Do Successful Black Owned Businesses Make White People Uncomfortable?
Something that gives me great satisfaction is seeing blacks do well in business—particularly in entrepreneurship. In fact, I fervently recommend that we make an honest effort to buy products and services from local black business owners as often as we can.
This all seems innocent enough. However, this week on social media, I was repeatedly labeled as a "racist" for suggesting that consumers intentionally make an effort to shop at black-owned businesses. That is analogous to calling me "uppity" for being in favor of giving additional support to locally-owned restaurants instead of always blindly eating food at corporate chains.
Regardless of the absurdity of these claims, one thing is apparent: there are many people in our region and in our state who are uncomfortable with the thought of having too many successful black-owned businesses. Please read below for several possible reasons for why this fearfulness exists.
Fear of Black Competition in the Marketplace
While Asians have long surpassed whites in terms of household income and scholastic achievement, Asians simply do not have enough volume in America to cause anyone to tremble. For instance, in states like Alabama, Asians make up only 1% of the population. Unfortunately for the insecure sect of our white population, blacks make up over 25% of Alabama's population. That's a lot of black people to compete with for entrepreneurial achievements. For some, success is just easier if blacks are kept on the sidelines.
Fear that Blacks Will Become Self-Sufficient
Currently, over 90% of America's 2 million black-owned businesses are sole proprietorships or partnerships with no paid employees. If black-owned businesses started receiving consumer support, higher revenues would increase profits andincrease the number of paid employees. Just imagine how much that could help reduce unemployment rates.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, African-Americans experienced an unemployment rate of 9.6 percent during the month of April, which equates to 1.9 million workers. Those numbers suggest that if each black-owned business hires just one unemployed black worker, black unemployment would be virtually eliminated.
Unfortunately, mass hysteria would erupt if blacks attain that level of untethered success. Cries of "reverse racism" would be heard all over our state from the zaniest of characters.
Fear that Blacks Will Become Too Wealthy
Wealth goes to those who own. For example, 1 out of 10 workers are self-employed business owners. These same business owners hold nearly 40% of all wealth in the United States. Sadly, black-owned businesses do not get to share in this bounty. Average annual revenues for white-owned businesses are about 6 times larger than the average annual revenues of black-owned businesses.
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