By Robert L. Gatewood, MBA
We’ve all heard the exclamations about how much money flows through the Black community. One day I was driving down the street and I was simply overcome by curiosity (If there had been a cat in the road, he would have certainly been run over on this day). I asked myself, “Why is it that Black America, which has a larger Gross National Product than many sovereign nations, can’t quite seem to get a grip on its financial security.
If you have ever seen one of those B movies where the guy is doing something dastardly and catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror then you can relate to what happened to me. As I set out to solve the financial conundrum of Black America, I was parking my luxury automobile and happened to get a glimpse of myself. What I saw was “exhibit A” looking right back at me. But I didn’t just see one me, I saw three me’s; me the executive archetype (someone who knows better than most how to connect the dots between and someone’s wallet and a cash register.) I saw me the individual (not the Black American monolith), and it was the last me that scared me … I saw me the consumer (someone who himself has often spent beyond his means, and is now wearing a big bull’s eye right between his eyes.). Now that’s a revelation for you.
I consider myself a rather smart fellow. Graduated with honors everywhere I went to school, high school, college, MBA you name it. It dawned on me, that if a smart guy like me has a hole in his wallet, this problem just might be bigger than the failure to learn the three R’s. So as I tackled this problem, I also found myself introspecting.
All of us can’t be marchers or prolific speakers. But as I say in my book, everybody’s good at something. I happen to be an expert marketer, and I have decided to use it to use my skills to right some wrongs. Hopefully my book will inspire other like-minded people to become fellow wrong-righters, but, in their respective areas of influence.
So I encourage everybody to do what they do best in general for the overall welfare of fellow Blacks but for the purposes of this book and my mission, I’d like to target some those energies on a specific objective. Let’s coalesce around a common goal of plugging the seemingly ceaseless hole in the pocketbook of Black America. If for no other reason, let’s do it so that our children, like so many of the other races, will have some kind of a future when its there turn at bat.
Many of Us Make Enough Money – We could always use some more but…. If we just put what we already have to better use, you’d be amazed how well-off most of us actually are.
YOU Have Been Trained to Spend Your Money, THE PLAYERS Have Been Trained to Take It
I couldn’t create a less fair fight if I tried. It’s like going fishing where the fish have been trained to jump in your boat.
Nobody Wants to Admit He’s Been Marketed – Reminds of me of what drove Harriet Tubman nuts. She said she could have freed more people if only more people realized they were slaves.
Everybody Plays the Fool, Sometimes – Just like the group Main Ingredient use to sing in their hey-day, we are all game. Some tell-tale signs include: Smoking – Tithing more than saving – Car note as high as house note –Still paying for last year’s Xmas – And more!
Enlightenment is not retroactive – I used to smoke. It wasn’t the health aspects of it that made me stop. The more familiar I became with marketing, the more I realized that I myself had been marketed… I had been downright played. In fact I remember the time and place the light bulb went off. It was about 12 years ago when I was leaving Tucker Road Park over in Oxon Hill. I just pulled to the side of the road, threw the cigarettes in a trash can and haven’t picked up another one since.
It’s a War on the Wallets of Blacks – It’s an economic struggle that’s not just fought in the store aisles on Christmas Eve. It’s a generational battle that’s fought in the head. The heads of Black consumers are on one side; the heads of institutional forces on the other. In a one-on-one contest, chances for Black America are not the best, but winnable. But over the generations, the Players have coalesced into a virtually invincible foe. It’s not the individual efforts of the Players that are the threat; it’s the synergistic application of all of them that provides the knockout punch.
The Secret Weapon – Sleeping with the Enemy – The Players employ a secret weapon that makes your chances of winning virtually impossible. This stealth squad does a better job than the Players themselves ever could. It includes General Grandma, Captain Co-worker, Sergeant Spouse, First Lieutenant Father, Major Mom, and an infinite number of Foot-Soldiering Friends.
Like Lambs to the Slaughter – The Players employ some effective tactics that are very difficult to combat. When applied together they provide the perfect storm.
Social Proof – also known as herd mentality, desire to belong or by its common name of “keeping up with the Joneses.”
Mental Externalism – a mindset where you believe that you have little or no control over the events in your life
Fear – the trump card that surfaces s when all else fails.
All Players Are Not Created Equal – The Players don’t the wear a big “P” on their foreheads. Anyone can be a player. There are basically 4 types of Players:
– Pathological Incorrigible Malevolent Player (PIMP)
– Passive Opportunistic Player (POP)
– Philanthropic Accidental Player (PAP)
– Positive Enlightened Player (PEP)
Who Are the Players?
Who are these people who are adept at parting Black Americans from their hard-earned money?
Man or woman – Any race, culture or nationality – Person, institution or government – Needs someone to play – And more!
Specific Players: The Government, Politicians, Military, the Courts, Schools, Employers, Schools,Santa Claus, the Church and Others!
You Already Have the Answer!
Is the fate of Black America resigned to that of being fodder for the Players of the world? Is the purse of Black America an irreparable sieve? The answer lies within. Breaking the grip of economic dependency and derelict spending takes an individual effort.
Our Children Are Watching – I’m doing this for the next generation. I’ve wasted enough money for a three lifetimes. So this is no longer about me. I’m gladly throwing myself on the grenade for our Black children who are on deck to be played by the next generation of Players … if we fail to act now!
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Robert Gatewood at www.playedinfull.com/25 or 866-292-4800.