Too much consuming, not producing

Published 5:37 pm Saturday, January 25, 2014

To the editor:

As the month of February approaches, we as a nation celebrate black history.

We honor and commemorate great leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington Carver, Rosa Parks, Langston Hughes, Arthur Ashe and countless others.

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But the period running through February and into March is also seen as Black Consumer Month. Big businesses around the world spend their advertising dollars to attract the eyes of black consumers. During February, you will see many items with lower prices and signs that shout, “Sale!”

But why does this take place in February? It’s simple: tax refunds.

In “Big Spenders, Small Investors: Blacks Have Little to Show for Hard-Earned Dollars,” a September article by Stacy M. Brown on the Washington website, Brown writes, “If black America counted as an independent country, its wealth would rank 11th in the world. However, African Americans continue to squander their vast spending power, relegating blacks to economic slavery instead of financial freedom, according to several consumer reports detailing the use of cash in the black community.”

“Each year,” Brown continues, “African Americans spend more than $47 billion on Lincoln automobiles, $3.7 billion on alcohol, $2.5 billion on Toyotas, $2 billion on athletic shoes, and $600 million each year on McDonald’s and other fast foods, according to Target Market News Inc., a Chicago-based marketing research group.”

So ponder this for a moment: Is it possible that in the month we celebrate African American leaders and producers of wealth and freedom that we have become the greatest followers and consumers?

A change must come.

Domenick Epps