By Mydra L. Kelly
The hot topic of the week is that Georgia’s Governor plans to reopen bowling alleys, tattoo parlors, and gyms. People stop playing! We all know why he is reopening some of these places. Last week over and over the announcement was made that stimulus checks were in the mail. The first ones to receive theirs were not just those who filed their taxes. All the thousands of individuals who receive public assistance, SSI, disability, etc. were also in that number, which meant that a staggering number of disadvantaged to lower/middle-class black folk had coins in their purses and pockets. Cha-ching! That means that everybody with goods and services needs to be open for business because we all know that black people love to spend money.
I talked with my girlfriend the other day, and her daughter works at Academy Sports store, she said by the end of the week business was booming. I asked, “Why is Academy even open, what makes them essential?” She replied., “I don’t know, don’t they sale coolers and things like that?” Coolers! Why the heck does anyone need a cooler? This is a pandemic, not a hurricane! The lights are on; the water is running and every person with a snap card has a fully loaded meal ticket. She went on to tell me that her daughter told her “they” were buying tennis shoes, and by “they”; I mean black people. My people, your people, “us”. Lord have mercy! Last time I checked they were not burying people with their shoes on.
Black people, please…so what are we thinking? However, I was not shocked that Governor Kemp is planning to reopen all these places and more. Is he also reopening the nail salons, hair salons, beauty supply, and liquor stores too? Come on, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out this gig. Even Stevie Wonder could see. My question is how long will we keep being hoodwinked, bamboozled, and lured like animals into cages intended to trap us into killing ourselves? Black people…Have you been watching the news, listening to the radio, catching the word on the street? COVID-19 is playing in a city near you and guess who is starring in this murder movie? News Flash! YOU, your mama, your cousin peewee, Big mama, bay bay and nem and all their children. Wake up! This is not a dream, its reality.
The economy means nothing if you are not here to spend those dollars. Blacks represent 14% of the population and rank as the16th largest economy in the world. We spend an estimated 1.2 trillion dollars or more annually. So, stop saying, I am going to live in case I die. There is no “in case.” If you do not start taking this pandemic seriously; read my lips, “you can die!” But in the meantime, people still want your money. We must be intentional, purposeful, and strategic. We must stop eating ourselves, weaving ourselves, and shopping ourselves to death. Get a hold of yourselves. Nobody cares how buff or fine you are when you are lying right side up with your eyes closed. Right now, you will not even get a good funeral with a Wanda from Good Times moan or a Viola Davis snot cry. Stop it! Do you know who you are? You are royalty. You have power, buying power, economic power. Everybody is depending on you to keep them open, the doctors, lawyers, churches, food chains, street pharmacist, and seafood markets. All of them know that black people have the power, but black people are also the ones perishing. We have the power, but we must learn how to use it wisely. Every day the report is coming in that another one of our leaders, teachers, preachers, relatives, and friends are dying. People are leaving this place with the quickness and we are still not paying attention. Black people …open your eyes, please. Our ancestors are crying out from the grave saying, “save yourselves.”
COVID-19 will be with us for a minute, but the government will not foot the bill forever. Now is the time to handle your business. Press the reset button and see clearly. When the New Year arrives, you should not be in the dark, facing eviction, or having any of your valuables repossessed. You are truly too blessed to be stressed. How about putting a little stash to the side? Then when the kids go back to school you can buy their uniforms, and if the car breaks down, it will not have to break down your bank account. God forbid if the corona gets you, we cannot even do suppers right now to raise enough money to give you a decent burial. Purchase some insurance, please. Use the wisdom that Grandpa gave to you, and if he did not give you any; allow me to help you now. Then if you are going to give everyone else a cut, paying your tithes and offerings is probably a good investment since God is the one who blessed you with the check in the first place.
It is time to show America and the world what we are made of black people. Take some of that stimulus money and save it for a rainy day. Whether you live in Seattle or Louisiana its coming and you do not want to be caught without an umbrella. The coronavirus like every other crisis, is both a curse and a blessing. God is trying to tell us something. Purge, plan and prepare for what is next. Let Atlanta and Houston, and anywhere else in the world reopen, but Black People… take a stance, and proclaim I know who I am, I know whose I am, and I know what I am worth. Let’s all declare as for me and my house, we are going to trust God, stay inside, stay alive and see what the end is going to be.