Archive for Business Exchange

Blacks Harnessing the Power of Capitalism

Posted in African Americans, Black Men, Black Men In America with tags , , on June 8, 2014 by Gary Johnson

William Reed

By William Reed

Among Donald Sterling’s rants he said something more Blacks need to recognize as truth. Sterling’s comments that: “When Jews get successful they will help their people. And some of the African-Americans … they don’t want to help anybody” were neither unfair nor racist. Start with his point: the majority of Blacks don’t help other Blacks. It is a reality that most honest Blacks will admit is true. And it’s something that our community has grappled with for years. If you just focus on the messenger instead of the message you will miss the truth that in our culture Blacks have a history of not supporting one another. Look at Blacks’ economics versus those of Jews. Of all groups’ “collective capitalism” practices Jews are among the best, while Blacks are the worst. Research data shows: a dollar circulates up to 12 times within Jewish circles, but is in and out of the Black community within 12 hours.

Where do Blacks Americans go from here? Blacks’ economic status is a reflection of our counter-capitalistic actions. Since the 1960s, Blacks have been on “a mission” to associate and acculturate with White society. All that assimilated was our money.

Blacks need to help each other out of the bottom of the barrel. Isn’t it about time for Blacks to become more “preoccupied” with putting “race issues” in our personal practices and patterns? Too often Blacks compete against each other. To be competitive in American politics and capitalism, Black Americans have to rid themselves of the “crabs-in-a-barrel syndrome” and start prioritizing race-based issues and practices.

We need to drop the “mainstream” stint to do things among African Americans that build wealth through ownership and development of businesses. This way of thinking and acting is an offshoot of Black Nationalism. It’s time greater numbers of us become Black Capitalists in the mode of Booker T. Washington and Robert Reed Church, who founded the nation’s first Black-owned bank in 1906, Solvent Savings.

Where do you think Sterling buys his food, clothes or banks? When did you last purchase something from a minority vendor? How often do you pass a minority-owned restaurant on your way to eat at “a name brand” dining establishment?

How do you identify? Are you Black first and American second? This is a difficult question for Blacks with a “mainstream orientation” to answer, but probably isn’t for Jewish, Asian or immigrant groups. Many of us desire to be American, Democrat, Republican, Conservative or Liberal before being “Black.”

Being “Black first” requires dedication to a political ideology that focuses on Blacks’ interest. The principle objectives of Black nationalists are unity and self-determination – independent from European society. Martin Delany, an African-American abolitionist, in the 1800s, is considered the foremost Black nationalist of his day.

The origins of Black Nationalism lie in the political thought of people like Marcus Garvey, Martin Delany, Henry Highland Garnet, Edward Wilmot Blyden and Paul Cuffe among others. Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association of the 1910s and 1920s proved to be the most powerful Black Nationalist movement to date that boasted 11 million members. Black Nationalist philosophy began when the Africans were brought ashore to the Americas. After the Revolutionary War, personalities such as Prince Hall, Richard Allen, and Absalom Jones started important organizations such as the Free African Society, African Masonic lodges and church institutions. Modern Black Nationalism stresses building separate communities that promote racial pride and collective resources. This helped to create groups like the Moorish Science Temple and Nation of Islam.

Blacks need leadership that embraces race as a critical component of their professional identity. Increasing numbers of Blacks recognize business as the preferred vehicle to financial freedom and view the private sector, rather than the public one, as the nexus of American power. Like the Jews, Blacks need strong principles of collective economic concepts to succeed in America. More Blacks should support each another, instead of denigrating one another. It’s that simple.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the

Republicans Goin’ Black

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black Interests, Black Men, Politics, President Barack Obama with tags , , , , , on September 2, 2013 by Gary Johnson

William Reed

Business Exchange By William Reed

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus inherited a simple mission: stop inflaming racism and expand the voter base beyond White, male America. Like so many Republicans before him, Priebus repeatedly gets in his own way in his attempts to appeal to Blacks and other minority groups.

Over the months since the Democrats’ decisive electoral victories among Blacks, Hispanics and Asian Americans, officials at the RNC have talked a lot about engaging the country’s different and more diverse communities. At their Boston summer meeting session the Republicans declared that “engaging youth and building the party at the grassroots level is key” to the party’s successes toward 2016. The RNC’s latest effort to sell itself is a plan to showcase the diversity in the GOP ranks. The Rising Stars initiative highlights the next generation of Republicans: a group of activists, authors, elected officials and candidates who combat the GOP’s “old boy” image.

In its initiative, the RNC’s publicity professionals will be shining a spotlight on its younger, minority up-and-comers every three months. The first batch of Rising Stars includes T.W. Shannon, Oklahoma’s first African-American Speaker of the House and a protégé of former Rep. J.C. Watts. The RNC plans to thrust Black Republicans like Shannon into the limelight.

To grow and expand the party among Blacks, the GOP should remember that “it’s all about the economy.”  Despite woeful, to no, economic gains under Democratic political leadership, African Americans have allowed themselves, and their issues, to be dumbed down to accept mediocre governance. The last 40 years, the Black vote has gone so overwhelmingly for Democrats that the GOP has never invested much effort in trying to capture it. In what Priebus says is “an unprecedented effort”, the RNC is putting money and muscle into getting more African Americans to vote Republican. The RNC just hired 150 field staffers “to help court new voters.”

Throughout the spring and summer of 2013, Priebus and a core group of Republicans, lurched from convention-to-convention in a kind of “rock star” procession seeking “grip-and-grin” photo-ops with notable Blacks. What he needs to do now is move out of the picture, replacing himself with strategic “outreach” professionals and techniques “to effectively spread the word” specifically, among African Americans.

Some say Preibus should spend his money elsewhere and think that the Republican Party faces an impossible task adding Blacks to their ranks. With targeted efforts, the RNC can easily capture 30 percent of the Black vote by 2016. Party leaders can’t second guess themselves and they must continue to provide the resources necessary for the outreach to be successful. The Republicans have to deliver messages among African Americans that explain to them why the GOP’s world view is in their best interest.

The Republicans need to project images and an agenda that Blacks can relate to. In order to be effective, the party needs to provide the Black outreach team the budget and autonomy they to need to set up networks that allow them to consistently engage African Americans through their media, about their issues. In addition to the field representatives Priebus announced in Boston, the RNC headquarters outreach team includes Amani Council, director of the RNC’s African-American Communications, Kristal Quarker-Hartsfield, who heads up the political arm; and Raffi Williams, whose focus is the youth vote.

Priebus says the RNC expects the staffers they recently hired to live and work in minority communities and pitch Republican values. Between the headquarters’ crew and field representatives, Republicans should be putting forth issues that Blacks truly care about, and through new technology and local news outlets to “meet them [Blacks] where they are.”

Republicans can take a page from companies that target and develop the African-American consumer market. It’s time Priebus & Company allow their “Black outreach” team the full reign they need to effectively sell the Republican message, convene conferences, and be a resource on Republican ideals, and assemble and conduct political education among African Americans that touts: strong families, faith in God, personal responsibility and equal economic opportunities.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the

Who’s The Greatest?

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Guest Columnists, Money/Economics with tags , , on May 13, 2013 by Gary Johnson

William Reed

By William Reed

The sequester is but a bump on the road to America’s real ruin. For those who don’t know, the U.S. is no longer “the greatest nation.” Nor does it even make the list of the 10 most prosperous countries in the world.

Whether Black or White, middle to upper class, urban, rural or suburban, most Americans operate under the assumption that the U.S. still ranks as No. 1 in the world.  Yes, the U.S. remains the world’s largest economy, and we have the largest military by far, the most dynamic technology companies and a highly entrepreneurial climate.

However, Blacks who still preen at the thought of Obama being the “commander in chief” are going to have a “rude awakening” when it’s all over. A sobering 2012 index analyzed 142 countries in eight categories: economy, education, entrepreneurship & opportunity, governance, health, personal freedom, safety & security and social capital. The index shows that the U.S. is no longer “the top dog” rather, 12th in prosperity; 3rd in oil production; 7th in literacy; 27th in math; 22nd in science; 49th in life expectancy; 178th in infant mortality; 3rd in median household income; 4th in exports and 39th in income inequality.

The first step in solving any problem is to recognize there is one. As we move toward the future, it’s important that we note that the decisions that created today’s growth – decisions about education, infrastructure and the like – were made decades ago. What we see today is an American economy that has boomed because of policies and developments of the 1950s and ’60s: the interstate-highway system, massive funding for science and technology, a public-education system that was once the envy of the world and generous immigration policies.

The economic bottom is falling out while the Black middle class waddles down “discount aisles at Walmart.” We are the group at the highest risk of economic downturns, but over the past 50 years, Blacks have bought into a mindset of dependency. Ninety-three percent of Black Americans recently voted for a continuation of that dependency on government for handouts from food stamps to welfare. Democratic leadership has caused Blacks to collectively accept the fact that America has become a debtor nation.

Suck it up. Let’s acknowledge that the big government agenda the Democrats have pursued over past years has stunted economic growth and led to staggering levels of wealth decline among Blacks. Cartoon character Pogo provides great insight: “We’ve met the enemy and they is us.” Our plight today is based on our past practices to “go along to get along.”

Much of America’s forward growth depends on the results of the 2014 congressional elections and 2016 presidential campaign. What kind of decisions will the masses of Blacks make about being open to the messages of Republicans?  In his book, America the Beautiful, fiscally and socially conservative figure, Dr. Benjamin Solomon “Ben” Carson, Sr., an African-American neurosurgeon and director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, pushed himself into the forefront of the public’s attention. In his book, Carson provides new perspectives on our educational system, capitalism versus socialism and our moral fabric, to which people should be attentive.  America the Beautiful is an incisive manifesto of the values that shaped America’s past and must shape her future, the book calls upon us all to use our God-given talents to lead and improve our lives, communities, nation, and our world.

America can be great again. Good leadership is what we need. All that’s required is leadership that will fight for moral values, stand up for what is right, and strike down the wrong laws for the right reasons. Maybe it’s “mainstream” Blacks have adopted that cause them to accept leadership that has followed the same path of profligate spending and reckless disregard of the long-term economic drain for short-term economic gains.  We have opted for mediocrity and self-indulgence and we have reaped the harvest that we have sown.

We become great again by becoming an informed and educated electorate, making the right decisions to go forward.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the

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