Our Choice: To Empower

My family made a choice, publicly, to spend as much money as possible with black business owners and professionals.  We made this decision and make this sacrifice because we believe black people have too much talent and spend too much money for their community to look the way it does and for its families to suffer the way they do.   We urge our community to practice self-help economics.  We want our people to unite, in this positive and peaceful way, to counter social ills that disproportionately impact our people (recidivism, unemployment, gang activity and drug abuse, lack of education), by infusing wealth into underserved neighborhoods, creating more jobs, and providing role models for the youth.

Sounds good…right?

Many people have violently criticized our pledge, our project (called The Empowerment Experiment or EE) and our overall mission.   Through hate-email, blogs, Facebook, letters to our home, we have been called racists and Nazis, and demeaning, malicious attacks have been lodged against us and our people.

There are those dismayed by EE’s call for blacks to leverage and engender collective consumerism as a solution to our problems… threatened by EE’s blatant refusal to continue to wait and rely on the largesse of others or well-meaning government programs to trickle down… confused by our public and proud choice to support our own genius and products.  Those people have been feeling that way about any call to ‘buy black’ for a long time.

But they’re more fired up now because what really burns them about EE is us.

John, Maggie, Cara and Cori–the Anderson family of Oak Park, ‘Apple Pie’ USA.  We scare and appall them.