I do not know where black people got the idea that we could end our oppression by enabling a black capitalist regime but, it’s time to dismiss the idea that black Americans could ever find freedom through the same capitalist system that enslaved us. It cannot and will not happen.
Most people don’t understand how intertwined capitalism and classism really are. Which is why I always tell people, if you want to rid society of capitalism you ABSOLUTELY have to do away with classism. In order for any capitalist regime to thrive, someone has to do the work, i.e., the lower working class (poor people). It is pertinent.
In short, I’m not here for this Black capitalist bullshit, and I’mma tell you why
Capitalism is a stupid system, a backwards system. – Stokely Carmichael
Quick Basic Breakdown: Capitalism is basically an economic system that is owned and defined by individuals or corporations, instead of the state. Therefore, those same individuals and corporations have the ability to create and distribute their products and services for profit. They control the labor, prices, profit, alladat! But the catch is, somebody has to do the damn work, and it won’t be the capital owners. The intersection of capitalism and classism is contingent upon this single ideal.
Capital owners (upper class) will profit off of the backs of the middle and lower class, mainly the lower class. In doing so, the upper class (capital owners) will reinforce policies and systems to ensure that the lower class remains subjugated. This will go beyond the kind of work they do, it will be embedded in the thread of their community, their healthcare, education, crime, and all of it will keep them in a perpetual cycle of poorness to feed the capitalist machine. The middle class will assimilate to the capitalist ideals perpetuated by the upper class, and therefore further subjugate the lower class because they don’t want to be like them, but they will never really be accepted by the upper class, hence their complicity. They will do whatever it takes to keep from becoming the lower class. In their mind, they are better than them, but to the capital owners, nobody fucking matters.
Now let’s apply this mini lesson to the United States of America.
The modern-day American capitalism that we have all grown to know and love was fueled by slavery. Point, blank, and the period. Slavery is the foundation of our country, and therefore is the foundation of our wealth and economic power. Understand that shit.
Slavery fueled American capitalism. Slaves were considered property and provided free/forced labor, they were extremely valuable. As the slave trade expanded, the more slave labor was exploited, therefore, the more products and services the United States were able to provide: cotton, tobacco, sugar, rice, slaves built buildings, tended to animals, cleaned, cooked, you name it, they fucking did it. Meanwhile, corporations and wealthy individuals capitalized on this free/forced labor, (insuring slaves and slave ships, banks accepted slaves as collateral, etc.) Some of these corporations are still in business and the practices that began during slavery, are still practiced today! Some people like to argue that slavery and capitalism were co-dependent, but that is a bitch-ass lie.
Capitalism in the United States would not have survived had it not been for slavery. Once slavery was abolished, freed slaves and their descendants were then subjected to a racial capitalist regime. White supremacy implemented systems to keep black people oppressed and unable to garner wealth, while simultaneously using their labor and bodies to amass wealth and economic power for the United States. Like I said, every capitalist regime needs a working class to fuel it, and in the United States of America, it’s black people. It’s always been black people.
We had a whole black ass President sitting in the White House for 8 years, and we were STILL subjected to a racial capitalist system. From our education, to our healthcare, mass incarceration, our neighborhoods, etc., all of which worked in conjunction with the capitalist ideals to ensure that we are financially and economically oppressed. So! With that being said…it is absolutely ludicrous for any Black American to ever think that Black people can escape oppression byway of (black) capitalism. Any black person who believes that shit is a damn fool. <— That is as politically correct as I can be.
Let’s use an analogy to further understand how fucked up Black Capitalism is to the black community. * clears throat *
Black people : United States :: Black women : Black Community
Black people : United States :: Black LGBTQ : Black Community
Black people : United States :: Poor black people : Black Community
Black capitalism would have to further classify and oppress black people in order for it to be effective. Black capitalism would not be able to survive without the subjugation of the (already) oppressed black women, black disabled people, darker skinned black people, black LGBTQ community, impoverished black people, uneducated black people, the list is fucking endless. If we are basing black capitalism off of modern-day American capitalism, (which 99% of Black Americans are) can you guess who would be the capital owners? Cisgender, heterosexual, light skinned, rich, educated, able-bodied, Christian black men, that’s who. That may be cool for some, but I ain’t fucking going for that shit.
Prior to capitalism, the way people amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering, and enslaving their fellow man. Capitalism made it possible to become wealthy by serving your fellow man. – Walter E. Williams
Capitalism of any caliber is already oppressive to black people as a whole, imagine the capital holder, your oppressor, no longer a white man seething at your blackness, but your own kind seething at your womanhood, your poorness, your ignorance. This is one of the main reasons why I am weary of black people who assimilate to black capitalist ideals, because they are often oppressive as fuck. Mimicking modern-day American capitalism is basically slapping a black face on white supremacy at the expense of already subjugated black people. It’s a straight up HELL NO for me dawg! Believe me when I say, black capitalism would be detrimental to our community, it is not liberating for all, but instead liberating for some, and that’s not freedom.
If you think for one minute Tyrone & nem in the Mound finna let you tell them what they gon’ do, so you can line your pockets off of their labor then you got the game fucked up. This is not a reach, this is the truth.
BUT for the sake of the argument, let’s say that capitalism is not inherently oppressive, let’s say that capitalism works for everyone, and has the ability to be liberating. It still would not liberate black people in the United States of America, if for no other reason, than the fact that it enslaved our people for centuries. How could we, descendants of African slaves, ever think that we could find true liberation, true freedom, in our homeland, through a system that has changed the dynamic of our being? The system of capitalism in America was founded on racism and oppression. It would be remiss of us as a people to think that we could ever free ourselves by mimicking white people in this country. How could we ever free ourselves when every system and institution implemented in this country was designed against us? H O W?
Capitalism will never free us, because it enslaved us.
White supremacy is still very much alive and well, and it will not allow us to thrive financially. It never has, remember Black Wall Street? At its core it was burgeoning black capitalism, and it ended in a massacre. Even if capitalism had the ability to liberate us in these United States, even if black capitalism wouldn’t further oppress or classify us, please remember Black Wall Street. We can create our own, sustain our own, and support our own, and they will massacre us, yet again. If that doesn’t tell you that the system itself needs to be dismantled, then I don’t know what will.
I do believe in supporting black owned businesses, I believe in black entrepreneurship, I believe in supporting HBCUs, anything black I’m here for. Black leadership, black empowerment I’m here for it all, let’s create our own so that the poor, disabled, uneducated black people have a sense of community and continuity in their home. I’m here for that shit! BUT it has to be inclusive for all black people otherwise it will fail, and unfortunately black capitalism is not for all black people. Therefore, I will not and cannot support the institution of a supremacist capitalist regime. Not even a black one. We cannot bargain for freedom on the backs of our people. That is a slap in the face of our ancestors, and a horrible way to liberate our children. Either all of us are free, or none of us are free, there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. We’ve come too damn far.
Capitalism within itself is ineffective anyway, the rich are too greedy, the poor will rebel, and the middle class will remain complicit as they don’t want to be poor, but they will never be accepted by the rich, thus perpetuating capitalist norms to keep the poor in their place and keep the rich fat and happy. The implosion is inevitable. I don’t want that for my people, we’ve been through enough, we don’t need to assimilate to their inherently racist systems, we don’t need to beg for inclusion, and we damn sure don’t need to mimic their bullshit within our own communities.
What we need to do is band together and dismantle the system completely.
Racism cannot be separated from capitalism. – Angela Davis