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training time. From the Longhorn Radio Network, the University of Texas at Austin, this is in Black America. One of the things that we need are examples and when we can see concrete examples of either success stories or what that pair of shoes would have been if it had been invested in the stock market for 10 years. That's where
we're trying to take it to that level at Ariel. We think people respond and they say, wow, look at what I'm missing. So those examples are very important. Where do we get those examples? One of the things that ties back to Reverend Sharpton's movement and advertising, how many times do you see black faces and mutual fund ads? How many times do you see mutual fund ads in black publications? We were astounded that our little company, $2.5 billion in assets versus fidelity mutual funds, which a lot of you know, has over $500 billion in mutual fund assets or the Vanguard Group, some of the major mutual fund companies, good companies, great product, not advertising an essence magazine, not advertising in the Ebony magazine, yet some of those companies spend over $100 million a year in advertising. Melody Dopson, Senior Vice President, Ariel Capital Management. The Wall Street Project, economic reciprocity, consumer education, pension fund management, this is the language of today's civil
rights movement that reflects a new agenda, focused more on business finance and economics than on human rights and social equality. As one black investment professional put it, African-Americans have typically not been as vested in stock and bond markets as their white counterpart because we have not had the experience in our family. He thinks this is an information issue, not a family issue. I'm John L. Hanson, Jr. and welcome to another edition of In Black America. On this week's program, economic rights as civil rights part two in Black America. I think the premise, as the premise has been fetched to us by the general media, I think it's wrong. I think we have this image that somehow people aren't can invest because they're trying to find two nickels that rub together. The people buying the $70 million lottery tickets aren't the people in the 50,000 plus income range. The poorest people are the ones rolling around out buying you know $50 a week in lottery tickets. Our poverty as African-Americans in America is not a poverty that is a result of lack of income or lack of resources. It's a
poverty of mismanagement of resources. And I think we have to, when we go into community centers, many of us are very into, you know, in churches, we have to go in and talk about why, why are you spending $50 on lottery tickets when that $50 can be a monthly investment in the mutual fund. We have to re-educate ourselves by going in and talking to people about what they're doing with their money because you don't need more. You need to manage better what you got and more will come with that. Alfred Edmund, Jr. Executive Editor, Black Enterprise Magazine. According to one source, African-Americans have five billion dollars in purchasing power. It's what we do with that power that was the topic of conversation at a Brownback Symposium held last year at the 23rd Annual Convention and Joules Fair of the National Association of Black Journalists. The Symposium entitled, Economic Rights at Civil Rights, addressed the questions as to how would this change the way America does business, what are the implications for global industry and how would business Jones define and anticipate the impact of this new civil rights movement.
Moderated by Earl Grey's Jr. President and Chief Operating Officer with Black Enterprise Magazine, the panel also included Al Sharpton, Chairman, National Action Committee. As we went after certain companies and we're at this point in conversation with PepsiCo and with federated stores, which owns Macy's and Bloomingdale's and others, and we are meeting with Mercedes-Benz all on the advertising budgets. The fact of the matter is that we have found that the lopsided advertising projections are absolutely run parallel with this memo. They sit and say things to us like we're doing all right in the Black community. We buy a ticket to a bandquet. We sponsor some tables somewhere. And we said, no, no, we're not talking about philanthropy. We're talking about advertising. If you buy tickets to a dinner, that's fine. And we encourage you to do that by two tables. But there's nothing to do with advertising budgets. And
we should not allow our community to be insulted that people think that their philanthropy excuses them from doing business in a multi-billion dollar market. That's the real point. But the other part of that is that many of them use public funds. When we went to Madison Avenue and began looking around the offices of some of the major advertising firms in this country that are the decidedes of where the dollars go, you would not believe that you and a city that was majority black, Latino and Asian. If these people have that kind of personnel practice, they certainly would be reflective in their budgets. But what is even more disturbing is they're sitting there with federal government accounts, army, navy, census. So then we go and meet with Senator Caramose and
Brown and others that are working with us from that leverage of saying if you want to discriminate in where you place advertising, you cannot handle multi-billion dollar, multi-million dollar federal dollars. So that's another point of leverage. The other thing is that we are working closely with rainbow push, Reverend Jackson, in buying stock in these companies because we want to show up at stockholder meetings as stockholders and say we want to know what the advertising budget is in our company. I think that one of the great things in the fall will be Jesse and I at stockholders meetings at stockholders and of course the mass mobilization is necessary. But I think that in this climate where people are told to stop banking, stop looking for handouts, stop the welfare mentality, I think that we are to say fine, we agree with that. So stop
looking for handouts from our community. Stop looking at us with a welfare mentality that you can sell your goods but you have no obligation to those marketplaces in which you sell them. Let's stop the welfare mentality on both sides. Let's stop the begging on both sides. Let's stop the handouts on both sides. Let's do business in a reciprocal way. Who where if you are in our community doing business you ought to respect the businesses in our community. Respect the institutions that we get our information from. All we will just do business with people that do business with us. We don't even have to talk the old language of boycott. You just buy where you respect it and you withdraw where you're not. But if we have radio stations and newspapers and magazines that have built themselves up literally many of them lifted themselves by their own bootstraps but are discriminated against based on the color of their skin not based on the numbers in the market not based on the ability to deliver numbers but based on
the fact that you have some mid-level people in advertiser that take care of their friends with our dollars then it is our job as the civil rights movement moving in the 21st century to mobilize against that and that's what our initiative is in the advertising world. Thank you. I wanted to throw this question out to the panelist and I'll let them no particular order affirmative action consistently has been much maligned and is confused as a handout as opposed to an opportunity and so that you all understand our own perspective at least from Black Enterprise affirmative action was only put in place to guarantee equal opportunity not to guarantee success but to guarantee opportunity and that if you are locked out of the
opportunity to to get business how else will you be able to compete fairly what I like to ask the panelists is in view of the current economic and the current political climate as relates to affirmative action what is the best way to to continue the initiative of accepting or expecting us to get our fair share of business in an environment where affirmative actions being cut 8-8 contracts are being cut all government related things are being cut preferences are being taken out what is the best way for us to be able to mobilize to move ourselves forward so that we can guarantee that we get our fair share or fair opportunity to compete in this marketplace well I would make two comments regard to that and that I defer to my fellow panelists one I'm always disturbed when when we as African-American somehow kind of you know want to hold our head down and kind of feel guilty and oh you know we're accepting
handouts the only affirmative action that is objected to in this country and believe me affirmative action did not originate with the civil rights movement or the post civil rights movement legislation that is a policy has been called many different names that has always existed where they were called farm subsidies they were called energy subsidies but you're talking about the GI bill this is this is something that's a common mechanism a regular mechanism of the federal government and many state local governments it's not new it's only when it becomes applied to people of color that all of a sudden becomes this offensive anti-American you're undermining initiative and I think we have to not get caught up in the trickery of somehow we're doing something that is un-American and it's something that other Americans are relying on their merits and their qualifications and we're not so I think that's the first and we have to get past our own kind of self guilt if you will for somehow that we're doing something different that other Americans do not do and have not done throughout the ages you'll notice a lot of the alternative
legislation on the hill says well why don't we base it on class why don't we base it on gender you know anything but the fact that we are trying to rectify something we did to these people of color by the virtue of the way this country was created and run and it still exists today in terms of discrimination nobody ever discriminated against me because I was poor I mean I you know I can't be didn't pass me by because you've been able to see my net worth I said no he's not rich enough to get my cat so I think we got to not be confused the second thing I would say is that it is a political battle and I'll repeat what I said a little earlier the reason the battle is being lost or one is because the people that are fighting for our our side often do not have the financial support of us as constituents the way the people on the other side have financial support and so what I would ask you when was the last time you were to check to support the campaign of a Senator Carol Mosley Braun or or or or or any unit is not a black person a white politician or legislator in your community who is on your side of the issue because it's not about just what the color of the politician is it's also the
color of the legislation that they're pushing and proposing and we have to stop being on the sidelines taking that we're politically savvy because we come every four years and vote for the president is and recognize that being politically empowered is what you do at your time and your dollars every day and every election from the local school board election to the local you know you know you've got to we got to keep these campaign car for school and that goes back to us making sure that we direct our dollars I'm $70 million dollars and lottery tickets would be a great bank roll for a lot of candidates that we want a river sharpness campaign or anybody else's campaign that we believe in so I think those two issues that one stop apologizing for what is is in fact the American way and two to start leveraging our dollars so we're not wondering what happened when we can't get a job or when you know we have a technical incident or some other incident I would just dovetail on that with a couple of points that I absolutely agree with your statement there I think this issue about the defensive nature of our community when it comes to the words affirmative action
is something that we all have to get over and just understand that it's a part of what will carry us successfully through the next century and so this economic issue is one that I talked a lot about in my discussion about the differences between African-Americans and non-African-Americans as it relates to our saving and investing and how we can hopefully ameliorate the wealth gap that exists right now and so it's not just the importance of saving and investing so that you can take care of your family but it's important to save and invest so you can be in that mindset that I am an owner and I want to know who as Reverend Sharpton already said my board of director is and if there are people like me on that board of directors and so that I can know who my senior management is at this company and that people like me are there representing my interests and also to get to that point where people understand if that diversity is there which we all know it's better for the business it's better for you the shareholder because the company will be more successful it's better for the company in terms of its stock will go
out because it will know the different audiences that need it needs to sell its product too and ultimately it's better for the country so again that defensiveness has to go away because this is everyone wins if this works just and I think that Alfred is correct we must look at this historically everything from the homestead act I mean there there have been throughout American history ways that they established government programs that would give an advantage to white males there was a time when they were conquering the West that they would absolutely subsidize any white male that wanted to move out West and give them X amount of acreage and money to get started so I think that we must not be defensive about a government initiative particularly when since we're dealing with affirmative action is to deal with a government initiative against us they can make the argument that we don't need the government to do for us but then they're trying to erase 300 years of history
of government policy against us this was a fissure government policy this was not some custom that people kind of picked up this was law that we could not hold certain jobs that we could not go to certain schools and we could not have access to certain things other people had you cannot turn around and say that government should not undo what government in fact did so I think we have to talk about it from that perspective if I could say one thing my mother said to me because when I went away to college I went on full financial aid you know my mother couldn't afford single mother raising four children so I went scholarship that I earned and full financial aid and my mother wanted to disabuse me of this feeling that somehow I should have some stigma because I had you know government help to get a college education what she said was a affirmative action is not a crutch for me it's a crutch for them because absent of that crutch they won't walk right they won't see you correctly
that so you did they talk about oh you should be able to do it on your own this this is not a crutch for me this is a crutch for you because left to your own devices you will discriminate left to your own devices you will adopt the behaviors that you have been comfortable with for all this time now hopefully one day will be able to take the brace off your leg will be totally healed and your walk right all right but until that day you need to wear this crutch so we can we so this country can move ahead and we can move ahead and the evidence of that is when they went through the initiatives in California look at how the entry level of black law students and others went down to almost zero so clearly if people are left on their own they will look morally and and and I think that Alfred's point is correct they have not healed yet and until they heal we need to keep this brace there and I think we must mobilize as as the assistant said around those political figures and social policy movements
that do that we can no longer sit by and watch others generate political and social policy movements and act like we cannot do it a bad goldwater recently passed in 64 when I was a kidney round for president he was an extremist but four years later Richard Nixon became president and they held a White House other than four years of Carter for the next two decades because they believed in that movement Ronald Reagan became with bad water and vision we must have the same determination and hanging there and bill not talk about well it's not popular today it wasn't popular when the conservatives started and we can't get rid of them we need to fight based on our interests and what's right and put our dollars behind those candidates that will do this is a question not a question but it is a question for Melody how can the government and the private sector form a partnership to do more to encourage black savings and
investing especially given the uncertain future of Social Security one of the things that we think needs to be done and this would be in some view radical but we think saving and investing should become a part of curriculums in high schools and in grade schools and that just like you learn reading writing math whatever that you also learn about saving and investing and particularly in the black community where we don't have a history of understanding the financial markets and again we don't grow up inheriting money we don't grow up talking about the stock market around our dinner table so we need a little extra help there and so we think that if that were done that would take us a long way towards really reversing the problem that exists today thank you Melody this question is to Reverend Sharpton Reverend Sharpton a lot of people have spent time talking about different issues different issues in regards to we need to do this we need to that we start a number of initiatives it seems we start a number of initiatives towards trying to
make things right or to turn things around one of the things that I find most discouraging to me or encouraging in some ways with more discouraging and encouraging is I don't think that white people wake up in the morning necessarily and say what can I do to find a way to exclude African-Americans I truly do not believe that that is the case when most of the clients that we talk to about business and advertising would have you they don't wake they don't believe that they wake up and said today when I when I get to the office first thing I'm gonna do is find a way to cut somebody out the reality is is that they're not exposed to African-Americans they don't they're not working with African-Americans they don't have personal friends or African-Americans or Hispanics or Asians and therefore when it comes time to sit down and to do a plan there's no way that they're not drawing from anything that says there's anything wrong they don't see anything anything wrong when there's only white people sitting around a boardroom question is what can individual people do
what is their individual responsibilities to be able to walk in harm's way a little bit as African-Americans to make sure that the door is opened up I father speaks about it all the time he says you have to be willing to walk in harm's way and or he as he said he sits on five different boards corporate board to directly say listen they didn't run out of smart white people I'm on the board of directors here to focus against what it is that we can do for African-Americans what is it that individual people can do to help in the initiatives that you're pursuing in initiatives that Reverend Jackson's pursuing and others towards gaining this this economic what is it that the individual person can and should do well I think first of all I mean I can I can say that empty life is one that is only concerned with their own individual concerns and don't make a broader contribution to their community their society as a whole you know as a preacher the hardest job in the world is a
pretty funeral of an unproductive Negro that's a hard job because you you you really have nothing to work with you have to you have to make up a you legit you have to hallucinate a meaning life is deeper than you get in a new car you get a nice wardrobe so I think that you are right but we must have a personal commitment and we must use every opportunity we can and it doesn't mean leave marches or go into jail in conversation in your workplace in your dealing on on a daily basis harms way could be trying to disavow a misunderstanding or a notion that you know to be incorrect among those that you have to deal with in the in the white corporate world or in the media world but just allowing misinformation and allowing wrong concepts to remain unchecked unchallenged is to cooperate with the demise of your own
community and yourself lastly I must say on that is we must perfect the the notion of follow-up we have to stop these initiatives deal with it while it's hot and then when it cools off going to another initiative we must stay on the issues that we raise like the Wall Street project like the LaSalle Street project now like we're doing an advertiser and not allow the daily press to dictate our agenda we must set our agenda and work on it until we see that this bottom line has changed and that may not be determined by the Mars newspaper a whole once that I work for TV guide I'm in the listings department and I have to follow the industry and I've noticed that you're talking about ad practices and I noticed that because of the ad practices some black shows just aren't profitable enough to keep on the air and I thought well that's just basic discrimination is there any legal remedy for that we have I just recently saw
and there's a booklet called multicultural marketing that we're getting around here it's free and they've segmented the black audience into a lot of different you know hip hoppers the seekers blah blah blah blah blah and I've noticed that that seems to smack of you know kind of ranking people as more valuable than other people and I thought that shouldn't that be illegal yeah well it is I think that one of the things we're doing with this coalition the Gemini and we are right now studying the legal ramifications of how to come in with certain seats and and and and child and certain government agencies to come in and deal with that you're right the other thing I think that you raised there there's a situation I know of in particular the show New York under couple when it was on Fox television got several major advertisers when it became when it was picked up by African Heritage Network which is owned by Black Frank McCartle Valdez he went to the same advertisers a year later who
would not buy the same show saying that well it's not kind of show we want they wanted it to year-end with Fox then he sent a white rep in and they bought the same show the same time period that he had tried to sell them for the same company but they didn't realize it was the same company so those are the kinds of things that we're looking into putting lawsuits all together around but the thing that we have to recognize is that the discrimination is not a discrimination against a TV show it's a discrimination against the Black Assume if you look at the top 10 shows among white America and the top 10 shows among Black Americans you're the only common thing they have is Monday night football after that we don't watch the same things I was in a panel yesterday on the on technology and how African Americans are falling behind supposedly but the fact of the matter is when's the last time a computer company tried to sell you a computer they don't try to sell you computers because when you turn on New York undercover you don't see you know compact advertising on that show when you pick up you know SS magazine you don't see you know all these
ads falling out of the magazine for you to buy particular modem or particular so we got to look at are we just buying indiscriminately are we buying the people that are actually trying to sell to us and we have to think about that as we consume media and say who's there let me reward who's there who's obviously spending dollars to get to me and let me withdraw it's like it's not a boycott it's saying I'm not gonna buy from you not selling anything to me why should I just hand you money just because you happen to show up at the door there's been a study done in several states but particularly New Jersey there was a federal lawsuit that established even in the circuit court there that blacks were being stopped five times more than whites on the New Jersey term by based on race they're being pulled over it came to a head when in April of this year four young men from New York were driving down to New Jersey term by going to North Carolina to a college basketball trial they were pulled over the police said they thought they were going to roll back on them they shocked them eleven times and three of them were hit with eleven bullets fortunately nothing died and the only thing found in the car was a Bible and
a novel I think the in-depth reporting should be that you have law enforcement black law enforcement that are now monitoring that highway that themselves are doing studies and are being pulled over and I'd like to see some reporters that would ride that term like with us and document the experience of blacks particularly in late model cars that are just unilaterally pulled over for no reason identification check sometime held at gunpoint and their only guilty of the WB driving wild black and let me tie that to get that tied back that question back into the economic situation we did a major story in our July issue actually written by Valerie Lynn Gray our customer affairs editor who was actually sitting in the audience right there on discrimination in retail you know you could talk about several suits that have million dollar settlements because of people being stopped in the stores one brother being made to take off his shirt because it happened to be a shirt that was the same
brand as the one in the store well who do you think when you talk about racial profiling are the people who are who are hired often as security people in retail outlets their cops who are moonlighting or their former cops who look at a brother and see and this goes back to earlier statement a suspect not a prospect Alfred Edmund Jr. executive editor black enterprise magazine if you have questions comments or suggestions asked your future in black America programs write us also let us know what radio station you heard is over the views and opinions expressed on this program are not necessarily those of this station or of the University of Texas at Austin until we have the opportunity again for IBA technical producer David Alvarez I'm John L Hanson Jr. thank you for joining us today and please join us again next week cassette copies of this program are available and may be purchased by writing in black America cassettes communication building B UT Austin Austin Texas 78712 that's in black America
cassettes communication building B UT Austin Austin Texas 78712 from the University of Texas at Austin this is the Longhorn Radio Network I'm John L Hanson Jr. join me this week on in black America as they were to speak to us on the topic of saving and investing as convincingly as they do to the white population I think most certainly we would respond when we see the power of compounding and the benefits of what could come of that economic rights as civil rights part two this week on in black America
In Black America
Economic Rights as Civil Rights, Part 2
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Chicago: “In Black America; Economic Rights as Civil Rights, Part 2,” 1999-03-01, KUT Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2024,
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