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Monday, May 22, 2017

Technology Revolution

As I continue to build TBTNews into a major digital media platform, I'm reminded how important it is for my community to understand the significant of being invested in the Tech Revolution.
Building wealth is one of my three primary objectives (Fatherhood and Mentoring) are the other two of the three. Over the last ten years the tech industry has been the main creator of wealth accumulation and job creation. The Technology Revolution has truly changed the world where we live, work and play. And today it seems that most of our lives are completely embedded in some form of digital mechanism. And it's predicted that over the next ten years, technology will propel everything in our lives.
The question for me is how many black folks will be involved in this ever-changing and emerging wealth building machine that will create over 5 million new jobs. Look at the new spaceship designed headquarters Apple has built to house its present employees and its tens of thousands of anticipated new hires. As Facebook continues to have massive growth, they're in constant hiring mode; along with Google, Youtube, Amazon, Twitter and Microsoft. Each of these tech companies have committed to hiring over one half-million people in the next 2 - 3 years.
I wanna know where are the black tech giants in my community that will hire from their communities as this enormous tech growth is being planned? I've had several meetings with a number of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's close allies about select ways to create jobs and build tech companies within black communities on the west and south side of Chicago. They were interesting chat sessions--and all agreed that my plan was a solid way to create 100's if not 1,000's of jobs.
But as the months have gone by, not one of my presented strategies have come to life. Actually, Amazon has done exactly what I suggested to these rich and smart men and women who've I shared my thoughts with. And as Amazon, the leading e-commerce company in the world, has grown ten-fold over the last five-years, one of their biggest build-outs are the opening of call and distribution centers. Amazon just opened two new call centers in mainly white and rural areas. These two centers collectively hired 1,000 people at a rate of over $30 per hour.
I pleaded with Emanuel's team to have the Mayor use his leverage and friendship with innovators like Jeff Bezo (founder of Amazon) to partner with a group of black investors to turn several of these closed CPS schools into call centers. This would create 1,000's of well paying jobs if a black lead group owned 75% of a founded company and Amazon owned 25%. Amazon would reroute orders from 25% of its black zip codes to these two call centers (one on the west side and one on the south side).
I did the research and the numbers are incredible. Amazon receives over 10 million orders a year from black communities across the country. The numbers are astonishing on how much black folks spend ordering goods from Amazon each year. This would be a game changer in the tech industry and it would help build wealth in the black community from the creating of jobs and economic development by having these black investment groups own the majority of business being transmitted to the two call centers. These two companies would generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue, respectfully, for each partnered company.
I was ready to help build the two black owned tech companies and also the training facility to handle hundreds of workers who'll field the millions of calls that would come into these call centers. This is how we'll build wealth! This is what the Technology Revolution can do to build communities of color if we have ownership and the abilities to create middle-class wage paying jobs. We need to turn our attention away from being end users and begin thinking about producing innovative technology gadgets and platforms. Until the next edition...... Peace and One Love. I Write to Differ

Leadership Shortage

I've spent my entire adult life trying to understand exactly what is leadership and is there some 'secret sauce' to who possesses it versus who does not. Are individuals born with the trait or are people molded into leadership capacity? These are questions that I continue to ask myself and others.
I was recently asked what is leadership and do I either have or do I desire to have it? This question came from one of my On the Table experiences last week. I answered the first question by saying that 'great leaders inspire nations of men.' I responded to the second question by saying that 'I want to be a great leader who can inspire men to be great.'
Here is what I mean: I want my legacy as an effective leader to say that I motivated men to climb that mountain to challenge evil and overtake any and all forces that tries to denounce or destroy not only my race of people but this one nation under God. Because only by defeating the evil that men do, can my daughter, who currently lives in a world filled with immigrants and migrants alike, can she be free and progressive. Therefore I want her to stand tall with her neighbors, her peers and her classmates, who each come from a different region of the world, to be leaders for change.
This really struck me on this past weekend when I attended a press briefing by Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel. His office created what is now known as One Chicago. It's a website (onechicago.org) that will tell stories of all the different origins of nationalities and their movement in and around Chicago. I believe in it's premise. I wanna have a nation as well as a city that can be inclusive to all people. But we know that Chicago is one of the most racially divided cities in the country. So unless the Mayor address this issue, it's hard for me to embrace the One Love theme delivered by Emanuel. Again, even though I believe in it.
Not to mention that Rahm's goal with this is to strengthen his objective to making Chicago a Sanctuary City. And it's something I believe is the right thing to do. How can I reject any race of people from finding their place knowing the plight of black people's history? But I also want black folks to have every opportunity to fulfill their desired dreams in Chicago--and that has not happen under Rahm's blind eyes nor any other administration since Harold Washington.
Rahm is someone whom I would call leadership deficient. He has no leadership skills. He's only a man who can bark orders, twist arms, and demand what he wants or else. In that process he's created a city full of people who completely dislike him. And he wonders why! It's because he's not an effective leader. Nor is most in politics today. It's quite obvious that leadership has been missing, especially within the black elected body of politics. I hate to say this, because I know some really good people, but politics is a game of liars not leaders!
How else can you explain communities that are in shambles and totally ruined and dysfunctional. These are communities that are led by elected officials who call themselves leaders--men and women who jobs it is to develop and maintain progressive and vibrant neighborhoods. By the way, Rahm, black folks are not IMMIGRANTS. We were brought to this country forcibly, not looking for opportunities, just to recapture our identity! So please educate yourself! And his black loyalists, help him understand reality from fiction!
What really jerked at my chain at this press briefing was the fact that Emanuel did what he often does. He attempted to make himself cry to show how emotional he is about an issue he's targeting or when he gives his repeated immigrant story of his beloved father. This bothers me because never have I seen Rahm shed a tear or even hold a press conference, for that matter, to discuss how in the hell can Chicago be the leading city in the nation with the highest unemployment for black people. Where is his compassion for that horrific stat?
This issue should have the Mayor, the City Council and other parts of government in Illinois, to declare a state of emergency! How can people who are displaced embrace Rahm's One Chicago motto? Chicago, as great a city as it is, has a leadership shortage. And until real leaders step up and make real changes, One Chicago will remain totally divided. And we know who'll suffer most! Until the next edition...... Peace and One Love. I Write to Differ