Tough decisions for black America

Published 11:49 am Tuesday, October 13, 2015

African-Americans spend hundreds of millions of dollars producing and attending the BET Awards, NAACP Image Awards and the NBA Players Awards each year while three out of every five black children live in poverty.

African-Americans spend $6 billion a year in Pepsi and Coca-Cola products while four out of every five black males has had contact with the criminal justice system.

African-Americans spend $2 billion every year on beer and liquor products while the national high school dropout rate for black males is an astounding 69 percent.

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Almost 60 percent of all black households in the U.S. are female-headed, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, while African-Americans compose over 50 percent of the attendance of all NBA basketball and NFL football games in cities in which the black population is over 50 percent.

Of the 4.2 million Americans in jails and prisons, over 60 percent are black and this group has abandoned millions of children on the “outside” who have no one to protect them from the mean street that devoured many of them. 

Party on, black America!

How many black-owned hotels are there in America? Answer: There is only one black-owned hotel in the U.S., but black people spend over $2 billion a year in white-owned hotels to basically complain about racism in their conferences and conventions!

Black America spends over $500 million a year on records, CDs, cassette tapes, musical devices and online music and downloads and yet they do not own not one major recording studio (Warner Bros., Columbia Records, STAX records, etc.).

What is the net worth of black America in the U.S.?  Answer: over $1 trillion! Black people buy over $4 billion of fried chicken from KFC, Popeyes, Church’s, Hardees, Wendy’s, McDonald’s and local mom-and-pop stores a year, and yet we do not own one chicken processing plant, a paltry few Tyson and Purdue producing farms and not one trucking company to transport these products!

The African-American community in the U.S. has to make some tough decisions on their future as a people and how they wish to spend their money — either on the single mothers with at-risk children or limiting the increasing jail and prison population or housing for the poor or stemming the alarming high school dropout rate of black males, etcetera.

Will they continue wasting money on gambling, lotteries, mindless entertainment with no redeeming political, cultural or social value (sports, concerts, music, etc.)? 

We need to take a greater portion of these funds and introduce struggling, under-exposed poor inner-city and rural black children to concerts, museums, symposiums, festivals and speaking engagements. 

We need to use a greater portion of our wealth on nurturing our families, enhancing our communities, supporting our churches and other civic-minded institutions and, for God’s sake, we need to give more money to our Historically Black Colleges and Universities and invest in tutoring and mentoring programs for the under-resourced black child! 

All of us need to step to the plate to save one black male, female, grandchild, niece, nephew, cousin or non-relative child.

REV. DR. GEORGE BATES is a Buckingham resident and is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Virginia’s School of Law. His email address is