Rahim Islam is a National Speaker and Writer, Convener of Philadelphia Community of Leaders, and President/CEO of Universal Companies, a community development and education management company headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. Follow Rahim Islam on FaceBook(Rahim Islam) & Twitter (@RahimIslamUC)
My question to both the Black and White communities is: How many countries benefited from or were privileged by the American Institution of Slavery?
This was a global economic phenomenon. How many United States companies directly benefited literally off the backs and plight of Blacks in America?
How many industries were direct beneficiaries from the United States Institution of Slavery?
How many other United States institutions were built and were direct beneficiaries from the United States Institution of Slavery?
The United States Institution of Slavery was an economic windfall for a number of states and the argument used today by many Whites that they didn’t participate in the actual slavery, is very weak argument.
How do you describe the alarming amount of wealth held by the White community?
Experts stated that nearly 85% of all wealth is generational. Very little wealth is created by today’s generation.
There is a direct link to the overwhelming economic benefit enjoyed today by White people, businesses, and institutions.
This competitive advantage is lethal and plays out in every sector of American life.
This is also why very few Black “for-profit’ companies are adequately capitalized and hardly any of our “non-profit” institutions are endowed.
Our community lacks resources that the White community takes for granted.
Our community lacks capital (discretionary investment and gifting) that the White community takes for granted.
Today, too many of our children are born into poverty compared to White children because where you start is absolutely critical and Blacks continue having to play catch up to Whites, which could never be achieved.
Life isn’t fair but we can make it fair if we are armed with knowledge and sense of “collective” purpose.
Unfortunately we spend too much time trying to assimilate and emulate those sitting at the top of the food chain (this is a direct consequence of the Willie Lynch model of making a slave).
While we should be trying every possible way to force America to repair what it’s done to Black America, in many cases, we are just happy to get Her approval.
Given the economic disadvantage Blacks have inherited and the economic superiority that Whites have inherited, if we are to have a shot at making any economic gains, we must have “structural” unity. We can’t give away more ground by diluting our economic strength with disunity.
Unfortunately, many of our most talented and economically mobile individuals have the wrong concept about our group and really don’t see themselves as part of the solution.
They say that they’re doing their “own thing” which is a type of assimilation. What do I mean by assimilation?
I mean that because we have achieved some economic mobility, what choices are we making? What attitudes do we adopt?
What philosophies do we actually practice? The answer for many of these questions can be seen in the concept of “me.”
Unfortunately, it not just you; your gains can be tied to the sacrifices of your Black ancestors and so should your attitudes, philosophies, and practices.
If you don’t have this approach, what approach are you operating with? If you don’t make life fair, it will never be for so many Black people.
If they would admit it, many Blacks hold a high level of disdain about their own communities and their people (this is a direct consequence of the Willie Lynch model of making a slave).
Coupled with their formal education and some say miseducation, they believe that they are doing their own thing but in reality they are copying what Whites do when they have similar economic mobility.
There is a very big difference. While it appears that everything is equal (both groups are operating the same), Whites are at the top of the food chain and Blacks are buried deep in the bottom of the food chain.
Individuality doesn’t hurt White people like it hurts Black people because they own it all.
When we operate like this, it’s very clear that many Blacks have become very disconnected to their own people.
In fact, I maintain that you have been educated to do just that. What has White academia taught our Black educated?
Did they teach us and give us the tools to think for our people, to think for self? Did Harvard, Yale, Princeton University teach how to do for self?
The tools we were given only reinforced what is the so called right way of doing things (European centered approach). Do like I do is definitely not an African-centered (self-determination) approach.
I’m not bashing successful Black people, I’m only calling attention to the fact that we all have been programmed (under the guise of education) to not use our skills, capacities, and our resources in the self-determination of our own people.
Blacks have been trying everything they can to seek approval from the White community and it has taken many shapes and forms.
How do Blacks define success? I’ll tell you a few descriptions because we hear it all of the time: 1) I’m the only Black living in this neighborhood on this block; 2) I’m the only Black in this club; 3) I’m the only Black in this office; 4) My children attend a predominately White private school.
These type of references are very damaging to both how we perceive ourselves and how we are perceived.