(NNPA NEWSWIRE) – There is an old African proverb that describes one of the challenges that too many financially successful black business leaders face in America today. This proverb is: “Your earned riches may breed envy and jealous criticism, but do not be dismayed by the folly of the envious. “
Across the country, as business owners struggle to recover from the global COVID-19 pandemic, African-American business leaders who challenge the odds of their financial success are often targeted by “mainstream media” And others who summarily and unfairly castigate black business leaders. economic achievements. Is this syndrome racially motivated? The simple answer is yes. “
Former Congressman and Former Leader of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Hon. Parren Mitchell (D-MD), 1922-2007, once said in defense of black business leaders: “There is a systematic nationwide campaign to unjustly subdue and prevent the financial success of black American businesses.
It appears that business leaders in communities of color in the United States are subject to a different standard of business practice, ethics, and regulation. This is the case, I believe, with respect to Jack Brown III who was recently the target of business practice criticism by The New York Times for what they claim to be personal financial gain that Mr. Brown has made. earned through his businesses providing shelters to the homeless of New York City.
The Times noted: “Since 2017, when the number of homeless people hit record highs, the city has awarded more than $ 352 million to a non-profit organization run by Mr. Brown to operate shelters. The money is meant to help homeless people get back on their feet in life, but it has also benefited Mr. Brown.
Does The Times imply that there is anything wrong or immoral about making financial profit from your work and business? Brown’s CORE Services companies, not-for-profit and for-profit, have worked effectively in New York City for over a decade.
Nonprofit and profit organizations must be run like successful businesses to be sustainable. Jack Brown has been a national leader in several black-owned businesses not only in New York City but also in other cities, he has been effective in providing much needed services to the homeless and to those “returning” to the city. society after their incarceration.
Investigative journalism has its rightful and respected place in our democracy. But it must always be balanced and not racially prejudicial. The Times article on Jack Brown was full of unsubstantiated innuendos and one-sided reporting.
Those of us in the American black press are fully aware of the double standards and racial stereotypes that throw unfair dispersions on black entrepreneurs who dare to strive to own legitimate multi-million dollar businesses.
Following the publication of the Times article on Brown, Rudy Giuliani, well known for his unscrupulous attacks on African American leaders, joined the chorus against Brown. I conclude with the following tweet I posted: “It is questionable to see Rudy Giuliani and the NY Times aligned. But today the Times ran a story filled with innuendo targeting successful black-owned business leader Jack Brown, whom Rudy Giuliani then calls Brown a “poverty pimp.”
Sadly, former President Trump Giuliani, some in the NY Times and many more argue that there are limits and caps both politically and economically across the country that are categorically prescribed by race. We do not agree. We will not submit.
Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. is President and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and can be contacted at [email protected]