I don’t think it’s fair that I have to follow a spreadsheet of rules when I interact with police but that’s just the way it is. When I get pulled over I keep my hands on the steering wheel, hands at 10 and 2. I do that so the officer can see my hands at all time. When asked for my information I inform the officer that retrieving my license and registration will require me to reach into my glove compartment. All of this is a pain but I’ve just accepted that in order to live, I have to do things differently. We all generally understand that so we need to also accept that economic progress for Black people also requires a different set of rules.
I’ve seen videos of white people with guns in hand, threaten police and live to tell about it. Black people know there’s a double standard but we accept it and do what we must to survive. So why do we refuse to accept that Black economic progress can’t be achieved, doing exactly what white people do? The average white guy doesn’t have to intentionally “buy white” to address unemployment or the wealth gap in his community. We do. The average white family doesn’t need to think about whether their local bank will deny them credit or invest in their community. We do. The average white civic club doesn’t have to make sure that they keep businesses in their community alive by organizing others to buy from them. Our organizations do.
There are days that I’d love to simply shop and bank with the companies most convenient for me. Buying Black isn’t always the most convenient and yes, some days I wish I could be like everyone else and not put that much thought to my spending. But I’m a Black man who, every single moment of my life, lives by a different set of rules and doesn’t question it. So why would I get “brand new” when it comes to this area of my life? Where I bank, socialize and invest literally can be the difference between my neighbor being employed or evicted. There are simply different rules for Black people and instead of fighting it, we just need to accept it so we can continue to flourish.