A study of breast cancer in women shows that although White Women develop breast cancer at a higher rate than Black women, Black women died from breast cancer at a higher rate than their White counterparts. The most disturbing part of the study was the fact that both Black women and White Women had the same reaction to the available breast cancer treatments. So basically it came down to who can or can’t afford the treatments.
At the same time, Black Enterprise magazine released an article that says the Black spending power was above $980 billion for 2014. Obviously, Blacks in the United States spend a lot of money but how much of that money goes to important things, like health. Could there be a young man out there driving a Mercedes Benz while his mother is dying of breast cancer? The question is not far fetched if you think of the fact, that there are some men driving Benz while still living at home smooching of their mothers.
With such great spending power, should Blacks be dying at a higher rate than others because of medical treatment affordability? Or are Blacks not spending responsibly and making sure the money they spend are on the things that are really important in building up their health and wealth, in that order?
In 1991, the rapper Ice cube uttered the following lyrics in the song “Us”:
“You didn’t build a supermarket, so you could spend the money with the Blacks
Too busy buying Gold and Cadillac
Us Blacks will always sing the Blues
Cause all we care about is hairstyles and tennis shoes” – Ice Cube
Almost twenty-five years later and it seems like not much has changed. A majority of Black spending goes into fashion and items that depreciate in value over time like motor vehicles.
No one has the right to tell someone else how to spend their hard earned money, but as a people at some point Blacks must become more responsible in spending habits. Don’t buy little kids $200 timberlands and Nikes that they will outgrow in six months. Why not buy them a $50 pair of shoes and invest the other $150 in some promising stocks and bonds?
Blacks need to also pay attention to where their money is being spent. It makes no sense spending money with corporations that do not support the Black Community.
Hopefully the #BlackOutDay campaign will go a long way in helping Blacks to realize the financial power they possess and how that financial power can be used to demand respect. As Lil’ Kim said, “MONEY.. POWER.. RESPECT!”