When I say this photo speaks volumes….I mean the Britannica and the Webster Encyclopedias 10 times over! I am going to really give my 2 cents on this one — there are so many points that this pictures addresses it’s impossible to discuss them all. I’ll try to briefly present my analysis on a few points.
(1) The man standing on the left appears to be African American, while the man on the right appears to be Caucasian. This is not by chance. In my almost 30 years on this Earth, I’ve noticed that there seems to be this innate, infused, disturbingly incorrect belief that possessions = status. I can’t prove this with science, but I personally believe that this way of thinking in the African American community is nothing less than residual damage spawning from slavery. Think about it. Slaves didn’t even have 2 pennies to rub together often times, let alone property that they could truly call their own! I can believe that as generations passed, slaves equated the possessions and land owned by their Caucasian masters with status and power. If a ‘colored man’ had him some land of his own (not sharecropped), and he was able to buy the same clothes similar to the ones that the ‘white folk’ had — oh, he made it! Now switch back today…isn’t this the same thing? Some (not all) African Americans will near ’bout work the entire year with no breaks and eat crackers and ketchup just to save for a $250 PLAIN, t-shirt with nothing on it but a name brand label. It doesn’t matter that they don’t even think it’s that fly…the fact that they can step out and say “oh this…yeah its ** INSERT NAME BRAND HERE**….” is worth the struggle. Not saying that Caucasians don’t do this too — we see it on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills/Orange County/New York/ New Jersey all of the time — but it’s almost public knowledge that African Americans will go to great lengths and live beyond their financial means, just to have a piece of “status”.
(2) The man listed as BILLIONAIRE is listed as wearing pieces that, while over $10, are sensible. Again, I’m not saying African Americans are not capable of becoming billionaires, I’m saying notice that the billionaire in this picture (who just so happens to be Caucasian) hasn’t spent a ton on his clothing or excessive jewelry — aka appearances. TAKE NOTICE! Growing up having friends from all ethnic and racial groups, I noticed that around the time we entered high school, my white friends would wear simple, plain key pieces while a lot of my black friends would easily save $500 to drop on a name brand flight jacket or thousands just to have head-to-toe Coogi or RocaWear. LORD don’t GET me started on those NBA Jersey dresses and sneakers!!!! My point is, while yes, many of my white friends came from privileged background (and still live using that old south money from their family businesses) they seemed to pick and choose where they splurged. They’d wear head to toe Goody’s or Aeropostale and then maybe have a simple charm bracelet that was like $100. Or buy their entire outfit from Target and spend the bulk of their money on their vacations or food. See where I’m going with this? Spending gaudy amounts of money on even gaudier amount of possessions is doing too much. And since (yes, I started a sentence with ‘and’) I identify as African American, I can speak and say that people of color spending your last on the diamond grillz, the rims, the 100 inch plasma flat screens in the 4 x 4 one bedroom apartment while your 5 kids all sleeping in the same bed…that mess is FOR THE BIRDS! Let me also say that I’m not downing the purchase of nice things — shoot, when I start making my millions/billions I plan on doing nice things too, but if you’re going to spend money on tons of possessions, don’t do it JUST to show that ‘you’re rich’ or ‘you made it’. If you have a billion dollars and spend even $1, you’re not a billionaire anymore. Spend because you are making an investment on a key piece or on something smart — not just to be showy or flashy. We all know you’re still struggling. No need to go to great lengths trying to fool us. Chill out folk.
(3) The last thought I want to share about this picture is that people of ALL backgrounds should look at this and learn that dropping outrageous amounts on THINGS, just because or to prove your status is actually super lame and you should be slapped in the back of the neck if you do it. If you’re going to spend money, drop it on a MAC laptop so you can start your business, or on studio equipment so you can record that album you’ve been wanting to put out, or on a vacation for your family — NOT over sized jewelry, and clothing that you don’t even have a walk in closet to put it all in. Basically I’m saying, DON’T LIVE BEYOND YOUR MEANS. Be smart with your money my African American people! If you work hard and SAVE hard…you’ll be able to reach billionaire status; but if you’re constantly buying things you have no business buying right now, it only puts you back and is one more obstacle between you and the ‘good life’ you want to live.
That’s all I have to say about that.