Black People : WHAT OBLIGATIONS DO WEALTHY BLACKS HAVE TO THE BLACK COMMUNITY??

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Isaiah, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This is a question I have wrestled with for a lot of years... I grew up in neighborhoods and communities where feelings and opinions about the rich and famous African American vacillated between unadulterated worship and vicious brutal contempt...

    Often, our love of a Black entertainer was based simply on whether or not they'd been seen in the intimate company of a White woman or man, and if they were clear of that charge, they were adjudged to alright with the Black world... They never had to contribute no turkeys at Thanksgiving, or open any businesses in the African community, nor march in the Civil Rights Movement, as long as they sang their songs, hit them home runs, and stayed away from the Grey Chicks...

    Today, we seem to have some different standards for African Americans celebs, though they are not always so clear... We defend the Michael Jackson's and O.J. Simpsons, and we viciously criticize and Oprah for charging racism... My question is not only to ask why, but to address the larger issue of what we believe to be the responsibility of the Black Wealthy, and the Black Famous... Perhaps, THAT might answer why Oprah is beneath our reproach, and Michael is above it???

    Wanna throw one last little nugget in here, if I may.... Is Oprah being shot through hot grease, and called a spoiled brat, and so on because she is a female???

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  2. kente417mojo

    kente417mojo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I honestly don't think black celebrities have any "obligation" to black communities. One reason is because not all black celebrities grew up in black communities. Now, I think they should be aware of the problems surrounding black communities, but whether they take any action is entirely on them. It's their money and their heart that has to live with turning a blind-eye to racism and the constant attack on our communities, and most of them are more inclined to do just that. We should not have to look to celebrities because in all honesty, we don't need them. They need us (to support their movies and music etc.) more than we need them to contribute to our prosperity. We can do it ourselves if we act on it as much as we talk about it.

    Black celebrities only look for black support and backing while they're finding themselves in Hollywood. Once they get into the good graces of white folks, they don't produce anything that relates to us anymore. Do we really want sell-outs contributing to our communites financially? Isn't that the same as looking to white folks? Unless they shown an interest in "actually" contributing to real action to make the lives of black people better, they should be filed in the same drawer as white folks.


    I've always said that we should not support black actors/ actresses when they get in trouble, unless it is a true act of racism, or unless these are people that have always associated themselves with black people and never turned to acting like dark-skinned white people. Who cares if they convict Micheal Jackson, O.J. Simpson or any other black celebrity. If they weren't in trouble, they wouldn't acknowledge us, so F-them'.
     
  3. PoeticManifesta

    PoeticManifesta Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    They ideally would speak out on issues concerining education, the black family. Maintain a positive reputation.. because they are the ones that get the attention when somthing goes wrong. The represent all of us.. the only place some people see into the lives of blacks unfortunatey sometimes is on t.v... weither it be the 9'clock news or real world, ...on mtv,or my wife and kidson ur local network. So they play a very inportant role. Give back to the community.. its not that they have to .. or they owe us. Its the fact that.. one person does not need a 20 million dolla house.. why not 17mill? when you can fund a whole neighborhood for low income families with leftover 3 million.. i mean.. if u know what the struggle is like.. why not aleveate soem of it? Their not the government.. i understand.. but since uncle sam aint takin care of thir ppl.. why cant they do their bit.. after all .. we are their people, their #1 fans and supporters.. ppl lay-away. 200$ throwbacks.. and 20$ hats to support the athletes.. why not give a lil bit to help support the poor fans!
     
  4. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Kente and Poetic

    Appreciating both of your comments, it would appear the Black Wealthy - which includes more than just the entertainment folks, by the way - have, at least a moral obligation if not a financial one... I can agree with that, as no way I'd want anyone telling me how to spend my paychecks...

    It sort of seems that some or our people at the forum may feel that an Oprah is not fulfilling a moral obligation, as she is never seen in the intimate company of a White Male, and she makes financial investments with Black America, as well as, Africa... I would like to know how a Michael Jordan passes under the radar of criticism from our community when he does ZIP for it, while those who do the right thing by it catch our wrath... Has Oprah offended us in some kind of moral way in the past???

    Back in the day, African Americans had major problems with Dorothy Dandridge and Sammy Davis, Jr... Sammy D. and Dorothy Dandridge broke the sacred taboo by getting too close - like under the sheets - with white folks... Sammy Davis, jr. contributed a great deal of money to the Black Panther Party, and other human rights causes, but it took him 25 years to live down his trespasses... Dorothy Dandridge has been posthumously glorified by Halle Berry, but...I know some folk still aren't over what she did...

    Frankly, I would that the Black Wealthy stop playing public relations games with our communities... They are always sending some child to college, and nobody gives a **** about the kid who isn't cut out for college... All children need our love and support, not just the college-bound... I would that the Black Wealthy stood front and center in challenging Black folks to build our own institutions, and yes, made financial contributions to those causes...

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  5. kente417mojo

    kente417mojo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Isaiah, I agree. Black entertainers that do attempt to contribute, always do it in a way that doesn't make them look like they're partial or focusing directly on black people's interest. They send children to college, but they never (at least from what I've seen) open a grocery store in black neighborhoods or contribute to anything that has to do with sending a message to black people that states "we need to take care of our own first". It's always the "universal helping hand", which wouldn't be a bad thing if we as black people were in a position to lend a helping hand to others. I think they're scared of possibly being labeled racist towards non-blacks, or they're scared to admit to their "bosses" that they still recognise that white supremacy and oppression is a live and well.
     
  6. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    i want my forty acres and Halle Berry.......

    as most black wealthy got rich by exploiting the black community they need to put some back.
    we will never make it if we always export our wealth.
    if they want me to buy their product what better way for them than to take steps to insure that i have the money to purchase?
    putting the cash back is good for them as well as for us.
     
  7. MrSolo

    MrSolo Banned MEMBER

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    Regardless of wealth, blacks don't owe each other or the black community anything but respect, and not a dime more.
     
  8. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Brother Isaiah ... you've asked a few questions here, in addition to the one in the title of the thread ... but you know me ... :wink: ... i'll share my opinion!

    First, i'll start with the question in the title ... WHAT OBLIGATIONS DO WEALTHY BLACKS HAVE TO THE BLACK COMMUNITY??

    Obligation implies some compelling desire from within to move a person to act. With that being the case, if a person isn't compelled within themselves to do a thing, then they have no obligation to it, i would suppose. For example, i am compelled to keep this community alive and here for us, for as long as i can. I feel obligated, as though there is something greater than me, requiring this of me. It has nothing to do with what anyone else is compelled or obligated to do. We have almost 9000 Members and less than a 100 have felt any "obligation" to help financially sustain our comunity, even though all have been here at one time or another, many taking part for years. The fact that they don't feel obligated to help, has nothing to do with my obligation. I must do what i'm compelled to do, and likewise, they must do the same, if they are true to themselves. For those who have felt a sense of obligation, duty, etc., to help keep this community alive, i thank you ... and of course that includes you Brother Isaiah!

    While we question what the wealthy Blacks are obligated to do, there are many more of us who are not wealthy, that aren't doing our part. Those few wealthy, with all their money, does not equal the combined economic power of the "not wealthy" amongst us.

    I tend to go back to my focus on self. If each of us would simply count what we can do as individuals, and do that ... we'd never even need the money from those who aren't obligated, willing, or compelled to help. We'd simply not need them ... not their money anyway. In the big picture, the Black wealthy are a small percentage, a few people. We could stand a few people, no matter their wealth, not to be compelled ... if everyone else felt obligated. Our problem comes from the fact that it is the overwhelming majority that feels no obligation to financially support their own.

    Of course, if we had the wealthy Black folk feeling obligated to help in great ways, that would be a good thing ... but ... i think it is God that opens up hearts, and puts in them an obligation to help. If it isn't real, if it doesn't come this way, hmmm ... well ... maybe it's best that they keep their help.

    I personally would defend Michael, O.J., and Oprah ... along with every other Black person in this whole wide world! Not to suggest they can do no wrong, but until we are completely free from the vestiges of slavery, had time to fully heal from those wounds, physically, mentally, and spiritually ... as other victims of holocausts have ... i will stand in defense of my people. The wounds are so deep, never been acknowledged properly, never been studied, never been diagnosed, never been treated, never been healed, and have never been fully corrected ... these things must go into my considerations when i hear that my people have done something that doesn't look right. Give us a level playing field, and i'll change my thoughts on this ... but not one moment before.

    The paragraph above, directly relates to why the majority of our wealthy and not so wealthy, respond the way they do, when it comes to financially supporting our own. Since i know what it is rooted in, it does not discourage me too greatly. I just thank God that i've been given a duty, an obligation, to help ... and i pray that the rest of us will, at some point or another.

    In regard to Oprah being disparaged because she is female, i'll have to let someone who has disparaged her respond to this ... as i have no idea.

    Great thread Brother ... thanks for letting me share my opinion!

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  9. karmashines

    karmashines Banned MEMBER

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    Poor people spend all of their earnings surving, so I don't hold them responsible for not being able to 'give back' to the black community.

    Middle-class people spend probably 90% of their salary surviving.

    Wealthy people are beyond the point where they don't need to spend most of their salary to survive. So, are they more obligated to help out the black community? I would say most definitely. They have more of the means to help out than those of us who have to spend most of our money on the basic essentials. There is no reason why someone like Oprah shouldn't donate 10% of their income to improving the black community, whether it's establishing scholarships or providing loans for black entreprenuers. When you've got millions you don't really have much of a need to hold onto your money, unless you want to waste it on overly lavish things or want to historically establish yourself as the a black Bill Gates.

    Madame CJ Walker is an example of a wealthy black woman who contributed a great deal of her money and entreprenurial skills to the black community. Her efforts alone created the CJ Walker building was a mecca for the blacks in her area... it completely revitalized how things were for them at the time. Now they had a CLASSY place to work, eat, and be entertained. Even whites found the theater in the building to be impressive. This was just one person doing all this. Imagine what Oprah and all of the black celebrities, singers, and atheletes could do if they had just a little bit more compassion for their black brethren.
     
  10. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    No doubt, brother Kente, there is a level of self-consciousness about imagery and marketing, and being "safe" in their giving back to the community... As many of them are managed by the oppressor, that should come as no shock, but the real irony is that if the oppressor had not suggested to them that they give as tax write-offs, the Jewelry and the car salesmen would probably get that scholarship money...(smile!) Sad, but true as hell...

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
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