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Black dollars matter!

James Clingman | 3/9/2015, 6 a.m.
The protest slogans addressing our latest struggle for justice and equity compel me to come up with a new phrase.

— Despite the wasteful and nonsensical spending by black folks, from the poorest to the super-rich flamboyant celebrities, we must all realize that “Black Dollars Matter” and they should matter to us first. Right now, they matter most to everyone else; and other folks are doing everything they can to get more of our dollars with no reciprocity other than symbolic gestures that make us feel good.

It’s great for athletes to wear shirts with slogans, but they should move to the next step of starting initiatives that not only sustain their gestures but build economic empowerment for black people. Our athletes and celebrities, as they protest inequities and injustice, should keep in mind that “Black Dollars Matter,” and they should consider that as they come up with their solutions to effect real change within the systems against which they protest— and so should we.

After the chanting, the marching, the protests and demonstrations, the outrage, the threats, and the unjustified killings of our people with impunity, if all we do is sit back and wait on the next crisis, why should we even bother with the above actions in the first place? We must be smarter and we must be conscious. We must always be aware that money runs this country and it has its place in everything, yes, even in the deaths of our people.

Indeed, black lives matter above all; but to those who kill us, those who economically exploit us, and those who are indifferent toward us, black lives don’t matter as much as black dollars do. Start a “Black Dollars Matter” campaign. Make some shirts displaying that attention-grabbing slogan, and act upon it. “Black Dollars Matter,” but only if they start making more sense.

James Clingman, founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce, is the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for Black people. He can be reached through his website, blackonomics.com.