Couples and money always mix. Money can either strengthen the love in your life or it can destroy it. Allow Dr. Boyce Watkins to help you work through every dimension of money management for couples, from the simple to the complex. Everyone is invited to join this blog, everyone is invited to share their story.
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The recent release of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that Black unemployment declined during the month of July. It had reached 16.2 percent and dropped over the course of the month to 15.9 percent. While the number is an improvement, it is still nearly double that of white Americans.
Your Black World reports.
The stock market plunged to its worst day since the 2008 financial crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average moved down 512 points, the ninth biggest drop in history, as investors fears that there would be a global economic downturn.
by George James
The summer is a time for warm weather, vacation, family reunions and weddings. Many couples plan their wedding during the summer and fall months. Planning a wedding can bring a lot of stress and drama to the couple. From deciding when and where to get married, to working on the guest list and to figuring out how you will pay for the wedding. Stress and drama can also come from what other people want for your wedding and from handling major conflicts such as faith, money or where to live after the wedding. It is possible to get the wedding you want and not have any drama, even with all the possibilities leading up to the wedding.
Your Black World reports
A recent report by the Economic Policy Institute has revealed that the economic situation for African Americans is disproportionately bad for the state of Michigan. According to the report, African Americans in Michigan have had an unemployment rate above 20 percent for every quarter since the start of 2009. Their 2010 annual unemployment rate was 23.4%. White Michigan residents currently enjoy an unemployment rate of only 9.5% for last quarter.
The conditions are so bad that the lowest black unemployment rate since 2008 (12.2%) is only slightly lower than the highest unemployment conditions experienced by whites in Michigan (12.7%). So, their terrible times are our good times and our horrible times don’t get attention from political leaders whatsoever.
Perhaps we don’t live in a post-racial America after all, since the unemployment picture is clearly different for blacks and whites.
In this episode of Your Black Love, Deborrah Cooper and I ask whether or not black women have a preference for dating men that are not good for them.
Do you know a woman who dates one bad guy after another and then seems to spend all of her time whining about the fact that she can never find a good man? Yea, I have too. Well, it seems to me that, at some point, we must all have some degree of accountability for our relationship choices.
by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World – Scholarship in Action
Jestina Clayton is a woman in Utah who is originally from Sierra Leone in West Africa. She does African braiding part-time in order to make extra money. She is now being confronted with the loss of significant income, since a law in the state of Utah claims that you must have a full cosmetology license in order to braid hair.
Clayton filed suit this week in the court of law. She is being backed by the Institute for Justice, a Virginia-based organization that helps people like Clayton challenge unjust laws.
by Janell Ross, Huffington Post
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- In the decade leading up to the Great Recession, Wanda Nolan grew accustomed to steady progress.
From an entry-level job as a fill-in bank teller, she forged a career as a commercial banking assistant, earning enough to become a homeowner. She finished college and then got an MBA. Even after the recession unfolded in late 2007, her degrees and her familiarity with the business world lent her a sense of immunity to the forces ravaging much of the American economy. Nolan was an exemplar of the African American middle class and the increasingly professional ranks of the so-called New South.
But in September 2008, everything changed.
A bank human resources officer called her into a private conference room. “All I heard was, ‘Your position has been eliminated,’” says Nolan, 37, who, despite being one of the more than 13 million officially unemployed Americans, still spends most days in her self-styled banker’s uniform of pearls and pants and practical flats. “My mind started racing.”
More than two years later, Nolan is still looking for a job and feeling increasingly anxious about a future that once felt assured. Her life has devolved from a model of middle class African American upward mobility into an example of a disturbing trend: She is among the 15.5 percent of African Americans out of work and still looking for a job.
For economists, that number may sound awful, but it’s not surprising. The nation’s overall unemployment rate sits at 8.8 percent and the rate among white Americans is at 7.9 percent. For a variety of reasons -- ranging from levels of education and continuing discrimination to the relatively young age of black workers -- black unemployment tends to run twice the rate for whites. Yet since the Great Recession, joblessness has remained so critically elevated among African Americans that it is challenging longstanding ideas about what it takes to find work in the modern-day economy.
Millions of people like Nolan, who have precisely followed the oft-dictated recipe for economic success -- work hard, get an education, seek advancement -- are slipping backward. Even as they apply for jobs and accept the prospect of a future with less job security and lower pay, they remain stalled in unemployment.
Trading down has become a painful truth for much of working America, but this truth becomes particularly stark when seen through the prism of race. Only 12 percent of all Americans are black, but working-age black Americans comprise nearly 21 percent of the nation’s unemployed, according to federal data. The growing contrast between prospects for white and black job-seekers challenges a cherished American notion: the availability of opportunity and upward mobility for all.
Your Black World reports
Have you ever tried to get a loan, and felt that you weren’t being treated the same as if you were white? What about watching that promotion at work being given to the white guy down the hall when you were the one slaving night and day for 20 years? Well, this feeling is not uncommon. A recent survey at YourBlackWorld.com showed that nearly 90% of African Americans feel that they’ve experienced some kind of discrimination in the workplace. In spite of our having a black president and attorney general, new laws have not been introduced to help people of color fight discrimination in the workplace.
Another prominent type of discrimination is the racial bias in other kinds of financial decisions. Millions of black people were victims of predatory lending during the recent financial crisis, leading to a massive decline in black family wealth over the last decade. Additionally, the ability to build a business, get government contracts or do other things to create financial security for your family can be impacted by the color of your skin. Prof. Stephanie Yates Rauterkus at The University of Alabama Birmingham speaks on the topic in the video below.
Click here to watch the video
This numbered moniker is how a participant at the Destin, Florida Town Hall meeting with Gulf Coast Claims Facility Administrator Kenneth Feinberg introduced herself.
For many residents residing in communities along the Gulf of Mexico, they feel as if their lives have been reduced to a number in the Gulf Coast Claims Facility database which holds so much power over life, livelihood, health and overall wellbeing.
One year after the Gulf Oil Drilling Disaster of April 20, 2010, thousands of Gulf residents not only have not been “made whole” from the disaster, but many have faced elevated levels of toxins in their bloodstreams, community conflicts, destruction of families, culture erosion, loss of property, including homes, cars, boats, etc., and, for many, an end to their way of life for the foreseeable future. Only a fraction of Gulf residents truly believe that the systems that have been set up to serve them have made demonstrable strides towards “making it right”, as has become the mantra representing the aim of recovery and restoration processes.
Based on dozens of interviews with affected communities and the organizations that represent them, a review of consensus documents and other reports from technical experts as well as organizations representing thousands of gulf residents, and examination of response systems set up to address the Gulf Oil Drilling Disaster, this report tells the illustrative stories and shares the analysis of the pervasive unmet needs and gaps in the response system one year after the Deepwater Horizon Macondo Well explosion took 11 lives and dealt a crippling blow to the ecosystem, including the communities, of the Gulf of Mexico.
by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World
Given the importance of the critical theme of black relationships (which we’re hitting from various angles this week on YBW), I had to get another perspective on some of the things that folks are quoting from the bible as it pertains to how black relationships need to be structured. What does it mean for a black man to “lead” in his relationship? What does it mean for a woman to “submit?” One thing that many of us can agree on is the fact that black relationships have been falling apart for a very long time. The majority of our homes are being run by a single parent, and far too many children are growing up without their fathers in shouting distance. What some don’t acknowledge is that there is a direct correlation between the break down of the black family and the growth of the prison industrial complex. Locking up men for decades for the sale of drugs that were brought into our communities has devastated many of us, and urban decay in the 1980s led to job losses with few viable alternatives to illegal activity. A recent study in The Economist showed that a one percentage point increase in the incarceration rate leads to a 2.4 percent decline in the percentage of black women who eventually get married.
Hollywood superstar Forest Whitaker was recently hit with a large tax bill after failing to pay $185,000 he owed to the IRS. The tax collectors in California have cited Whitaker and filed a lien for the balance. Both he and his wife Keisha are named in the complaint, which was filed in the Los Angeles County Recorder of Deeds.
It was reported in 2009 that Whitaker owed $1.29 million in state and federal taxes. Whitaker is not the only Hollywood megastar to have tax problems. Actor Wesley Snipes is in prison until 2013 after being charged with failing to file tax returns for three years.
Chris Tucker was hit with some very serious tax problems himself, as the LA County Records Office showed that Tucker owed over $11 million in taxes up through 2006. Actor Nicolas Cage was also found to owe millions to the IRS.
What is your name, and what do you do?
My name is Stephanie Espy, and I'm the founder and president of MathSP (www.MathSP.com). MathSP is a math enrichment company that helps individuals to improve their math skills. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, MathSP provides instruction to middle school students, high school students, college students, adults who need additional math-based resources alongside their coursework, and students who need an added challenge beyond their coursework. MathSP also prepares individuals for the math section of various standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT, computer-adaptive exams such as the GMAT or GRE, and state exams such as the EOCT or GHSGT.
This morning, I got a text from my respected colleague, Roland Martin. I can't remember what Roland and I were talking about, but I do remember what he told me at the end of our conversation. Roland mentioned that he couldn't do anything next week because "the cruise is leaving in a couple of days." I immediately became jealous, because I knew he was talking about the Fantastic Voyage, hosted by Tom Joyner.
I'm not always big on black folks looking for another party, but there is something I love about the Tom Joyner Cruise. Anyone who's ever been on a cruise knows that seeing another black person on a cruise ship is like searching for Louis Farrakhan at a Klan rally. While cruises can be fun, comfortable and even exciting, there is a dryness that people of color experience from a lack of cultural diversity.
by Sil lai Abrams – Sepiaprocess.com
When times are difficult for us financially, we can become paralyzed by fear. As the fear grows in our mind we often get stuck focusing on the problem and not actively searching for a solution. Our attention becomes fixated on our creditors and as we look at our mountain of debt we can become weighed down in despair and shame. “I’m never going to get through this” or “This is more than I can handle” begins to play on a constant loop in our brain. Some of us respond to our problem with denial. Instead of facing our lack of money, we spend as if we have unlimited resources, compounding our original financial instability. Or, we may isolate from others and numb ourselves with food, alcohol or television. Sometimes we avoid dealing with our situation by throwing ourselves into a relationship that takes up all of our time. None of these counterproductive behaviors do anything to bring us closer to a solution. They only keep us stuck in our problem by postponing or delaying our eventual day of financial reckoning.
Bishop Eddie Long did a Youtube appeal to former Capital City Corp CEO Ephren Taylor about members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church who allegedly lost money as a result of their investments. Taylors reps have responded with this statement below:
FOR YOUR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION
January 31, 2011
Candace Reese J.
STATEMENT FROM EPHREN W. TAYLOR ON BISHOP EDDIE L. LONG
YOUTUBE VIDEO APPEAL AND NEW BIRTH MISSIONARY BAPTIST
CHURCH WEALTH TOUR 2009
ATLANTA, GA (EnviGlobal.com) – Business Accelerator and entrepreneur, Ephren W. Taylor releases the following statement regarding the recent Youtube.com video appeal posted by New Birth Missionary Baptist Church pastor, Bishop Eddie L. Long:
Due to many inaccuracies, and based upon what I view as a direct character assassination and an attempt to paint a picture of an inability, on my part, to take responsibility for the actions of City Capital Corporation during my tenure as CEO, I am extending facts relative to the aftermath of the Wealth Tour at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.
Given that I've always been concerned about the breakdown of black families, I thought I would reach out to a woman who's made a career out of speaking to the challenges of black relationships. Her name is not Steve Harvey, so she's not a comedian. Instead, she's serious about figuring out what it takes to make our relationships work and she's even asked if the black church keeps women single and lonely. We can't let either black men or black women off the hook when it comes to the breakdown of our families, for both parties react in ways that are reflective of hundreds of years of societal abuse. As a result, black men and women end up angry and hurt by one another with both sides pointing fingers. But at the end of the day, you are the one who is responsible for your own behavior, so if your relationships are all falling apart, your journey must start by glancing into the mirror. While simply choosing better people to date might be part of the solution, that can also be a copout (since you spend your life searching for "the one" who can manage all of your own dysfunction). Instead, honest reflection on the manner by which you go about loving people who come into your life is probably more important. It is because of my concern on this issue that Deborrah Cooper is today's Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight for AOL Black Voices.
1) What is your full name and what do you do?
Deborrah Cooper is my given name. I'm a dating expert, writer/columnist and broadcast journalist. I've been writing controversial relationship based articles and dating advice columns under the pen name "Ms. HeartBeat" since 1992. As a matter of fact, I served as the relationship columnist on AOL's "other" Black channel (NetNoir) in the mid- to late 1990s.
I was shaking my head over and over again in preparation for a conversation we are going to have on NPR tomorrow about President Obama. The show is called "Talk of the Nation," and I had the esteemed honor of being the resident black guy, as the other two guests are set to discuss various elements of foreign and domestic policy. I'm just joking about the "black guy" thing, since I'm just happy they didn't choose someone like Juan Williams.
At any rate, my brain started spinning on how President Obama can best use the remainder of his first term as it pertains to people of color. I thought carefully about what he's done, what he's doing, what he's up against and what matters to us. In my course of thought, I came to a few conclusions.
Zachary Rinkins is serious about money. He's been running a very popular financial blog for the past several years, and has positioned himself as one of the most respected financial bloggers in the black community. I love what Zachary is doing because he reflects a generation of young people who are interested in seeing themselves empowered through economic success.
by Dr. Julianne Malveaux, President – Bennett College
When I look at the data that define the reality for African Americans in the economy, I am often alarmed and discouraged. One in four African American lives in poverty. Nearly one in three is out of work, according to unofficial data (official data says one in six). African Americans have lost billions of dollars worth of wealth in the foreclosure crisis. We aren't alone in our pain - our nation is hurting. But our pain is more pronounced, more acute, more debilitating.
This is hardly the first time African Americans have experienced disproportionate pain. Indeed, the story of our presence in this nation has been a story of us shouldering more than our share of economic pain. When people ask me about the wealth gap, I remind them that black folks used to be the wealth white folks accumulated. Under those circumstances, it is difficult to imagine that the wealth gap will ever be closed.
And yet we rise. I wrote my latest book, Surviving and Thriving: 365 Facts in Black Economic History, to remind me, to remind all of us, that even in harsh times African Americans have been more than survivors, we have been thrivers. We have made it despite horrible conditions, despite unfairness, despite racism. The playing field has never been level, and yet we have played on the slanted field, returning, returning, and sometimes winning. In the middle of a week of running around, talking about the book in Detroit and in Chicago, I had to smile at myself with air of satisfaction and acknowledge a job well done.
I got a call not too long ago. It was from Wells Fargo, the bank that has been sued by one county after another for engaging in predatory lending toward the African American community. My first question to my business manager was "What do they want? I'm probably not going to be interested." My personal negotiations with Wells Fargo didn't go very far. I had no interest in being associated with the company that many believe to have ripped billions of dollars in wealth from a community that has such little wealth to begin with. Also, after watching my grandparents lose the home they'd lived in for over 40 years, it was personal for me. I also applaud Tavis Smiley for ending his affiliation with Wells Fargo after the predatory lending allegations surfaced during the financial crisis.
You can imagine my dismay when the NAACP made a deal with Wells Fargo that led to the company immediately becoming the title sponsor of the organization's national convention this year. I spoke with NAACP President Ben Jealous about the matter, and I was ultimately left unsatisfied with the degree of transparency behind the deal. It's one thing to say that you're going into the demon's house to clean it up, but you must provide proof that you're not simply entering the house to enjoy the spoils of colluding with the demon. To date, the NAACP has not done an adequate job of describing the nature of its financial deal with Wells Fargo, and the group has also not made clear exactly how Wells Fargo is going to make up for the billions in losses that have been caused to the African American community. Having the most powerful civil rights organization in America as a "partner" effectively releases Wells Fargo from the threat of any significant criticism for their activities in the black community (other than conversations that occur behind closed doors). If this partnership is not clearly defined and empowered, Wells Fargo could hire thugs to rob old ladies in the hood and the NAACP wouldn't be able to say a thing.
Former NBA star Antoine Walker is being sued for $5 million dollars by a man who claims that Walker stole his fiancee. Kevin Jenkins says that he caught Walker and his fiancee in an "intimate moment," and confronted Walker about it. He said that Walker laughed in his face to deliberately cause him emotional distress.
Jenkins then says that he became so emotionally distressed that he thought about killing himself.
To date, I haven't heard of anyone being sued for cheating with another person's fiancee. However, I do know that in some states, you can be sued for cheating with someone else's spouse. These "alienation of affection" lawsuits are legal in several states: Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.
Today's release of November unemployment data is not good news for President Obama. Unemployment rose nationally to 9.8 percent, after holding steady at 9.6 percent for the previous three months. The jobless rate jumped for nearly every racial/gender demographic. White women still have the lowest unemployment rate of both genders, when comparing African Americans and whites. Black males have the highest.
Black unemployment rose again from 15.7 percent to 16 percent. This number is slightly lower than the high of 16.3 percent experienced back in August. When scaled with the white unemployment rate of 8.9 percent, the black unemployment rate is 79.8 percent higher than that of white Americans.
I was saddened to hear about the recent arrest of Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife Leslie. Both Jack and his wife are well-respected in the DC area. Both have served their communities for decades, and both of them represent the essence of Prince George's County, the most affluent county in the United States with an African-American majority population.
Johnson was once an important ethical and legal protector of the county, serving as its lead Prosecutor. His wife has served the community for over 30 years in numerous capacities. He was also the first African American to become County Executive in the DC area. So, why are Johnson and his wife facing up to 20 years in prison for evidence tampering and destruction of evidence, among other charges? In fact, the story is quite bizarre, with reports of the FBI allegedly recording Johnson telling his wife to put nearly $80,000 in her underwear.
A judge in Pennsylvania recently ruled that former NFL running back Tom Sullivan's death benefits should not go to the wife he was allegedly married to after his death. Instead, the benefits should go to a woman he married years earlier, but never divorced.
Tom Sullivan's ex-wife Barbara Sullivan has two daughters with the player from their 16-year marriage. Since Tom's death in 2002, Barbara and their two daughters were receiving $2,700 per month under the NFL's spousal benefit policy. Under South Carolina's bigamy law, the benefits do not legally belong to her and were stopped immediately.
How one analyzes the black unemployment numbers for the month of October really comes down to whether you see the glass as being half empty or half full. On one hand, most of the indicators of black unemployment went down, but they still remain remarkably high relative to the numbers for white Americans.
According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, black unemployment dropped by .4 percentage points, from 16.1 percent to 15.7 percent. The number is still nearly double that of white unemployment, which lies at 8.8 percent.
Black male unemployment actually saw the steepest decline among all race/gender groups, dropping from 17.6 percent to 16.3 percent. The number is still 83 percent higher than white male unemployment (which is 8.9 percent).
Black women saw a slight increase in their unemployment rate, which went from 12.6 percent to 12.7 percent. The unemployment numbers for black women are 74 percent higher than those for white females (at 7.3 percent, lower than any other group in America).
(video) Tom Forde talks about whether a Roth IRA is right for him, and what he’s learned as he’s researched it:
(text) while Matt Sapaula says that financial security is important, but insuring yourself is every bit as vital:
(video) Kathleen Lansing explains why her road to retirement is scary, but it makes the small business owner proud to hear about the value of her life’s work:
(text) While Jenn Meacham looks back on the most important financial lesson she learned, at age fourteen:
(video) Lisa and Brandon Schindelheim explain how switching roles taught her about finance, and him about he difficulties in being Mr. Mom:
(text) While Candace says that’s it important to educate not only yourself about finances, but your kids as well:
(text) Jennifer Sherwood explains why shopping in fancy stores might be a rush, but so is saving money:
(text) While Dr. Boyce Watkins says that you don’t need to have big money to build a portfolio:
(text) Michael Jake is glad to hear that his business has grown enough to start hiring, but has his concerns:
(text) On our show, we’ve seen former NFL star Winfred Tubbs thinking about buying a house. In this new blog, he reveals that he’s had to scrap those plans and live in his condo instead until the real estate market improves:
(text) While Ed Butowsky talks up the value of utility stocks:
(text) Suzan McDowell reveals her list of the 10 must-by priorities she can’t live without, and what she learned about herself while compiling it:
(text) While Ben Tobias explains that if you don’t know what’s important to you, you’ll never effectively maximize your happiness:
Most of us know Hanes Brands as the company that has Michael Jordan peddling underwear. The company is also responsible for other leading brands such as Champion sports apparel and Playtex, among others.
The company is now in the middle of controversy after an African American employee, Yunusa Kenchi, filed suit for discrimination. An embarrassing email has allegedly surfaced in which Kenchi was referenced using the n-word. The employee has taken the case public, and Hanes has yet to respond.
A woman who was once employed by the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church is suing, alleging that other employees retaliated against her when she complained about being sexually harassed. Tama Colson filed suit in the U.S. District Court of North Georgia, with the suit asking for unspecified damages.
Colson says that another employee showed her a picture of a penis on a cell phone. She says that when she complained about the incident, other employees retaliated against her. She is claiming that the church is responsible for the harassment she experienced, as well as the retaliation and emotional distress.
"New Birth has a strict policy against sexual harassment that requires employees to report the complaint within 48 hours of the abuse," Long and church spokesman Art Franklin told CNN.
"Tama Colson's complaint allegedly happened in October of 2009," the statement said. "Although, Tama Colson was aware of the New Birth sexual harassment policy she did not make her complaint known to New Birth authorities until August of this year. New Birth moved swiftly to launch an investigation that is ongoing.”
A new episode of our MSNBC special is out. You can watch it by clicking here.
From Black America Web via Clutch Magazine
On the heels of September's mixed unemployment report, the Congressional Black Caucus renewed its call for President Barack Obama and Congress to do something to specifically address the nation's high black joblessness rate.
The country's unemployment rate remained stuck at 9.6 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. The economic monthly report was a mix of good news and bad. The good: The private sector added 64,000 jobs last month. The bad: Government agencies cut 159,000 jobs, many of them federal Census workers and state and local employees.
I am participating with MSN in a project called "The Invested Life." The program represents the launch of a series of web-based episodes that teach the fundamentals of investing to regular, everyday people. I've worked on the show for months, and I'll be engaged in the project for the rest of the year. It's been an interesting jump into the world of film making, with scripts, production schedules and all that good stuff. I've gained a newfound respect for how hard real actors and actresses actually have to work.
A guest on the show is a man named Winfred. Winfred is a former NFL athlete who found himself done with sports and trying to make sure that his wealth lasted until retirement. He made an interesting point that for many athletes, the challenge of retiring young with virtually no skill set can be a one way ticket to the poor house. As a man who is concerned about the plight of the black athlete, I constantly see men who've traded away their entire educational future in exchange for a very short and meaningless life of glamor in professional sports.
I watched 'Anderson Cooper 360' last night, and saw a black woman's face on the screen. Like most other African Americans, this was my cue to turn the volume up to find out what might be going on. As I watched Anderson stare at the screen with his piercing, cold, concerned eyes, I could see that he and his guests had made the Congressional Black Caucus their target for the night. The arrows hit the bull's-eye, and Anderson seemed to keep throwing them.
The subjects of their disdain were Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) and Sanford Bishop (D- GA). Both of the legislators are being accused of using CBC Scholarship funds as their personal family gift bag. Johnson was made into the worst of the culprits, giving $31,000 in scholarship money to her relatives. She also signed two letters written to the CBC Foundation specifically requesting that the funds be sent directly to her two grandsons and grand nephews, instead of their universities. Rep. Bishop is accused of giving three scholarships to his stepdaughter and wife's neice in 2003 and 2005.
A black woman stood up in the Town Hall Meeting held by President Barack Obama yesterday and made a comment that got the attention of the world. She mentioned that she was "exhausted" from trying to defend the president to his critics:
I am one of your middle class Americans and, quite frankly, I'm exhausted... I'm exhausted of defending you. I'm exhausted of defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for. And I'm deeply disappointed with where we are right now.
I have been told that I voted for a man who said he was going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class. I am one of those people and I'm waiting sir. I'm waiting. I don't feel it yet. And I thought, while it wouldn't be in great measure, I would feel it in some small measure... And quite frankly Mr. President, I need you to answer this honestly: Is this my new reality? (Thelightnc.com)
I was recently checking out some of CNN's special, "Black in America," the show they seem to do once a year. In the series, African Americans are analyzed like lab rats in a cage, with producers highlighting every dysfunction imaginable, as if we have a monopoly on counter productive behavior. Although I've always had a good relationship with CNN, I can barely stomach some of what I see. This is not to say that black folks are perfect: but the idea that we are somehow less perfect than whites is nothing short of paternalistic, White Supremacist thinking.
The segment that threw me through the roof was one covering the wealth gap between blacks and whites. In this particular Black in America segment, CNN shows that the wealth gap between blacks and whites is $28,000 to $140,000, with whites being the leaders. They then go on to state that African Americans save and invest less than whites. I give a "check" on most of these numbers, I have no problem with the data.
Black Scholars Dr. Boyce Watkins and Dr. Christopher Metzler Discuss "Keeping The Bush Tax Cuts" on CNBC
Dear Mr. President,
I write this letter with all due respect to yourself, as well as the office of the presidency. Your historic rise up the political ladder has been nothing short of inspirational, and your extraordinary vision has positioned you as one of the most celebrated leaders in the history of the United States. As a fellow scholar and African American male, I applaud your achievements. I am especially excited about how you, Michelle, and your beautiful daughters present such a magnificent image of the African American family.
While the black community remains inspired by your achievements and overwhelmingly sympathetic to your challenges from conservatives, there are concerns that the economic plight of black Americans has not been a priority for the Obama Administration. To be sure, opinions on this matter are far from unanimous. But the numbers tell a story that needs to be heard.
I have a theory that I've wondered would hold up to empirical scrutiny. My theory is that there are quite a few women who might be willing to settle for part of a good man rather than having 100% of a mediocre man. For example, men like Tiger Woods might have more girlfriends than most of us can count, and some would wonder if any of those women expect him to be committed to just one person. Not to say that I condone one lifestyle over another, but we all know how things go down in the real world.
You are going to live forever. Death is beneath you. Those who depend on you financially will always be able to rely on your immortality as a guaranteed source of financial security. I hope you don’t think I’m lying, being sarcastic or sounding flat out silly. Perhaps you do.
Ok yes, I was being silly. But the reality is that most of us are equally ridiculous when it comes to our perception of death and how our sudden passing could financially ruin those who care about us. Death doesn’t care how many appointments you have, how many projects you’re working on, or how many plans you have for the future. It just takes you, and it’s always at the least convenient time. That’s the nature of the Grim Reaper, who might not be nearly as malicious as the bill collectors seeking to get their money back after you’re gone.
While comprehensive financial planning is beyond the scope of this article, I can share a few tips on dealing with debt in the event of your death. This information could help you when dealing with a deceased relative, and it should also be shared with your relatives in case you pass on unexpectedly.