Blacks Must Take Stock in Their Communities
By Jay Thomas Willis, Correspondent
The Mid-South Tribune ONLINE and the Black Information Highway
Have you ever noticed when invasion and succession occurs: when Whites move out of a community, and Blacks move in; it seems inevitable that a lot of stores in the community are eventually boarded-up. Most of the time these groups leave the neighborhood, but maintain control of businesses in the now mostly Black community.
This occurs in part because the new Blacks often refuse to support the stores in their new community. Sometimes Blacks will discontinue patronizing stores in their new community, because of a lack of allegiance. Since they own few of these stores, to them it doesnít matter where they shop. Too many Blacks will travel a number of miles to do business with stores in other communities rather than buy from these stores. It sometimes seems as though thereís a higher status involved for some to travel the distance to other communities to buy what they need.
When stores leave the community loses some portion of its tax base. Blacks seem to forget the tax base in their communities will erode when businesses leave because of lack of support. This means that taxes are going to get higher in these communities where stores are boarded-up, and the cost of services will increase, along with a general decline in services. The taxes will increase because it will be necessary to have more taxes to make up the lost tax revenue from boarded-up businesses.
People might have problems with garbage pick up, services from parks and recreation might decline, service might decline from the Department of Streets and Sanitation, and paper and bottles might be strewn throughout the communityóa general decline in appearance. At this point schools might become more dysfunctional, even though taxes are increasing, since there is less financial support for schools and other services.
Soon the only businesses left will be a few catfish, chicken, and burger places. These seem to be supported heavily in the Black community wherever you go, because of diet, and the fact that fast food has become a national habit.
Before long, the community we moved to become similar to the one we just left. After a while weíll have to move again trying to improve our situation, because of the deterioration of the community. We canít keep chasing other groups around in circles; this is a chase for Blacks that lead them nowhere.
We should understand basic economics to the extent we can see that when other groups own the stores in our communities, at five oíclock, theyíre laughing all the way to banks in their new communities. Most owners of these stores donít invest in our communities except to sell us merchandise, pay their taxes, and maintain their stores.
Many of these businesses donít care about development of our communities, and are looking forward to the time when they can pack up and move their businesses to a more desirable community. In the meantime they take in every dollar possible while expending fewer pennies as they can.
In addition, eventually, most institutions will leave this new Black community along with the White individuals. Everything productive, educational, and fruitful will disappear. Unless the new Blacks support such activities they will evaporate from the community.
Take the Borders bookstores for instance that once existed in Black communities. They are now out of business nationwide. These stores werenít just in the Black community, but there were many stores also in the Black community as well. When they closed their stores in Black communities many were upset. Some even petitioned the stores to keep them open. It was a place you could go to relax and read a book or magazine, hold a meeting of your club, meet to discus any important issue with friends, or simply meet a friend for lunch.
Itís felt that in the Black community this is a sort of cultural contradiction for the powers-that-be: ďa place where Blacks can go to read and collectively strategize!!Ē Blacks were not allowed to read in slavery, and if caught attempting to learn were severely punished. Itís not likely that the powers-that-be are now going to provide a place for us to read and contemplate, even today. Something like this could provide a partial correction factor for all the years of slavery. Also, in slavery Blacks could not even assemble in groups of more than two, or face threat of punishment. If doesnít stand to reason that they are going to promote us getting together at this point. Think about it!
Blacks continue to exist under some of the same subtle pressures. Itís not likely that the powers-that-be are going to support such activities in the Black community. Itís my opinion that the problem was addressed in a comprehensive manner, and all the stores were closed.
It would have been too obvious to close the stores only in Black communities. Beside, Blacks could go to other communities to carry out their activities. The only solution was to close all the stores.
Blacks must control businesses in their communities if the communities are to grow and develop. A community cannot exist for long if itís totally dependent on other groups for major support.
We must also learn to support our own communities, and make our own plans for our communities. These might be hard lessons to learn, but we had better learn them, or find ourselves always lacking in necessary businesses in our communities; and lacking in social, political, educational, and economic services.
The above is on the Black Paper lane on the Black Information Highway and The Mid-South Tribune ONLINE. Mr. Willis is the author of twenty-three books, fifteen professional journal articles, a number of magazine articles, and over 300 newspaper articles. His books can be reviewed at www.jaythomaswillis.com . Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or MSTnews@prodigy.net or BlackInfoHwy@prodigy.net . Welcome, Travelers!