonistic towards them either. Unfortunately due to manifest destiny and a slew of other injustices, they are the ones in power. They have the money, and the own the corporations that we work for. To cut them out of our lives at this point would be like shooting ourselves in the foot. But… That doesn’t mean that the plan is not going according to our calculations nor does it mean that the war is over. It simply means that for now we must go with the flow until we occupy the target demographic with beautiful black faces. We must use them and their money to gain what we have lost. No it is not fair… No it is not as things SHOULD be… But for now it is the way thing are. Until we have enough of us in key positions and can make the change that we deserve we lie in wait. Don’t ever believe that simply because a black man has decided to wear brooks brothers suits and live next to white people that for a second he or she won’t bring another deserving black man or woman into the “middle” People like us have truly been awakened by the simple truth that there are strength in numbers. Our numbers grow each day and once we get to the numbers that shake these businesses to their bottom line we can ask for what we want. Sadly whites who see us as a sub culture can’t even see that they are being pushed out and that the new middle class will soon be taking over.
It’s very simple… Once we affect the Money… We affect change. The primary source of money spent in America comes from the middle class. The middle class is the money… So if the middle class wants change, then change it will get. Why? Because above all else… The dollar in the business world is almighty. If we become THE middle class then the change we so desperately want will come. They will have to love us, because of their love of the money… See how that works? Until next time UI… Make Money… Not excuses. UI Financial gone.
PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.