Material things

Discussion in 'Black Men - Fathers - Brothers - Sons' started by kente417mojo, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. kente417mojo

    kente417mojo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Hey brothas, my question is simple. Do you think that we as black men concentrate too much on buying expensive material things? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy nice things, but do we buy these things to appear to have more money than we actually have. We all know that the more expensive stuff you have, the more attention you'll get from women, but do we buy these things for the right reason. Are we copying what we see on television, thinking it will make life more enjoyable? Also, what affect does this have on us as a people...if any? Let's hear it.
     
  2. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Before I answer this question I have to note that America is a country of consumers. That being said I think that Black people (Men & Women) are too materialistic. This isn't a new occurrance. The "bling-bling" mentality of today just gave a name to a sickness which has always affected us. Black people in general have always loved nice cars, fancy clothes, gold teeth, jewelry, etc. The biggest problem is while much of America likes to spend freely, and live check to check. African Americans are the least able to afford to do so. Instead of buying houses, we drive $65,000 Hummers. Is this the influence of Television to blame? Sure, but TV is called the idiot box for a reason! You can't copy everything you see, or you are a _ _ _ _ _.
     
  3. kente417mojo

    kente417mojo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thanks for the reply panafrica. I agree, especially about the house and Hummer comment. My thoughts exactly. Too many times we as black people want to look like we have something, instead of actually having the money to afford it. Don't get me wrong at all, there are plenty of brothas and sistas that can afford it, but there are some who can't and still try obtain these things. Black people should be able to have nice things, but we don't realize that we need to be able to comfortably afford it first. Whether it's the Hummer, Big Screen TV or $100.00 Jordan's. If you can't comfortably afford it then you don't need it. We have to respect our money a lot more than White people and other races because we don't get the opportunities, job security or equal amount of pay for that matter. Too many or us are financing tons of material things, living check to check, for what? So that when the car breaks down we can't get it fixed. These things don't make life better. If you can't really afford them then they make life a lot more of a headache.
     
  4. Khasm13

    Khasm13 STAFF STAFF

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    Tru indeed panafrica...this circle of materialism is a destructive cycle that engulfs the black community whole.We make less than most races but yet we are the most concerned about material objects.They are starting them off young now with this philosphy, I saw this commercial for hotwheel cars that had the phat 22 inch rims and the hooked up quote kit.Black men and black women are equally to blame for this.The only way to combat this disease, yes materialism is a disease, is to stay focused on the future.Too many of us are content to live in the here and now instead of making sacrifices for the future. I've had the same car for the last 7 years, the last 4 the car has been paid for.Can I get a freshier whip to attract more honey dips? Yes, but why? What does that say about me, wanting someone that wants me for my advertised money? It's insane...hold up wait....
    *as i pull out my platnium iced out medallion from my shirt*....lololol
    one love
    khasm
     
  5. kente417mojo

    kente417mojo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    True man...that's very true. If you advertise money, what type of women do you think your gonna attract. Same goes for me. I have a decent job for myself, that fits my needs and gives me what I need. I can go and spend $500.00 - $600.00 a month for a car (not counting insurance) if I wanted to be behind in all my other bills, but I'm not crazy. A lot of people don't care. I want a house and I want to have fun. I don't want to live in my car. I like having money in my pocket to eat and go out. I do think the problem is with both men and women. I think that some women put it out there that if you don't have these things than you're not really successful as a man, a really don't deserve to have a woman. I know this because I have a lot of friends that are women, and it comes straight out of their mouths. This is not just my opinion. I also think it's the brothas fault for getting caught up in it. We shouldn't have to flash cash to get women. I don't and I do alright. I may not get the looks that the brotha in the Escalade gets, but I hold my own as a lot of brothas do.
     
  6. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Black Manhood Training and Development Program?

    Here's how one author put it . . .

    "Evaluation of a Black Manhood Training and Development Program: The Importance of a Culturally Consistent Curriculum by Derek Wilson--

    “A major difficulty for the African American male adolescents is that they are confused as to who they are and where they are going. Yet they are being confronted with the same "real" inequality which faced their parents and grandparents. The myth makers are popularizing the notion that things have become, and are becoming, better for African Americans. As a result of the real material conditions and the unreal illusions of progress, African American males are becoming confused as to what values to transmit to the younger generations. Already there is a subtle shift in value orientations among African Americans.”

    Peace :spinstar:
     
  7. ZeroGravity

    ZeroGravity Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I guess my answer is a little different from what's been posted. (imo)I don't think we as black men concentrate too much on buying expensive material things. I think for the most part, most of us are concentrating on improving our quality of life, making ends meet and surviving day to day. I would say that most of us, as each of the replies to this post stated, enjoy nice things, but I doubt if we buy these things to appear to have more money than we actually have, well, I can only speak for myself...I don't.

    The bling-bling and conspicious consumption we tend to pay notice to does not represent the vast majority of the black community. That $65,000 hummer vs the house scenario someone mentioned is not, of itself, an indication of misguided values. The question was asked "...but do we buy things for the right reason" ... what is the "right" reason for buying the things we buy?
     
  8. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Excellent point and very good question. I am looking forward to our brother's replies.

    Queenie :spinstar:
     
  9. HODEE

    HODEE Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    You get one go round on this carousel. It doesn’t matter what you spend your money on if you’re living within your means and taking care of bear necessities. The Hummer and BMW when you haven't paid your rent is crazy. Most have to keep up with the Jones. I personally don't believe this need to exist. This stems from jealousy and envy of what someone is doing or has. If you desire a new house or car... then you should work towards these goals. But to mortgage yourself to ruins isn't the proper way to go about it.

    How much is jealousy... 75% of it probably is. The rest is to appear to look susccessful as pointed out here. We know we need solid purchases.. even our kids would understand that you were saving to buy a house with a yard for them.. and forget about those expensive shoes, fubu jeans, and sean jone underwear that cost way too much. If they don't understand then you need to have a serious talk with them about prioritys. We need serious education of the financial system.

    Taxes and the tax system wasn't written with the average worker in mind except as a support for everything negative about it. It was written for businesses. Home based businesses. Home owners and entrepreneurs. We need to know there are many opportunities for women in small business and there are funds placed there for women because of past discrimination and short comings of society. Every black woman should be opening a business. The money is there from the SBA and federal government. Its easy to get and quailfy for. Every black man and woman should know it is a free service to get a wholesale licence and to be a merchant. They should be educated on the benefits of small businesss and home based business ownership. The carry some of the same perks. You can write off that 6001 Lb Hummer.. as a one time tax deduction. You can write off half your rent or mortage. Gifts given at christmas up to $25.00 to all customers and potential customers.. so that is everyone on your christmas list. Your electricity, your calculator, your computer, vacations.. all if business related. Ok what will you do.. you must have a product or service .. sell ceramics.. jewelry, socks and lingerie... it doesn't matter.. just do it. Pride is false.. sometimes we have to much of it.

    We don't hestitate to sell crack, we know there are customers out there, but there are no tax benefits and long term advantages in drug sales.

    Pass on this knowledge and the business to your family. If you are good at doing books and taxes.. open a small business out of your home doing so. This is a boot strap method of every black person coming up in America.

    I don't care if you become AMWAY sales folks.. it is better than doing nothing. Tell them you only want to do sales.. no meetings. It is always your choice.. of what you do. Those that laugh at this.. you still get all the tax advantages selling soap. Do you have bad water.. sell filter systems. With staes putting ammonia in your drinking water this is goingto be big business. California is a prime spot for this.. Washington is too I know they changed to these ammonia systems.. you can't keep gold fish in a tank unless you run all the water thru a charcoal filter. Sell vacuums. Plus have you looked at what they have lately. They sell everything.. class rings, food, car supplies, office supplies.. and industrial size containers of cleaners.. open a janitorial cleaning business and use your own product. Open a repair shop in your basement, guys fix alternators.. your biggest tool you need is a paper clip for holding the brushes back, scribe the case so you can assembly it back correct and change the diodes. You can rebuild transmissions on a table top. I have. So I know. It doesn't matter as long as you do something. Get those breaks you need to come up and out of the ordinary. Sell Avon products or Mary Kay. Just do something. ( count your money, laugh more and rest. Lounge on the beaches..of the world.. ) Just have fun.. regardless of what you do.
     
  10. kente417mojo

    kente417mojo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I guess it is a personal decision what the right reason for buying expensive items are. Like I said, I too like nice things, and I understand that there are plenty of people who can afford these nice things. Now, if you are not one of these people who can afford these nice things, and you are buying them in order to look like you just stepped out of a rap video, then I don't see how this is right when you still live with your mother. This is what I'm talking about. I'm not referring to the people who can comfortably afford it without putting off important bills. The reason I posed the question is because I know people who do live like this. We all know people like this. Example...Man, 30 yrs old, buys brand new car w/ rims and TV in car, but still lives with mother at home. Does that sound like the car was bought for the right reason? It is a personal decision, but isn't it more important to get out on your own and get your life together before you invest in a brand new car with all the expensive accessories? Wouldn't it be better to buy a decent used car and use some of the money to put a down payment down for a place of your own? Even the younger people seem to be more interested in name brand this, Versace that, than even picking up a book and reading up on how to obtain a career. Black men and women deserve to live as well as anyone, but spending money we don't have is a big step back, and with the credit cards as easy as they are to obtain, we find ourselves in a whole digging out in order to mirror what we see on TV. I don't see how this is improves quality of life. Material things don't improve quality of life, since they only make you happy for the moment. Being able to actually breathe easy when you have to go to work seems like a better way to live. I don't want to live knowing that every check I get is going towards the big screen or the Hummer or the rims that I financed.
     
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