On Wednesday night, Chance the Rapper dropped four new songs, one of which is titled “I Might Need Security.” Two minutes in, the Chicago native is rapping about his purchase of the Chicagoist and the need to build Black businesses.
“I bought the Chicagoist just to run you racist b*****s outta bitness// Speaking of racist, f**k yo microaggressions// I’ll make you fix yo words like a typo suggestion// […] And in unrelated news I wanna beat yo a** at yo job”
Basically, Chance is saying that microaggressive slurs are indicative of racist business leaders and the independent artist is taking one of many steps to beat them at their own game. From Donald Sterling, to the Papa John’s founder, to Rosanne Barr, to Jonathan Friedland and countless others, it is increasingly clear that the Black community and allies need to call out microaggressions when they happen, work to dismantle the posture from which they come, and use that dialogue to collect the necessary intel needed to beat the culprits at their own tricks.
So yes, Chance wants to counter racism and those who either intentionally or unintentionally subscribe to it by buying businesses. By fixing the status quo and turning it in favor of the Black community. By acquiring the Chicagoist, “relaunching it and bringing the people of Chicago an independent media outlet focused on amplifying diverse voices and content,” according to NBC News.
This is why Black owned businesses are important: There is a necessity to tell our own narratives through our own lenses that serve our own prerogatives. And what better way to do this than by buying a news site. Purchasing an apartment complex. Acquiring a law firm. Investing in a hospital. Starting a bank. According to Chance the Rapper, Black owned businesses are the move and he’s right— Beyonce and Jay-Z spending thousands to rent out The Louvre Paris for a beloved Apesh*t music video is great for social purposes, but the real question is simple: Can the top 1% in the Black community put their wealth towards forwarding the Black agenda in the form of buying formerly white-owned entities and corporations?
Sure, more makeup products (Rihanna’s Fenty), additional streaming services (Beyonce’s Tidal), starting podcasts (Lebron James’ Uninterrupted) and clothing lines (Serena Williams’ self named apparel) are the first building blocks, but it is time to get serious about building Black America. It is time to reinvigorate Black Wall Street and dare someone to try and burn it down again.
This country has fundamentally and historically been controlled by money and economic prosperity. Whoever controls the money is who controls the decision making and is thusly in control of the mechanics of the United States. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, as of 2016, the top 1% holds 40% of the country’s wealth. The report does not break down the racial demographics of the 1%, however, as the old sang goes, “the Black dollar has power.” And it is beyond time to put that power to work for us, rather than continuing to make white businesses thrive in our communities as they discriminate against us— imploying microaggressive comments to us or calling us derogatory slurs behind our backs, yet have the caucacity to smile to our face as we swipe our debit cards.
Dr. Maya Angelou has long said, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
White america has shown us who they are numerous times over.
It is time to act accordingly.