by Yvette Carnell
A recent study found that the average black family would need 228 years to build the wealth of a white family today. The study made the rounds and was published at a number of outlets, still CNN eye-rolling extraordinaire Angela Rye doesn’t believe black poverty is a problem because she and her friends are doing well.
Rye said the following on CNN while discussing Trump’s comments on poverty in the black community:
John (Berman), it’s not about us all having to be lifted out of poverty. I’m not impoverished, and I have several middle class friends who are doing well in this country. And so I reject the notion that we constantly need to be talking about-…
Rye went on to say that blacks are not monolithic, not understanding that economics is one of the few areas where we actually are monolithic:
What situation, though? So that’s part of the problem. So the fact that African-Americans are talked about as monolithic entities as, you know, we all need to pull ourselves up by our boot straps when we were barefoot on plantations building this country for free is highly problematic to me.
Angela Rye Denies Existence of Black Poverty Because She and Her Bougie Friends Are “Doing Well”Click to tweet
To the contrary, wealth accumulation is actually flat in the black community. I’ve no idea why the African-American community rails against white supremacy while giving black functionaries of the white elite like Rye a pass. Here’s more from the study mentioned above about black wealth:
Those are the key findings of a new study of the racial wealth-gap released this week by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and the Corporation For Economic Development (CFED). They looked at trends in household wealth from 1983 to 2013—a 30-year period that captured the rise of Reaganomics, expanded international trade and two major financial crashes fueled by bubbles in the tech sector and housing prices. The authors found that the average wealth of white households increased by 84 percent during those three decades, three times the gains African-American families saw and 1.2 times the rate of growth for Latino families.
And from a Huffington Post article titled “Black Wealth Barely Exists in One Terrible Chart”:
Upward mobility from the bottom of the income distribution is much less likely for black than white Americans: 51% of the black Americans born into the lowest fifth of the earnings distribution remain there at age 40.
Not only are we not excelling, we’re actually falling behind, according to the data. And not only do we not have money, we don’t have land either:
The five largest white landowners in America together own more rural land than all of black America combined. According to CNBC, this small group’s total land holdings are about 9 million acres.
In the report “Who Owns the Land,” the United States Department of Agriculture disclosed all of Black America only owns just under 8 million acres. In fact, it was further explained that African Americans own less than one percent of U.S. rural land, worth a mere 14 billion dollars.
A group of people who are descended from slaves, downwardly mobile, have no wealth, land or inheritance are monolithic in that they are poor, regardless of whether Rye drinks mimosas with her middle class friends on Sunday afternoon.
It’s ignorant of Rye to use her friends as barometers for Black America anyway. That’s what data is for, and yet she’s on CNN neck rolling and eye popping in defense of a worldview that does nothing to advance the condition of the majority of African-Americans in this country.
What would’ve been the reaction had a white person on CNN said, in reaction to Trump’s comments, “Well, I have middle class black friends who are doing fine.” Black twitter would’ve roasted that person. And Rye shouldn’t get a pass either just because she’s black.
by Yvette Carnell
Late last week Donald Trump told the truth about the worsening condition of the black community and something weird happened.
“Look at how much African American communities are suffering from Democratic control. To those I say the following: What do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump? What do you have to lose?” Trump asked during a campaign rally. “You live in your poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?”
This was all it took for the Chattering Class of mainstream black pundits to lose their entire sh-t.
Watch New York Times columnist Charles Blow lose his mind and transform into a trollish hobglobin before our very eyes:
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) August 23, 2016
This one hyper-emotional response to Trump’s “what do you have to lose” comment accurately condenses the reaction of most black pundits, and far too many black voters.
Blow, an alleged serious writer at the Times, quoted The Color Purple in defense of his on-air unraveling:
The exaggeratedly offended overreaction coming from the black community seems especially curious after the Black Lives Matter protests we’ve witnessed in recent years. Put in context, here’s what it sounds like to me:
Black people to America: “You don’t understand what we go through! My black life doesn’t matter to you! My black body doesn’t matter to you!”
Trump: “You’re right! You don’t have money or jobs!”
Black people: “Racist!”
You don’t have to be a Trump supporter to understand how schizophrenic that sounds.
In comparison, here’s how we should’ve followed up Trump’s comments: “Yes, you’re right, candidate Trump. Now tell me how your POLICY prescriptions will help the black community dig our way out of this hole.”
Trump likely would’ve failed the challenge, then we could’ve damned him for falling short on the SERIOUS question of policy rather than the EMOTIONAL overreaction at having been offended by the truth.
In a Facebook exchange, someone said, and I’m paraphrasing, “we already know Trump doesn’t have policy, so what’s the point?”
Even if you think you know what Trump is up to, make it play out politically how you NEED it to play out. What we need is a discussion about which policies are most beneficial for the black community and who, if anyone, will champion them. You don’t get to that point by overreacting at the mention of poverty in the black community. That’s an amateur move that we’ve been perfecting election after election. Isn’t it about time to bring in the clowns and get serious about our politics and our future?
by Yvette Carnell
With many black media companies not seeing the earnings of their white counterparts, some companies are getting out of publishing. Johnson Publishing is leaving the stage after 71 historic years in the black media business.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the company announced on Tuesday that it had sold Ebony and Jet to a Texas firm. Both media properties had been struggling, raising eyebrows when the company put its iconic archives up for sale.
As the Tribune notes, “In recent years, though, Johnson Publishing has seen declining media revenues as it struggled to evolve from print to digital platforms.”
At the same time Ebony and Jet were being sold, Byron Allen was purchasing TheGrio.
“We are excited to have TheGrio join Byron Allen’s ever-expanding Entertainment Studios media empire,” says David A. Wilson, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of TheGrio, according to Deadline. “Byron shares our vision of growing TheGrio into the leading video content creator and distribution platform for African-Americans. We look forward to developing the next iteration of TheGrio, and the fact that it will remain 100 percent African American-owned is very significant.”
Byron Allen added that he is “investing heavily in digital publishing, and TheGrio has an excellent management team, making it the perfect asset to start our portfolio of online publishing.”
Black Media Left Behind
Allen has other profitable media properties which are not geared toward African-Americans, allowing him the freedom to take a chance on running a black media property. In an environment where even white media companies like Buzzfeed are seeing declining revenue, however, this isn’t a lucrative field for someone not awash in capital.
NBC once owned TheGrio, but returned the website to its original owners and debuted its own black media outlet with NBC BLK.; why own a black media outlet when you have all the resources, as NBC does, and they have none? It makes more sense to do it all in house.
Always be Selling
Accusing Johnson Publishing of ‘selling out’ in a pejorative sense would be an incomplete analysis of the reasons behind the sale. In truth, media publishing is now about selling. It’s about how many eyeballs you can reach and how many of those pairs of eyes have fat wallets. In black media spaces, we have less eyes and most of our readers are working class, certainly not a benefit to investors in our capitalist society. Even if the rumor is true that Ebony and Jet were sold to a black holding company, it still doesn’t bode well for black publishers. There are not enough black buyers with the available capital to replicate this process.
Allen can afford to buy in, but the future of black media remains a lingering question.
The Black Panther Party was birthed in Oakland, Ca. to become the fiercest African-American armed opposition movement this country has ever known. In Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party, writers Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin Jr. describe the destabilizing influence the Black Panthers had on the American empire.
Dr Martin Luther King Jr. was slain on April 4, 1968 while Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21st 1965. According to the authors, the assassinations influenced people who became followers of the Panthers. Here are 7 interesting facts about the Panthers you may not have known.
1.) After his death, Malcolm X became a symbol of defiance for activists and revolutionaries who were searching for economic and political power. This explains the transition from a nonviolent resistance to Jim Crow to the armed self-defense made famous by the Panthers.
2.) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death also influenced nonviolent protesters who had previously felt the nonviolent approach to black poverty and police brutality might work.
Dr. King was their last hope and to see him slain so violently guided his supporters away from nonviolence as an effective strategy. After King and Malcolm X were killed, people began moving toward other models.
3.) The Black Panther Party wasn’t just a struggle against the oppression of African-Americans in this country, but an attempt to tie what was happening to African-Americans to a much broader struggle against imperialism. The Panthers had strong relations with other movements in this country as well, including parts of the women’s and Chicano movements, among others.
4.) International relationships were so strong between the Panthers and governments abroad that the North Vietnamese offered to exchange the release of POWs for the release of Bobby Seale and Huey Newton from prison.
Blacks Against Empire: On the North Vietnamese Offering to Release American POWs in Exchange for Bobby Seale and Huey NewtonClick to tweet
5.) The Black Panther newspaper featured international events from their own perspective.
6.) J. Edgar Hoover was concerned about armed resistance and the containment policing strategies that responded to black oppression with force. With the Panthers, Hoover saw an effective effort to disrupt brutalization by the police.
The federal government was also concerned about the Panthers’ social programs since they helped build legitimacy among rank and file African-Americans as well as organization like the NAACP and Urban League. Even non-black anti-war whites and non-radicals were becoming supportive of the Panthers.
7.) The reason we don’t have nearly as many all white police forces in black neighborhoods can be traced back to the Black Panthers. The Black Panther Party was also a key element of an alliance to push for anti-war resistance.