From Macy’s to Jayzee’’s

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Recently, The Reverend Al Sharpton and other civil rights leaders in New York threatened a holiday season shopping boycott after meeting with Macy’s Inc Chairman Terry Lundgren to discuss accusations of racial profiling of shoppers.
The Reverend, who held a similar private meeting with the chief executive of upscale retailer Barneys New York Inc, set a deadline for Macy’s to submit a written plan to prevent the kind of discrimination alleged by two black shoppers last month. Macy’s said it would comply with the deadline.
“We are not, I repeat not, going to go through the holidays and have people shop where they are going to be profiled,” Sharpton told reporters outside Macy’s flagship store in Manhattan. “You can call it a boycott.”
Sharpton said he and others “felt betrayed” by Macy’s after black customers complained they were detained after making expensive purchases at the company’s landmark store in Herald Square.
Four black shoppers in separate incidents at Macy’s and Barneys have said they were detained at the two stores and later released without charges.
At the same time, Jay Z has taken to his site Life+Times to post a long statement about his holiday collaboration with Barneys, which has come under fire in light of  reports that the store discriminates against black shoppers.  Jay Z writes that he’s waiting for more facts about the recent racial profiling case before he takes any steps.
He speaks out against those urging him to pull out of the Barneys deal, likening those “snap judgments” to the act of racial profiling. He also emphasizes that he’s not benefiting financially from the deal, and that pulling out of the collaboration would primarily hurt those who benefit from the Shawn Carter Foundation (which will receive 25 percent of sales of the Jay-Z/Barneys holiday collection).
Jay-Z is a rapper, songwriter and businessman who has a net worth of $500 million. Jay-Z has earned his net worth through his career in the music industry, beginning as co-founder (with Damon Dash and Kareem Biggs) of Roc-A-Fella records, where he began his recording career.  With continued success, Jay-Z’s net worth is expected to reach $1 billion or more within his lifetime. A truly incredible achievement for any celebrity.
Instead of meeting with  Macy’s chairman, we should be meeting with Jay Z to establish an economic institution that will build Black economic power. With his net worth being what it is or said to be, why doesn’t Jay Z establish his own Jayzee’s or whatever he wants to call it, where he could not only sell his own clothing line,  but employ the people who are now being profiled by stores like Macy’s and help bring down the unemployment rate in our community’s.
Not only could he employ our youth to work in his store, he could set up manufacturing outlets that make the cloth’s. Where our youth could work to in factories that he owns, providing more jobs for our community. Those cloths could be shipped by his own transportation company, or a Black owned company , that would create even more jobs for drivers and delivery people.
This would be a step towards building an institution that we control and that serves our economic interest. By creating jobs for our youth and putting “Benjamin’s” in their pockets, this would be a major tool to reduce unemployment in our community. In addition to reducing unemployment, it would reduce crime and gangs because our youth would become self sufficient. They could then go to school (preferably Historically Black Institutions) to learn how to become managers, designers, marketers and business owners who could duplicate Jayzee’s business model. No longer would they feel they have to sell drugs to make a living. They could now make clean money that they earn legally, while providing a service to their community.
Other groups have come together to build their own economic institutions that serve their interest and we should do the same. They know that you control your own destiny when you control your own institutions.  Because when you own the institutions in your community, you can then set the policies that control it. You determine who gets hired, how much they make, what they make. What kind of benefits they get, their working conditions and everything else that it takes to run that business or institution. Developing your own institutions is necessary for survival. Because nobody else can determine if you work or how much you get paid to work. You make that decision based on the interest of your people.
It is time that we understand the need to build our own institutions. We must be willing to build our own businesses by urging our leaders who have access to money and influence to come together and develop their own businesses and institutions, rather than begging someone else to treat us right at their businesses. This is how we turn ghettos into oasis’s, where no longer are we plagued by crime and violence, but rather by prosperity, pride and hope generated from our ability to provide for ourselves, our children and our people throughout the African Diaspora. Until we do that, we will continue to fight with police, store clerks and business owners who don’t look like us, who are only doing their job to protect the business or institution they work for or own. No longer will we feel betrayed because someone has profiled us as criminals and thieves. Because with ownership, we now have the resources and means to support ourselves by supporting the businesses and institutions that support us.
It’s time to rise up and build true economic power, with our own Jayzee’s, if we are to change our conditions and repair what was stolen from us during slavery.
Written by Kefing Moor

Administrator for http://www.Facebook.com/AfricanMarketMall

Contact me at http://www.AfricanMarketMall.WordPress.com, https://twittercom/kefingmoor or AfricanmarketMall@gmail.com

Sponsored by: http://www.ArdyssLife.com/EmmasPlace

 

 

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I’m sure that by now many of us have heard about NBA player Matt Barnes use of the N word in a tweet and sports commentator Micheal Wilbon defending his use of the word. There’s a lot of positions out here about that word, but I think we as Black adults have to make sure that we explain to our youth what that word really means. The word Nigger is the single word that explains or captivates the process that turns a once proud African people into a self hating slave. In that single word you have the chains that were put on us when we were captured in the Motherland. The dehumanizing march to the shorelines to be shipped away like animals to the Americas. The Middle Passage, where we rode for 6-8 weeks like sardines at the bottom of the ship. The sale on the auction block like live stock. The loss of language and sense of history. The destruction of the Black family. The loss of centuries of wages, education, healthcare. That Niggerizing experience has turned  us into Niggers and everything we have done since being in America has been an attempt to repair what the slave experience broke in us and stole from us. Yes that word is a powerful word and when people say it, they need to know what it really represents. That process in no way is a term of endearment. Rather, it’s a term of degradation and we need to make sure our children know what it really means and why we have struggled to replenish what it has taken from us.

By Kefing Moor

Administrator for http://www.Facebook.com/AfricanMarketMallOnline

Sponsored by http://www.ArdyssLife.com/EmmasPlace

E-mail us at AfricanMarketMall@gmail.com

Tweet us at http://www.twitter.com/kefingmoor

Another Missed Opportunity

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Today is election day in Detroit and it looks like it’s a possibility that Detroiters may officially hand over the city to the suburbanites who have been waiting for this day for decades. The co-opted media has successfully beat up on Black leadership and seemingly convinced many of our people that anyone who looks like them are incapable of running the city (even though we have a Black President running the country). If Detroiters elect Mike Duggan, he will become the first white mayor of majority-black Detroit since Roman Gribbs, who served from 1970 to 1974. Duggan is set to be elected by an overwhelming margin. Recent polls show Duggan up by a nearly 2-1 margin over his opponent, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, in a city that is 82% African American.
Duggan’s lead is seen as a signal that the residents of long-struggling Detroit are ready for a change in leadership — someone who hasn’t served the city in politics before. Yet many Detroiters are willing to give him a chance to run the city even though he’s never run a city before. Even member’s of Detroit’s activist community think it’s time for a change from Black to White leadership in the mayors office. Minister Malik Shabazz, president of the Marcus Garvey Movement/New Black Panther Nation in Detroit, is one of Duggan’s most vocal supporters. Shabazz say’s “in the last two national elections, African Americans have asked the nation to choose the best person for the job and not get caught up in color. And twice, Barack Obama has won,” he said. “Now, in Detroit, in 2013, the best man running is a white brother, and that’s OK.”
It may be okay for some who want to take control of Detroit’s resources and use them for the upliftment of their people. Which is what leaders are supposed to do, take care of their people, as well as all of their residents. But for Black Detroit and Black people throughout the African Diaspora, it’s a disaster.
Why, because we as a people had a chance to show Africans worldwide that we can run our own affairs and help ourselves prosper on all levels of life. We are the status quo in the city and we need to maintain that so that we can benefit from the institutional resources that the city offer’s. Such as educating ourselves and re-establishing a vibrant African owned business community that serves our interest.
Unfortunately, our failure to achieve those goals has turned off a lot of our people, who now believe we need someone outside of ourselves to come save us. Some voters see Napoleon as part of the old political establishment that wasn’t able to help the city.”Duggan represents change; Napoleon does not,” said Joe Darden, a professor at Michigan State University who has studied race relations in Detroit. “Napoleon essentially represents a continuation of the status quo.”
Rev. Jim Holley and 30 other pastors endorsed in Duggan’s bid to become Detroit’s next mayor.
Reverend Jim Holley, pastor of Historic Little Rock Baptist Church, said he has spent much of his career advocating for the economic and political interests of African Americans and sees no contradiction in that regard by backing the former Detroit Medical Center chief, who, if elected, would be the first white mayor of Detroit since the city has become majority black.
“We’ve got to do what’s best for the city, not what’s best for us individually,” Holley said at a gathering of pastors endorsing Duggan this morning at Holley’s church on Woodward. “It’s not about a personal agenda. It’s got to be about what’s best for this city. … We have the right man for the right time.”
A federal bankruptcy judge will have final say over this city’s financial overhaul. A state-appointed emergency manager has run this City Hall for months and may not leave anytime soon. The current mayor, Dave Bing, would not seek another term, criticizing a “supposed partnership” with state officials that has left him powerless and perturbed.
And that has left some asking, “Does it really matter who gets elected the next mayor of Detroit?”
The mayoral contenders, Mike Duggan and Benny Napoleon, differ on how they would deal with the emergency manager, Kevyn D. Orr, who was appointed in March and under state law has sweeping authority to restructure the city’s government and terminate collective bargaining contracts.
Mr. Duggan has opposed the appointment of the emergency manager, but said he would work with Mr. Orr if that meant speeding up the process of returning control to local officials.
Mr. Napoleon has promised to fight the emergency manager at every turn.
“I can work with anyone,” Mr. Napoleon said before voting on Tuesday morning. “But the fact is that I’ve maintained consistently that I think Mr. Orr is here illegally. And I believe that at the end of the day a federal court will determine that he should not be here.”
But he added, just moments before voting for himself, “If, in fact, he is determined to be here, then we have to move forward recognizing that while he’s here he has total control. That would just be reality.”
In addition to that reality is that Black people had a chance to develop a city that we controlled into an oasis of Black business and Black political power. Yet we didn’t have the ability to pool our resources to get the job done. We let our businesses be taken over by the Arab and Korean community and even the Hispanics have their own business section in the city called Mexican Town. We had a chance to put together an African Town (proposed by Dr. Claude Anderson), that would have created an economic development zone promoting black owned businesses. But even that fail apart, as our leaders were not able to come together to put the plan in action.
As a people, we’ve got some serious soul searching to do as we struggle to put together a nation within a nation, that the Honorable Jaramogi Abege Agyeman, (founder of the Shrines of the Black Madonna and author of Black Christian Nationalism) says would “unite Black people in a way that we have the basic benefits of nationhood in the interim while we prepare for the liberation of our homeland, Africa”. We’re a long way away from liberating African people throughout the diaspora, when we can’t come together to liberate a city that we controlled for forty years. Even though we missed this opportunity, we must continue the struggle to gain control of our destiny so that we don’t miss the next opportunity.

By Kefing Moor

Administrator of http://www.Facebook.com/AfricanMarketMallOnline

Sponsored by http://www.ArdyssLife.com/Emmas Place

Contact us at AfricanMarketMall@gmail.com

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