2014 was a strange year to be Black. We had Ferguson, Eric Garner, and so many others that I’ve officially lost count. There were marches, demonstrations, and riots. Some protests were peaceful; some, not so much. Through all of this hurt, pain, and mass confusion, I realized something very controversial, yet powerful: I believe in segregation.
I know you’re probably reading this and wondering if you misread what I wrote. The answer is, “No, you didn’t.” I said that I believe in segregation. I believe that the only way for Black people to not only survive, but to thrive, is for us to segregate. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m no racist, and I certainly mean no harm or ill will towards any other race. I am, however, more concerned with the health and wealth of the Black community than any other community, and I do not see it as racist to love and care for oneself above all others. I see it as wisdom. Besides, every other race does the same thing anyway; we (Black people) are the only ones who haven’t gotten hip to the game. Instead, we’ve let others manipulate us into feeling bad about choosing our own above all others. We’ve foolishly fallen into the lie of reversed racism, a lie that dooms us to inclusion and accommodation at our own expense. In short, we’ve been bamboozled!
I read an article awhile ago about an Asian businessman in the hair care industry. He was speaking about how he often heard complaints from Black people about him (and other Asians) shutting them out of the hair care industry by only choosing to conduct business with other Asians. His response completely changed the lens in which I viewed the situation. In responding, the man said that he had no issues and meant no harm towards Black people. He said that he was simply looking out for the best interests of his people; he called it practicing “Asian love.” He said that he could have done more business with Blacks but doing that would be at the expense of other Asian business owners, which, according to him, would not be practicing Asian love. Finally, he dropped the greatest nugget of knowledge in the entire response. He said that Blacks should help and support each other, in effect, practice Black love, instead of complaining about other people not giving them opportunities. After reading this article and seeing the current state of the Black community at large (not the small pockets of affluence that some like to tout as wholly representative of the race), I began to craft my beliefs about our need to segregate.
Consider this: The Greenwood community in Tulsa, OK, known as The Black Wall Street was the most affluent Black community that America has ever known prior to the 1921 Holocaust that destroyed it. (If you don’t believe me or haven’t heard, then do a quick google search, and you’ll see.) Within this community, Blacks owned every type of industry, even their own airplanes in the early 20th century. It was bigger than Atlanta or any other chocolate city that you’ve ever imagined. The Black owned industries were so affluent and top flight that White citizens in the same city had to come to the Black community of Greenwood to receive quality services. And this was all prior to 1921!
The important part of the Greenwood model, however, is that all of the Black people fully supported these industries. They ate at Black restaurants, watched movies in the Black movie theaters, bought their clothes at the Black retailers, and supported every other Black industry/service in Greenwood. (Of course, during this time, they had to because of segregation.) In being segregated and, thereby, exclusively supporting their own, however, they were able to accrue wealth for their community.
This is exactly what the Black community needs to do today, but not because the government has forced us to do it. We should do it for the health and wealth of our community; we should practice Black love. An economist once told me that a dollar has to circulate seven times in a community in order for that community to gain money. That means that a person would need to frequent seven establishments in one community to contribute to its wealth. So take a second and think of how many Black owned establishments that you frequent. No shade, but nearly every time I see an Asian, they are driving a Honda, Kia, or a Hyundai. Why…because they are supporting Asian brands. They are practicing Asian love, and they are not the only ones to do this. Nearly every other race of people supports its own, but we have been tricked into believing that doing so is racist.
Those who have been behind this lie have a vested interest in it. Just think: The buying power of the Black community would make it the 11th richest nation in the world. Presently, we are using those resources to advance the communities of those who oppress us. In short, we are funding our own oppression by not investing in our own communities and, instead, investing in others. Think about how our communities would look if we invested in our own, if we practiced Black love. Think about how it would look if it spread from America to Africa and other Black communities in the diaspora. Imagine the power. We wouldn’t worry about cops in Ferguson because we would have our own police departments staffed with people who have a vested interest in our community. We wouldn’t have to fight for equal rights because we would have our own seats at the table and control our own destiny.
So, yes, I say it loud and proud. “I believe in segregation.” In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need it. We would truly be judged as Dr. King outlined in his “I Have A Dream” speech. The world, however, is far from perfect, and I am a realist. So in the words of George Wallace (although for an entirely different purpose), I say, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!”