“To all my ghost supporters, go support us
Like a local black-owned grocery store
â€˜Cause in the hood shit ain’t passed down through blood
It’s a dub on that, we get government aid
Spend it at they stores, puttin’ they kids through college
We need balance
So we can lease and own deeds in our projects
So I’m askin’ Gs to go in their pockets
The racial economic inequality, let’s try to solve it…”
-Nas (Nas Album Done;Major Key, @DjKhaled 2016)
If you have not tuned in to hear this jewel of a single by Nas off DJ Khaled’s new album then you are a quarter passed late. You are not only missing out on an awesome track from one of Hip Hop’s GOATs in, Nasir Jones but you are also missing out on some education in black economics. I am no fan of DJ Khaled but the record may be the brightest track on Khaled’s entireÂ Major Key album.
The referenced verse above really hit home for me. Growing up in areas where your dollars do indeed send kids who may never set foot in your neighborhood to the very schools that you wish to enroll in, starts to make you question where your money is spent as you get older. What is it that sets apart the “haves” and the “have nots”? A system that allows you to play the game of life with your controller unplugged is a large reason. Inquisitiveness pacified with systemic yet strategic displacement and suffocation. Is this song a far cry or can this indeed be that “major key” to get us all out of the trap of poverty and into the arena of generational wealth? How many times does one of the most disenfranchised demographics in America have to be blatantly told how to progress? In a sense Nas highlights some key socio-economic deficiencies within urban neighborhoods in just a couple bars.
THE BREAK DOWN:
Ghost supporters representing those who know the struggle but have lost the fight within. It is easy to say those who have not participated in the progression but still blindly support the very system that will guarantee demise; if the bait is taken. Would it be sickening to know that in the worst areas where healthy options are limited, aÂ corner store owned by non blacks in black communities can easily profit millions of dollars by peddling swishers, Little Debbie Cakes and Flaming Hots to its black patrons? Is that money being circulated within the very neighborhood that it was extracted from? What makes it hard to have a face that looks like that of those who live in the communities that have freshly turned over monopolies (reference to change of ownership, common practice of immigrant business owners)? Did you question whether or not “they” pay taxes? The answer is “they” do pay taxes but the system in place to obtain citizenship or even a social security number can be a challenge. This challenge can take up to five years or more, so now lets trash this thought as a reason why outsiders are able to economically invade.
It is no secret that particular groups of people have been stripped and bled dry economically. Nothing can be passed down if there is nothing to pass but debt and “do as I say not as I did or do” rhetoric. For many of us, knowledge of how to create generational wealth is not obtained until the later years after we’ve bumped our heads a few times. Then it is an uphill battle with time, resources and the climate of politics.
“We get government aid” that line turns my stomach not because of the programmed negative connotation that comes with it but the obtuse insight of someone who does not see past strategic rhetoric. Ask yourself, do you completely understand how government aid aka, welfare works? If you do not fully understand, it’s all good, don’t feel bad, as the average citizen does not fully understand “the system.” First thing you have to qualify for “benefits,” and in order to qualify you must expose your entire living and financial situation to a case worker. Your income can not go a penny over an already impoverished level. If the income exceeds what “they” believe is too much those benefits are cut or taken away.
What is considered a livable wage to you? Lets say you abide by the rules in order to keep your benefits, how do you progress if you are required to stay down in order to be eligible to have subsidized housing, assistance with nutrition and possibly day care for a child who is not yet of school age? An alternative to government aid would be to strategically pull resources in an effort to ween off the”system.” Strategic condensing of families in an effort to maximize savings for venture capital or investment in land and essential services may be one option. There has been a dark shadow cast on churches in general, but can failing communities that host flourishing congregations drinketh?
Can the issue be solved or is it just something cool to get twitter fingers fired up about? Glass ceilings and mental leashes are what stagnates socio-economic progression within oppressed and depressed communities? Like Nas is suggesting we must recognize the problem and try to solve it by thinking outside the box.
Can we come together? What keeps US separated and lacking generational wealth building?
My opinion is based off my personal experiences. As a personal banker that served low to moderate income areas as well as affluent areas I realize that there is a clear yet harmfulÂ difference in who level’s of awareness. Should we blame those who for not knowing or do we look for a way to inform the ignorant? In my experience there is evident signs of financial illiteracy. In my opinion, the root to most unfavorable conditions come from the lack of financial “know how.” Some of the simplest principles are unknown to most of the people I encountered. If the stress of having to find your next meal or how you will keep the lights on was taken away, what type of life could you live? If you did not have the pressure of bills, bad or lack of credit, a livable wage how would life be? If this is not you personally, I imagine you know someone that can relate. If you are financially fit, what are you doing to educate others that look like you? Each one, teach one is the motto, or at least Â it should be. Â Being armed with the proper knowledge early on should be mandatory, as it is financial literacy and knowledgeÂ that will break us out of chains for good.
Knowledge should be an entitlement.
What are YOUR thoughts on black social economics? What can be done to change it for the better?