“Acting White”…Maybe We Would Work Together More Effectively?


African-American (Black) businesess and organizations should be supported by Black consumers. Jeolousy, envy, hate and fear should never be apart of the equation when doing business.

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If you run a Black business, word on the street is, “you can’t do business with Black people”. After further investigation, I find that this statement is more fact than fiction. Operating a business that provides a unique “top of mind” service to assist in message delivery, I meet on a daily basis with some key executive directors of organizations that for the most part come into the office, sit for eight hours, and go home, in two-week cycles waiting for a paycheck. I cannot knock a brother or sister for being paid, but I can talk about the lack of passion and commitment that was made before they got into their respective positions.

In a recent meeting with the executive director of NEON, Mr. Glover Jones, I had been wondering about the people who NEON assisted through a charitable contribution from a grant of $60,000. Mr. Jones was very direct in telling me that the money was used to pay his salary. Yet another breakdown in delivery to the underserved community.

Local charitable giving organizations have always needed a Black poster child, or celebratory Negro. These folks and organizations have some sort of function in the community, and again, I am not the smartest person but I cannot figure it out. Large charitable contributions are given to these “CN’S” organizations which in some cases the money, or the function for the money being given, never reached the people.

Recently, two ongoing projects Brown Power Base Project (Urban League) and the African American Men’s Project (NorthPoint) have went so far that they would not consider a Black agency to handle any public relations or marketing by an agency of color. Their constant excuses are that “we don’t have any money” or “there’s not a line item for marketing or public relations”. However, after careful investigations, both organizations have stepped out of race to pay an individual a substantial amount of money to complete tasks.

In an article, that is six years old, written by a then Black female college student Dee Lee, Ms. Lee writes, “One of their own (Blacks), Dubois said that there was an innate division in their culture. A ‘Talented Tenth’ he called it. He was correct in his deduction that there are segments of their culture that has achieved some ‘form ‘ of success. However, that segment missed the fullness of their work. They did not read that the ‘Talented Tenth’ was then responsible to aid The Non-Talented Ninety Percent in achieving a better life. Instead, that segment has created another class, a Buppie class that looks down on their people (Blacks) or aids them in a condescending manner”.

In the Jewish culture it is customary to do business within the culture, “nesting”, this creates a word-of-mouth network with strengthens businesses within the Jewish community. We (Blacks) have not developed the system to create wealth among or people simply due to these facts that Ms. Lee writes so detailed about. She goes on to say, “They (Blacks), will never achieve what we have (Whites). Their selfishness does not allow them to be able to work together on any project or endeavor of substance. When they do get together, their selfishness lets their egos get in the way of their goal. Their so-called help organizations seem to only want to promote their name without making any real change in their community.

They (Blacks) are content to sit in conferences and conventions in our hotels, and talk about what they will do, while they award plaques to the best speakers, not to the best doers. Is there no end to their selfishness? They steadfastly refuse to see that TOGETHER EACH ACHIEVES MORE (TEAM).

They do not understand that they are no better than each other because of what they own, as a matter of fact, most of those Buppies are but one or two pay checks away from poverty. All of which is under the control of our (White’s) pens in our offices and our rooms”.

If “acting white” will help us work together, by changing our outlook and becoming doers rather than talkers – I am all for it. I do not want to abandon my brothers and sisters, but their objectives are not positive and if I fail, they will be happy to see me go. On the other hand, together if I we are successful, it just might be the spark needed to make every executive director sweat for one-minute challenging their commitment to the community and the positions they hold and developing ways to deliver to the underserved.