Sunday, April 16, 2006

You Drive A Benz, But You Live With Your Momma????

Have you ever met someone whose priorities are, let's say, a little out of whack? For instance, take the guy with the phat ride (I really don't say things like "phat ride," but I thought it was appropriate here) -- decked out in 22's, chrome package, luxury sound, with chinchilla seats -- who lives with his momma. Or, there's the female who wears all the latest designer clothing, carries only Gucci and Louis Vuitton purses, and always has the latest pair of Manolo's in her closet, which happens to be inside her apartment.

What do the people in these two scenarios have in common? They have both fallen victim to a lack of priorities. Instead of focusing on long-term financial goals, they focus on depreciable material things, so they can look like they have money when they really do not. I'm sure most, if not all, of the women reading this have been approached by that guy -- living with his momma, but trying to impress you with material things. Just like I'm sure the men reading this have met women who appear to have it all together -- always dressed to a T -- until you find out their finances are a mess. Unfortunately, this epidemic infects many, many, many folks in the black community. And although some people like to characterize this behavior as irresponsible, I think it runs deeper than most people think.

We all know that systemic racism has historically inhibited the earning potential of black folks in this country, which results in many black folks growing up poor, or without much money. They are never taught what it means to save or invest money, or to use credit wisely, because their parents never did any of those things. Schools, especially those in urban areas, typically don't provide education on these types of things because they are too busy teaching their students to take standardized tests (especially now, courtesy of Bush's "No Child Left Behind Act"). Thus, naturally, when these same people get a little money in their pockets, they want to indulge themselves with the material things they were deprived of as children, rather than invest or save their money.

So where are our children supposed to learn how to be fiscally responsible, if their parents and their schools fail them in that regard? The answer to that is they don't learn it, which results in the guy with the "phat ride" parked at his momma's house. I guess the question really should be: how do we break that cycle? Honestly, I don't know the answer to that, so I'm hoping someone out there in blogger-land can share their thoughts on this topic with the rest us.

In the meantime, I'll say this to both the men and women who are victims of this epidemic: it is not attractive for you to act like you have something you don't. Get your finances together, and invest in some appreciable assets before you go spending all your money on rims and accessories.

--Notta

1 comment:

Curry said...

I live in L.A. & this has to be the most obvious place to see this type of behavior at work. This kind of stuff really makes me sick & I wish that “we” weren’t so adamant about parading our possessions so arrogantly. I’m gonna play the “media” card and blame television for allowing constant images of a twisted perception of value to blaze our screens day & night.

But I also kind of see from another angle & say that the people who think like this will always be able to find a matched pair, and, as increasingly difficult as it might be, those who are grounded and realize their priorities also have like minded individuals roaming the Earth somewhere.

In whole I believe it’s just another reflection of a much bigger issue. Black folk in general appear to have gotten shallow, lazy, & superficial. Unfortunately some of our minority counterparts have followed suit. Bottom line is that a lot of women (it’d be a stretch to say most) would rather ride in a Benz with someone who lives in an apartment than in a “regular” car with someone who lives in a house, at least from what I see almost every day. Men know this & they just eat it up and keep shelling out their $$ to impress people. I’m not against having nice things, but if U’ve got these things & your children don’t have a backyard 2 play in, then …