Our Own Worst Enemy
Well, this is unfortunate. On the heels of Black History Month, when we celebrate heroes and where I took the opportunity on several occasions to highlight giants in our business community, stark reality hit me. One of our problems, one of our biggest problems, is us. One issue I think we, as Black people, have to grapple with, struggle with, and defeat is our jealousy of each other. You see, too many of us are okay with other people doing well. But, when we see another brother or sister achieving, striding, earning, we are the first to have a problem with it. Then, those of us who have a little power and authority too often seem to exercise it toward the detriment of our folks because we dare not challenge people that we deem to be more powerful, influential, or connected than we are.
One of the things that always amazes me is we can pull so hard for elite athletes, folks we will never know or meet, for that matter. People like LeBron James and Patrick Mahomes; in years past, Michael Jordan, Willie Mays, the late Hank Aaron, and Jackie Robinson. These men are all objects of our esteem and even affection. But, let our neighbor get a new job, a better car, a financial windfall. Let a brother get a contract or start a business; we are the first to have a problem with it and put them down. Once again, it's okay when people who don't look like us make millions, but when people like us even make tens of thousands, the jealousy, envy, enmity takes over, and we say and do all the things we can to take away and diminish their success and value.
Does this sound personal? Yes, it absolutely is. I've been a victim of pettiness and jealousy more times than I want to think of, as I'm sure most of you have as well. What I'm hoping to accomplish by writing this blog is that we do better. I hope more people will think about their words and actions, and those that are in a position to help our people will do so, opposed to using your position to hurt the very folks you ought to be helping.
I will continue to try to help black people, black businesses, homeowners, and children, and I pray that other people with a little power and influence will do the same. Check that jealousy, check that envy, check that crabs in a barrel syndrome, leave that behind! We as a people have too much work to do than to get in each other's way as we are making progress.