Invisible Chains

What does true freedom look like? The reason I posed the question is to provoke thought into whether we are truly free or whether we have bought into an ideology of what satisfies our tolerance to the present level of injustice compared to the conditions of the past!

To simplify that statement, have we traded the shackles in exchange for predatory lending, high interest mortgages, auto loans, title loans, payday loans, credit cards, creative financing tactics, by here-pay here car lots, super expensive sneakers and handbags with no money left to put in them.

For centuries, the feelings of inferiority and low self esteem have wreaked havoc on the very fiber of our culture. To make ourselves feel equal, we apply temporary bandages to calm the wounds that run deep. We are mentally, emotionally, and socially scarred people and in order to feel better about ourselves, we hide behind the fancy cars, clothes, red bottoms, and purses that take the focus off of ourselves and puts it on an objectified item that we equate to as having value.

We are voluntarily missing the mark on what true freedom, happiness, and success really is. I wish my black queens would wake up and see the beauty that they possess without the need for social media validation and without degrading themselves on video. I wish my black brothers would stop measuring their manhood to how much money they have or what type car they drive. We have become dismayed with brands, labels, and logos to the point that our self worth is judged by whether the bottom of our shoes are red or not!

We are the worlds largest consumer yet we are the worlds smallest owners. Notice that I didn’t say that we are the worlds smallest producers because a majority of the worlds inventions and creativity comes from us. The problem is that we do not own a lot of the products that we create. Most of our people are not, nor have ever been, ownership minded. We have for centuries been of the mindset that greatness come from outside our culture when it in fact comes from within.

The question becomes then, how do we become free. The first thing that must change is our mindset! We are of a royal priesthood and must begin to conduct ourselves as such. We must learn to love each other and support each other at all cost. How can we pay $1000 for a pair of shoes but always expect the hookup from a black owned business that offers a comparable product or service?

Why is it that we place value on items produced by other cultures but minimize or ignore the value that exists within our own. The problem is that we equate value to price which makes the marketing companies put rediculous price tags on items because we are so desperate to feel equal to or greater than others until we blow our savings on items that cost pennies to manufacture. Wake up people!

Back to my original question, what does freedom look like? I can tell you what it doesn’t look like. It doesn’t look like driving a car you can’t afford to impress people that don’t like, value, or trust you! It doesn’t look like a social media model posing with an expensive handbag and can’t pay her rent at her studio apartment. It doesn’t look like a brother buying an expensive car before buying a home. It doesn’t look like having $20 left out of your paycheck that you worked 60 hours to earn. It doesn’t look like a $2500 mortgage when that is more than 30% of your net pay. It doesn’t look like failing to maintain an emergency fun for those rainy days and then having to borrow money to get by. It doesn’t look like killing your own people for any reason. It doesn’t look like supporting music that demeans our people instead of uplifting them. It doesnt look like twerkin on tape to get likes or followers. I could go on for days but I just want us to wake up and see the value that we have. Support at least one black owned business this week and find a way to become an owner yourself. The cycle has continued for over 500 years and I don’t expect a hard stop since I wrote this article. My prayer is that I touched at least one broke material girl/guy and make them aware that they are valuable, not because of the items that they think enhance their value.

Be blessed,

Patrick Hurd

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