Material Pursuits Leave Blacks With Negative Balance

Because America's Black middle-class displays itself as seeking mainstream "validation" by incorporating white attitudes, disenchantment and resentment has been growing toward them by the African-American underclass. Because America's Black middle-class displays itself as seeking mainstream "validation" by incorporating white attitudes, disenchantment and resentment has been growing toward them by the African-American underclass. Blacks with the jobs and positions resulting from Civil Rights Movement gains have become middle-class. Most of the African-American community's money and national influence is in the hands of middle-class professionals and businesspeople. But, advocates for poor and working-class Blacks say middle-class African Americans hamper the building of better finances and lifestyles among all Blacks, alleging that their pursuit of materials goods and mainstream image have made them the problem.

"Originally, Affirmative Action was meant to help African Americans overcome past and present discrimination, but the program never worked the way it was meant to. Data suggests the program helps those who are better off, and does not address the needs of the most disadvantaged. Affirmative action programs of the 1960s produced professional and managerial jobs that bred a Black middle-class that now accounts for over 50 percent of the $500 billion annual African-American spending power. The statistical and societal problem is that as they gained middle-class status most of these Blacks abandoned African-American urban enclaves and moved to suburbia in search of acceptance and assimilation there.

Over 140 years after emancipation, the majority of African Americans remain impoverished and ghettoized. Yet, the Black middle-class defines the affirmation action agenda to be the pursuit of admissions into more country clubs, bigger and expensive homes and luxury vacations. Based on these images, whites use the Black middle-class as examples that "the U.S., is a free country, with free elections, a capitalist market system open to all on an even basis, and equal opportunities to education and employment." White resistance to even the least intrusive types of affirmative action is linked to impressions from Black middle-class acculturation that African Americans are as well off as they are in terms of jobs, incomes, education and health care. A recent poll shows that up to 60 percent of whites believe "the average Black American is fairing about as well and perhaps better than whites in these areas."

The Black rank and file's pique with Blacks in the middle-class is their acquiescence when whites move against additional affirmative actions. Many in the Black middle-class let whites gloss over facts of the immoral way Blacks have been treated throughout U.S. history.

The Black middle-class took its bounty, left never to be heard from again. A Bureau of Labor Statistics study on African-American progress in the professions indicates gains up to 470% from 1972 to 1991 in areas such as accounting, engineering, computer programming, law, medicine, journalism and management. How much of these people's skills and money go to help develop extensive Black commercial networks and business endeavors? None. The Black middle-class spends 99 cents of each dollar they earn among whites.

The assimilating antics of the Black middle-class give whites a warped opinion of African Americans. If the truth was to be known, the agendas and style of the Black assimilated class is out-of-step with those of poor and working-class African Americans. More forward thinking among the Black middle-class is needed. But, at minimum, the Black middle-class can maximize opportunities for African Americans through its consumerism. If the Black middle-class can visualize how it can leverage the tremendous buying power it has, they will began to exercise choices about from whom they spend their monies to buy products and services and exercise affirmative actions when they spent money. It would be logical that they only doing business w

October 28, 2002
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