For the sake of efficiency and decades of experience with my peoples, I do not directly contact the latest and (probably) the greatest authentically black experience online right about now. Yes, I am respectfully referring to the Breaking Brown YouTube channel (currently, I am showing my support as a subscriber—and, currently, I am showing my support by writing about it to drive just a little bit more traffic toward it). As always, me here in the kinté space will play the role of minister of information using social media to alert the “Breaking Brown Family” (and others) of relevant news. So whenever you hear Yvette Carnell thank some unknown entity for a news story or a talking point, it might track back to the kinté space once or twice—or just once.

Unlike almost every previous (mostly youthful) attempt to be Black on the Internet (especially via YouTube)—according to my research—Breaking Brown addressed Black people like me directly—and, boom, dismissed us out of hand. Even though this highly informed dismissal was not flattering, I appreciate the explicit formality of it greatly instead facing the usual, fashionable complete lack recognition that has been in full effect since before Micheal Jordan switched to baseball. Yes, I am one of the last beneficiaries of the baby-boomer Black power movement(s) that led to government programs that made my economic “life” possible. What is worse, is my “exceptional” status. My mother was effectively an “elitist” activist (from a certain tricycle-riding point of view), getting the LAUSD to recognize me as a “gifted” child which gave me even more government benefits, allocated for a “minority” within a “minority.”

The state of emergency of 21st-century Black America is so dire that the extremely fragile “exceptionalist” Black bubble in which I was raised is an insignificant outlier that has nothing to do with “putting money in black people’s pockets” today. Any face-to-face meeting with Ms. Carnell would ultimately lead to this efficient, populist conclusion. I would even go further, beyond this destination, to point out two glaring situations that helped to make this 20th-century boomer movement possible: the American political need to show off in front of the Soviet Union and the general, American, Kennedyesque feeling that our country was wealthy enough to fight poverty.

So even though many, many, many outsiders (including devout racists) of the black world looking in on this would find my predicament totally insane (for all parties observed), I understand why a publicly-proclaiming pro-Black voice like Yvette Carnell’s would find brothers and sisters like me totally not worth recognizing and damn-near useless. What Yvette is (not) doing publicly is typical of my pro-Black life intimately/personally. Deeper still (and ultimately the driving force behind my behavior towards politically-active black people of the 21st century) my mother’s relatively private and indirect activities that led to a man like me would not serve as an example of how to be Black in the present and the future. My mother would not be an example for the black women of today? Yes, such an attitude/aesthetic would offend me and encourage me to keep my distance.

You see, outsiders, what makes an exceptional/outlier guy like me a laughing stock to too many self-described black people is my mother (and in large part my father) “tricking” me as a child to love learning for the sake of learning. A man like Frederick Douglass fell into this “trap” as well—while being a slave (um, er an “elite” slave?). This has had (especially through the homespun, God-fearing wisdom of my idealistic father—when he was young) an indirect economic benefit. It would not surprise me to discover that Yvette Carnell herself benefited in the same way in the private life of her family. But once we become political and public our rhetoric and logic must “evolve” to attract the largest possible audience. So we cannot talk about indirectly doing any damn thang. We need to talk about “putting money [directly] in black people’s pockets” today. Indirect talk makes you sound crazy to “normal” people. I know this from decades of experience.

So even though Yvette Carnell’s message (and Antonio Moore’s message) sounds “harsh” to many of the the millennial-ish blacks of today, my message is more harsh and apparently totally insane. I am crazy enough to not consider myself “elite” and expect all sane black people to be as Black and educated as I am. This leaves me no choice (in public) but to genuinely and sincerely appreciate what these new black voices are doing for black people today. Privately, though… I will still say do not underestimate your Pre-Columbian African heritage. Without this heritage you will not know what human beings are—you will not know what is thinking and how to live …with all that money in your pocket.

My mother would not have become a teacher for LAUSD in the 1980s when she assumed that my educational path was an “elitist” one. In many ways, I represented proof to my mother and the world that many black children can be educated to the same level as her own child. She began her teaching career with expectations to do exactly that. I inherited through her the same expectations of my people in my ’hood. It took decades of being shit on to realize that many black adults find these expectations “harsh.” Such black folks I am sure have never had childhood experience of getting their ass kicked in a game of chess by another kid with day-old crabgrass blades and tiny pieces of blanket in his afro. You bitch-made folks will never convince me that black children are born dumb-asses.

So Yvette Carnell is educated enough to understand that me and my “black nerd” ’hood-raised kind were deeply politically unpopular from a conceptual point of view during the Willie Lynch resurgence of the 1980s and the 1990s. Those gatekeepers Yvette talks about were part of that nation of millions holding us back. And, now, effectively the same thing is happening to us “outliers” again in the 21st century.

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the kinte space [KinteSpace] young bruh, back in the day, we used to ask this @MrChuckD-style question: are you Home’s or are you Rome’s? » @BreakingBrown

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This Antonio Moore video, “The Racial Wealth Gap Explained in 60 Seconds,” has inspired me to write about my financial history in terms that is useful/accessible to the Black experience—not a “general” financial audience:

By the way, I regard this video as a first in Black history. I assert that this is the first Internet video produced by a Black American (outside of an educational institution) that is driven by motion graphics based on data. Antonio Moore is following in the data visualization footsteps of none other than W.E.B. Du Bois. Remember, kids, Du Bois was (arguably) the first sociologist in the United States. Notice, kids, I did not write ‘first black sociologist.’

Doctoral Warriors for the African Mind

(Sidebar: It may help Antonio Moore and the Breaking Brown audience to review and reflect on “The Philadelphia Negro A Social Study” by W.E.B. Du Bois. It should help to remember that Du Bois prepared this study as an appeal to “white logic” and their legendary objectivity juxtaposed on the alarmingly high African American infant mortality rate. My history teacher, Dr. Gerald Horne, taught us that this sincere, naive attempt fell on deaf ears and betrayed the irrational emotionalism in front of what Dr. Amos Wilson calls “rational racism.” You can listen, by the way, to Dr. Wilson talk about this in “Doctoral Warriors for the African Mind”—click on the track shown in the image at right.)

My Financial Highlights

Antonio Moore (and Yvette Carnell) are breathing fresh air on Black-on-black objectivity. This will be confused as black-on-black violence by most of the black people I have ever met (especially the ladies) erroneously framed under “emotional abuse.” I mention this because my highlights below will definitely sound abusive while the intention is to be objective.

My parents (divorced in 1977) were actively idealistic about my education and my development of character. This is the most important fact about my financial life. My parents were not fair-weather bullshitters about my character and the expectations around my level of education attainment. My father in particular never told me that an education would make everything “all right.” My mother was essentially preparing me for intellectual warfare. My mother taught me how to read personally. In terms of racial consciousness, all of this effort from my parents was done not for some implied “approval” from whites—rather to defend myself against them. I was put on the path toward education without assimilation. Knowledge was never associated with a “white” ethnic trait in my family. Thoughts came from the power of a Christian God that was superior to “race.”

1980s Bryan at Sears in Santa Barbara2

I had to work while I was on college. I had to compete directly with college students that had time to reflect on the subject of study while I was working at places like Sears Automotive. This absence from the campus culture made it less likely for me to develop relationships with (possibly more affluent) students that might form a substantial business network after college. I entered college in almost complete social isolation and I left college in almost complete isolation. (It must be mentioned that my father paid the first two years or so of my tuition in college—and in a fit of macho-son giddiness I contributed my entire life’s savings, maybe $900, as well.)

1980s Bryan at Sears in Santa Barbara2

My first decade as an adult was burdened with student debt and child-support payments. Most Americans—even middle-class Americans—will emerge from higher education in debt. What might be typical about being non-white is to have more debt than student debt. In my case, I had to pay child support as well as my student loan. I graduated from UCSB with a degree in physics in 1991. In 2008 I took a picture of my last Child Support Services payment. That is over an entire decade of being financially unable of saving aggressively. Every fact listed in this paragraph is the first indicator to an upper class person that I am not a member of their class. This hypothetical upper-class person may dare to assume that due to my low social standing and limited resources of my family that I had access to “poor quality” women (when I add the fact that my first wife was also a college student that could qualify for child support we can clearly see how I was excluded from access to upper-class “high quality” women). Associating with these women (coupled with my irresponsible fertility) causes financial burdens.

A Black Man and His Sad Child Support Payments

My first decade as an adult featured ‘infrastructure costs’ that a communicating extended family would have covered. I am using the phrase ‘infrastructure costs’ to refer to common household items like ironing boards, irons, dish racks, light bulbs—dozens upon dozens of “small” purchases that incur debt and/or prevent saving. To an authentic middle-class family these purchases would have been largely unnecessary for two reasons: the family would have supplied these miscellaneous items with condescending ease or the family would have supplied fully furnished housing.

My family supplied me with unfurnished housing with discounted rent. I am pleased to mention for the first time some small indication of black-family privilege in terms of what Antonio Moore calls wealth transfer. My father’s mother provided me with an apartment in Inglewood, CA (behind her garage) from 1992 to about 1996. For that entire time the rent was about $550. By no means were the accommodations luxurious but without this wealth transfer from my family something extreme would have happened.

My mother gave me her 1979 Ford Fairmont. I used this vehicle to transport me out of college and into the job market. This is my second, major wealth transfer. This unglamorous car can be considered a contraceptive—but I thank my mother anyway!

I opened and maintained a 401K for less than five years. According to the data made famous by Antonio Moore and Yvette Carnell, the fact that I opened a 401K account through a former employer is highly unusual in the post-baby-boomer, black world. I treated this move as an academic exercise. This means I was ignorant of the social/emotional discouragement of having a small amount of money invested (matched by the employer).

I rolled over my 401K into an IRA account that allowed me to invest in the stock market. Were I to proclaim out of context that I increased my 401K by over 50% by investing in the stock market many, many young people may misunderstand what I am trying to say. I am not saying that the stock market is “the only way” to increase income and “everyone” should invest. The reality is this was my version of a desperate survival move. I was unable to contribute cash to my IRA (like the stereotypical/mythical “middle-class” non-black person). Returns from the stock market was a terrible fallback for being unable to contribute to my IRA. To strip all of the glamour out of these revelations, this 50% increase I am “bragging” about took place over a decade—a hard, miserable decade typified by vulgar/consumer debt.

I replaced student-loan debt with vulgar consumer debt which prevented me from saving for most of my adult life. Government policy for most of my adult life meant that my time as a permanent employee (with benefits like a 401K) was extremely limited. My career path made me a contractor. Being a contractor effectively made me unable to save money—because, for me, the 401K has been the best way for me to systematically save money. What I am saying is that I have been an idiot. I could have done better. My relationship with consumer credit was mostly idiotic—my 30s were characterized by using almost all of my income to pay down (not pay off) credit cards. There were at least two opportunities to escape vulgar/consumer credit oppression in my 30s presented to me and both of them failed: (i) the Advanta Credit card with its sub-10% interest rate (this card was literally destroyed by the Chase Manhattan Bank takeover in the 1990s) and (ii) the UCLA Credit Union sub-10% interest rate personal loans (I was laid off from UCLA when Arnold became Governor of California and budget cuts ensued).

My Black-Ass Optimism

In the same manner that a murderer of adults distinguishes herself from a murderer of children, I am actually wasting time here mentioning that I never cashed-out a 401K account prematurely. I never let my oppressive, vulgar, credit card debt go delinquent. But I did all of these “great” things at the expense of never having “extra” cash on hand. I have only recently formed a functional interest in saving money (as I now understand that saving can be used borrow money from myself—without the need of being a permanent employee of a corporation—and I also understand that money has to sit on an abstract platform that is made out of money).

I assume that I will reach “retirement age” with enough funds to make a down payment on one of my children’s property (I am biased for my only daughter) and have little left over for me to move to another, cheaper country where some beautiful woman (and her family) will rob me. Lord, please don’t let me die within the borders of the United States.

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Angel, NP [UrbnHealthNP] 2. One of the biggest problems we have these days is what I call the exclusionary mindset and thinking that one way is the right way.

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