By Rev. Wayne Perryman
Take a look at the deplorable conditions in America’s inner-cities, or ghettos. Then look at all of those who have benefited from making references to the horrible inner-city conditions, which includes millionaire gangster rappers, rich black politicians and liberal whites. The inevitable conclusion is that the success and wealth of these individuals would be in jeopardy, if inner-city conditions were different and/or improved. In other words, they are all pimping on the poverty of black folks.
Here are the facts:
1. Hip Hop artist and gangster rappers who show off their suburban homes on the television cable series, "Cribs", would not have lyrics to rap about, if the conditions in the black community improved. Their wealth and fame are the result of their profiting from poverty conditions in the inner-city, or from pimping on the poverty of black folks while living in the suburbs.
2. Black politicians who use the conditions of poor black as a foundation to their political campaigns would be out of business also, if the conditions in the black community were different. They, too, are pimping on the poverty of black folks while enjoying their political careers.
3. Black leaders who use the conditions of poor blacks to remain relevant and in the spot light, would no longer be needed, if the conditions of poor blacks improved. This is another form of pimping on the poverty of black folks.
4. Black athletes and entertainers who share their “rags to riches” stories of success without using their success and wealth to improve the conditions in our inner-cities are also unconsciously pimping on the poverty of black folks.
5. White liberal politicians and leaders who receive votes based on their so-called concern about conditions in the black community would not receive votes from black inner-city residents, if the conditions in black communities were different. What liberal politicians and leaders are doing is merely pimping on the poverty of black folks.
6. Major corporations, which give a few dollars to Historically Black Colleges and buy a few television ads during Black History Months, as well as traditional colleges, which merely acknowledge Black History Month as a substitute for both giving scholarships to youth and developing real economic programs to improve the conditions in the inner-city, are also pimping on the poverty of black folks.
7. Movie makers (both black and white) who use black stars and the condition of the inner-city to make movies while never giving one dime to improve the conditions in the inner-city are pimping on the poverty of black folks.
It interesting to note that, after over 50 years of talking about the deplorable conditions in the black community, very little has changed, and in some communities, the conditions have become worse. This is directly attributable to the fact that, without the poverty of blacks to complain about, various groups would lose their wealth and/or power. These groups include hip hop artists, gangster rappers, movie stars, movie makers, black politicians—especially those in the Congressional Black Caucus—and white liberals. All of these groups depend on the poverty in the black community to survive and prosper.
A sad example of how unconcerned these groups are about the plight of poor blacks is demonstrated by what happened to Gambling University, the predominately black university known for its outstanding band and football team.
After it was announced that the football players of Gambling University had inferior training facilities and did not have adequate funding for transportation to and from games, none of the groups that profess to be concerned about the plight of blacks stepped in to help.
No help came from major corporations, such as ESPN, Pepsi Cola and NIKE, nor from black entertainers, black athletes, the Congressional Black Caucus and white liberals.
Where were the press conferences and media angst over the plight of Gambling University students, including the drop in their overall funding from $31 million to $13 million?
Where were the star-studded telethons seeking public financial support for Gambling University students and poor black students in general?
Most groups take care of their own, including Jews, Mormons and Asians, so it’s time for wealthy and middle-class African Americans to come together and take care of their own, even if it means that improved conditions would make individuals and groups who profit from the plight of poor blacks irrelevant.
Rev. Wayne Perryman is the author of the book "Blacks, Whites and Racist Democrats: The Untold History of Race & Politics Within The Democratic Party From 1792-2009”.