Bless her heart but Florida Evans lied to some of you. Just because she made good times out of keeping her head above water doesn’t mean that we’re all about that life. I love money. Black Jesus said that was alright by him.
Beyoncé, Jay Z, Oprah, LeBron James, Diddy, Tyler Perry, Barack and Michelle Obama and so many Black celebrities who reach an upper echelon are smeared as capitalists who brag too much. They’re judged for having so much $$$ and not catering to those less fortunate. Rihanna was dragged for not having affordable prices on luxury items rather than celebrated for being the first Black woman to head a luxury brand for LVMH. Mo’Nique is told to shut up and just accept whatever is given to her. Mishael Morgan on The Young & Restless asked for a raise after five years on the show and being part of a popular supercouple. Her character was promptly killed off but the money was just right for a parade of white actors who have since returned to their roles. Rumor has it Ms. Morgan has been invited back to Y&R but another Black actress lost her job in the process. Apparently, the budget will break if there’s more than one employed.
There is a conversation to be had about the 1%. No their success isn’t mine but I will not hate them for theirs. They earned their money and status. Similarly, Black people who move into suburban neighborhoods are deemed sellouts for moving their kids to better neighborhoods and “acting white”. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t if you’re a minority and believe the American Dream is yours for the taking as well.
We know our worth and will not be shortchanged. There’s power in that recognition.
Contrary to popular belief, Black people and communities of color like money just like everyone else. We love it. We enjoy earning, stacking and spending it how we see fit. However, those who look down on those in the “ghetto” also take offense to us having more than just enough to pay the bills and keep a roof over our heads. If we’re not scratching and surviving, we’re betraying Florida. Too many reruns on TV One has got some of you thinking that being impoverished is our default setting. When we break out of that preconceived notion, the push back is inevitable. Black Wall Street comes to mind.
If Black folks and those of color move out of certain tax brackets, suspicion is levied upon those finances. How’d you get it? How much are you giving back? Don’t you know kids in Africa are starving? We’re expected to humble ourselves before the world and give away hordes of wealth. To much is given, much is expected but being charitable and rich is not a choice that needs to be made. Both can be accomplished and as a future millionaire myself (I’m claiming it now), I’m tired of busy bodies acting as if we should just be grateful for having the bare minimum. Humanity doesn’t leave all of us because there are a few extra zeroes in the bank. Ain’t nobody trying to be poor just to get likes and retweets for being woke.
Just this past week, Barack and Michelle Obama have been bashed for reportedly buying a $15 million home in Martha’s Vineyard that is a seven-bedroom, 8½-bathroom spread with a 29-acre beachfront plot with a 6,892-square-foot main house. Good for them. The Kennedy’s have got some new neighbors. The usual critics pounced and accused the couple of cashing in on the presidency and that public servants should not be allowed to profit from their time in office. The voices of discontent weren’t just from the usual chorus of conservatives who fault the Obamas for sport. They were joined by pussy hat liberals who swear they would’ve voted for Obama a third time; demanding that they renounce such lavish expenditures. Previously, they also echoed the sentiments of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren who took issue with the couple for their lucrative deals. Never mind that those two are independently wealthy themselves with their own wares on bookshelves but optics only seem to come into play when it’s Black folks. We’re opportunistic but everyone else can be guided by ambition.
The Trump administration is currently embroiled in various scandals and some of them involve the inappropriate use of police funds but policing how the Obamas make a living post presidency is a thing. Trump is celebrated for being a billionaire but the Black POTUS is policed even after leaving office. They can’t enjoy concerts, participate in the speaking engagement circuit or vacation in Paris without some fuss being made. In case some of you forgot, Barack and Michelle Obama are free. They can do as they please if they’re not harming anyone or breaking laws just as President George W. Bush is afforded. Not all have to be like President Jimmy Carter who has spent much of his time in selfless service. That’s his choice. Not only is it admirable but respected.
No one is above criticism but is tiring that Black folks but it’s tiring how our coins are watched. Excess greed is an issue. It’s not right or fair that we live in a world of haves and have nots. If I could snap my fingers like Thanos to change this discrepancy, I would. I’m not alone in that desire but the Obamas living hand to mouth doesn’t change the circumstances of veterans living on the street or eradicate homelessness. That poverty tour Van Jones is what we’re not gonna do.
My lineage is from Haiti where my parents were born. They immigrated here in the 1980’s in search of a better life. As many know, Haiti is the poorest nation in the Caribbean. Haitians are a spirited and proud people. We know who we are and whose we are. Our ancestors were the first to gain our independence from bondage and have suffered the consequences since. Various regimes have raped us our natural resources and even the own government has been part of that theft. I want to help soil growth in the nation; give back in some way and be the manifestations of their wildest dreams. No, money doesn’t solve everything and is the only measure of success. But it’s one of my goals.
To that end, I self-published my novel Control last year after struggling to get it just right for so long. Each new day brings another sale. Some days, I only sell one book or not at all. It is what it is. What I know for sure is that I’m creating generational wealth for myself, family and heirs. They will never go hungry, feel the weight of student loan debt, forced to share a small place and budgeting that last dollar to make it stretch a week. Control will take its place on the best sellers list alongside “Becoming”, “Dreams of My Father” and so many iconic titles. You’re going to realize the power in my name and talents (which I will take all over in a private jet if I damn well please). I will not apologize to anyone for my success or be shamed.
Just mind your business while I will strut like George Jefferson in my deluxe apartment in the sky.