Why Writer Randolph Is Wrong About Black Business

“Black scientists generally rationalize their investigations as proof to White scientists that Blacks can be ‘scientifically objective’. On the subject of objectivity in science, this author agrees with Dr. Jacob Carruthers(1972), who, in his brilliant essay ‘Science and Oppression,’ states that ‘science is not objective nor is it neutral.’ A Black scientist who moves outside the psychopath’s ‘approved course of study’ takes the chance of being labeled unscientific, emotional, biased,’ etc. Additionally, funds are only available to Black scientists who support the approved course of study–themselves. Many very competent Black students who are naive about ‘White scientific inquiry’ are flunked out of schools because of their insistence on studying the etiology of Black problems–the psychopaths–rather than the effect. Black students must be taught that White educational institutions are the matador’s cape that protects Whites from Black scientific inquiry which would expose an unthinkable depth of psychology.” — Excerpted from Bobby E. Wright’s “The Psychopathic Racial Personality”

Let us get the disclaimers out of the way. I’m going to attempt to address an article written by someone that I have had, as we say in the black community, “words” with. That particular bit of history might taint this article in some eyes. I don’t want this to read as Owl taking shots. I’m not. I do feel that there is a dangerous precedent being set in the Black blogosphere. A tradition of pointing out where blacks don’t behave like whites, and why Blacks should has been allowed to leak into the mainstream discussion like feces overflowing from a toilet that needed to be plunged. This is not a personal attack. (I suppose I could have just said that, huh?)

Alright, that is out of the way.

I was in a Summit meeting with one of the finest designers I’ve meet in a while, the brother’s site can be visited here, and we were discussing self-employment strategies, and the discussion of a particular blog post cropped up. The blog post was entitled,“Why all Black people should NOT start their own businesses”. Now, the title is interesting enough. You can already tell that the author, Brandale Randolph, is attempting to deflect from any of the initial arguments of generalization by using the term “all”. That is to say, he is using the old,”I’m not saying all blacks” trick. The problem is perspective however. “All women shouldn’t be raped”. Read that slowly this time. Do you get the implication? It is a matter of perspective. There is a slight implication that “some women should be raped.” So, I take issue from the outset with the idea that is being planted into the mind of the reader. The thought that is being conjured up reflects the pattern spoken of by Bobby Wright, that is, black writers and intellectuals have a tendency to attack one another. The article is not “Which Blacks Should Go Into Business”, or “The Successful Black Business”, nor “Things That Blacks Going Into Business Should Consider”. And I’m not trying to tell the brother what he should be writing about, I’m simply comparing what he didn’t write about to what he did. This is not mere semantics.

In order to avoid being thrashed upon by my own critics with accusations of using “strawman” tactics(analysis of an argument that diverts from the author’s more significant conclusion by addressing weak premises), we will dissect the post, point for point.

The article’s title is tag lined with the synopsis of:

” Copycatting is not a good reason to start your own business. We have enough barbershops and day cares.”

The author, Brandale Randolph, a black author, makes an interesting statement here. “Copycatting”, I suppose that to mean imitating the success of others, is not a good reason to own your own business. I suppose one would be prompted to address the thousands of Chinese restaurants scattered throughout Black communities nationwide that they shouldn’t go into business for themselves either. I don’t exactly see the logic of telling anyone not to emulate the success of others, but maybe I’m missing something here. Maybe somewhere in my education I missed the class where we didn’t study the works of others in an attempt to ascertain the principles that made them great. Possibly I was reading the wrong books when they consistently pointed out the value of modeling yourself after those that had achieved success in one’s chosen craft. Maybe our brother Randolph knows some magical sleights that will allow one to become a craftsman without having a blueprint to build upon. With respect for ingenuity, originality, and creativity, I simply wouldn’t want to be the author that publicly states that Blacks should not strive to equal or surpass those that are bringing employment into the community.

The writer Randolph continues by stating that we have enough barbers and daycares. I don’t want to be too persnickety here. It is slightly difficult though. Is the writer Randolph being hyperbolic? Is he being literal? What exactly is he saying to the Black community here? Is he saying that Blacks shouldn’t build businesses that are fulfilling a need, respect the culture’s traditions, provide employment, and that are a service market that hasn’t been successfully usurped by white capitalist? Is writer Randolph expressing a concern about the lack of fertility in the Black community, so we no longer need to provide centers for our children to go while the parents work? I said I wouldn’t be too technical here, didn’t I? But…I would like to know what exactly is being stated to the Black community here. No, seriously. Is the writer Randolph suggesting to us that Black men no longer need to groom themselves? I’m really having a difficult time deciphering this beyond the actual terms he has used. Surely, the writer Randolph has enough of a connection to the Black community that he understands the value of the barbershop. He couldn’t possibly mean that literally…right?

Moving on…