Writer/blogger for The Root, Lawrence D. Bobo, coined the phrase “The Worry” that so accurately describes the anxiety of Black Americans today.
Bobo describes “The Worry” as the aprehension the growing Black middle class has about the current economic situation and it’s detrimental affects on the Black community. I cannot think of a more accurate term for the silent purgatory of emotion that many Black Americans are feeling right now. However, Bobo and I part ways on the details of “the worry.”
Bobo suggests that the Black middle class (he defines middle class as individuals with an income that is 2-4 times the poverty level) is afraid for the largest part of the Black community which makes up the “poor” “underclass” of American society. Perhaps this is true. I would not be so quick to believe that the Black middle class has concerns about the majority of the community (who are not “middle class”).
What I do believe is “the worry” is not just about the poor, it’s about the economic fragility of the entire Black community (minus the one Black billionaire and 19 millionaires). As the recession lingers, no one will go untouched. Even the Black middle class is feeling the affects. For some it may only go as deep as their concern for their children who are facing a much lower platform from which to build their station in life.
Many Black professionals that I knew who had for the beginning of the recession maintained a better than average status began feeling the effects of the recession near the end of 2012. Business owners I knew found the capital and funding for their businesses frozen, first time homeowners found their real estate deals faltering just before completion, and highly educated and skilled professionals found themselves in the unemployment line.
This is devastating on a number of levels. On the one hand it can no longer be fantasized that only the useless, uneducated, unmarketable, and unambitious are suffering. Black people everywhere have to acknowledge that the recession is not just a proverbial separating of the wheat from the tare, we are in a national crisis and Black Americans (for no other reason than their initial remedial economic background) will feel the affects more than most.
It is at this time, more than ever, that the Black community must design for anti-fragility that can be taught to our children or as a nationality we will lose much of the progress we achieved in the last few decades.
I’m not sayin’; I’m just sayin’,
An Angry Black Man