I woke up to hear the world’s wealthiest people added 1 trillion dollars to their coffers.
How is it that some have so much money and others have none?
In fact, for some none would be a start. Many of us have less than none and owe money to society.
According to a May 2017 New York Times article, American household debt reached $12.73 Trillion.
Link: NY Times
In short, the majority of Americans, including those in the black community, can’t keep up with the cost of living.
If we were honest with ourselves, we’d realize that we can’t afford to get a formal education beyond high school. Advanced degrees are out of our price range.
We can’t afford real estate, the house or its natural resources.
We can’t afford those new cars we drive to jobs that don’t pay us enough; to afford our borrowed lifestyles.
Here’s the irony, if we didn’t borrow so much money those who sit atop the financial heap wouldn’t be there.
Is it much of a leap to realize debt drives the United States economy?
And a country founded on the principles of the pursuit of liberty and freedom cannot accomplish its goals if its economy creates a ruling class.
It doesn’t take a scholar, such as William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, to recognize the importance of the Kwanzaa principle of self-determination is to the viability of the black community; if not the nation.
We are not free to pursue self-determination and make our choices politically or otherwise if we are in debt in a capitalist democracy.
However, this isn’t about the world’s wealthiest or its economy. This commentary is about Kwanzaa, and its Second Principle: Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) that reminds us
“TO DEFINE OURSELVES, NAME OURSELVES, CREATE FOR OURSELVES AND SPEAK FOR OURSELVES.”
Link: Official Kwanzaa website
How can we make this a goal if we, ourselves, are enslaved with debt? How can we get a seat at the table if we live in a society that prides itself on us keeping up with the trappings of success?
We’ve created a paradox in setting a goal of Self-determination. One we are called upon to solve, such as the Samburu women in Umoja village did if we are to achieve the goal.