Skip to comments."It's Not Racial Barriers That Keep Blacks From Prospering."
Posted on 11/26/2003 11:25:55 AM PST by Luke Skyfreeper
Forty years ago next week, a prominent black businessman, SB Fuller of the Fuller Products Company, addressed the National Association of Manufacturers.
Because Fuller refused to "toe the party line," his speech touched off a firestorm of rage that would lead to much of black America boycotting his businesses -- thus destroying much of his fortune.
Nevertheless, although his business enterprises were forced through bankruptcy, he managed to hold on to at least a portion of his wealth. When the great businessman died some 25 years later, at age 83, he was still quite a prosperous man.
SB Fuller was born into abject poverty. His rise to wealth and prominence has to be one of the great success stories of all time. It is hard to imagine a least likely candidate for success.
As a young man, Fuller started out literally penniless.
He was a black man in pre-Civil-Rights America.
To top that off, he was a black man with only a sixth-grade education.
And to top that off, SB Fuller's search for success began... during the Great Depression.
In 1935, Fuller started his first business, with only $25.
He would eventually become a multimillionaire who owned or controlled 9 different corporations.
Below are excerpts from SB Fuller's earth-shaking speech of December 6, 1963. [Note: I have edited out Mr. Fuller's use of the (then-current) word "Negro," replacing it with more current language.)
It's Not Racial Barriers That Keep Blacks From Prospering:
American Blacks Must Pool Capital in Order to Help Themselves
[Reprinted from Issues & Views Summer 1991, with phrasing edits]
[Address by businessman S.B. Fuller to the National Association of Manufacturers, December 6, 1963.]
. . . . It is contrary to the laws of nature for man to stand still; he must move forward, or the eternal march of progress will force him backward. This the black man has failed to understand; he believes that the lack of civil rights legislation, and the lack of integration have kept him back. But this is not true. . . .
In 1952, the average black man's income was 57% of that of the white man's, but in 1962 it was only 53% of his income. In a period of ten years, the black man's income had dropped 4 percentage points in comparison with the white man's income. The main reason for this is black lack of understanding of our capitalistic system of government. Capitalism is defined as "an economic system in which capital and capitalists play the principal part. Specifically, the established economic system of most modern civilized countries, in which the ownership of land and natural wealth, the production, distribution, and exchange of goods, the employment and reward of human labor, and the extension, organization, and operation of the system itself, are entrusted to, and effected by private enterprise and control, under competitive conditions."
This black America does not understand. Let's take, for example, distribution at the retail level. One-sixth of all people employed in America are employed in retail selling; 11,650,000 people in retail sales as of 1962. If the black man had the amount of initiative, courage and imagination required, he could control the retail selling in his own community. Since he represents 10% of the population of America today, he would be able to employ 1,065,000 people. There are 1,788,325 retail establishments in America and yet in New York City, where there are over 1,000,000 black people, they do not own over 15 businesses which employ over 10 people.
Unfortunately, blacks believe that there is a racial barrier in America which keeps them from succeeding, yet if they would learn to use the laws of observation, concentration, memory, reason, and action, they would realize that there is a world of opportunity right in their own communities. . . .
Because [the black man] does not own and control retail establishments in his own community, he is unable to stabilize his community. For every evening, at the close of business, the substantial citizen leaves that community and goes to another community to live, thus leaving black community improverished, and the wealth derived from the community through retail sales is transferred to the other community, thus building up that community. These merchants are not to be blamed for this, because the supply and demand must be satisfied. Since blacks do not supply the demand in their own communities, the white man must come in, and he takes advantage of the opportunity. Then blacks think that there is a racial barrier that keeps them from making progress. Therefore, blacks ask for legislation to remove the barrier which they automatically created themselves, due to their own lack of action.
The average black man believes that the purpose of business is to furnish jobs, but this is not true. The purpose of business is to render service and to make a profit, and by doing this, it must employ people. These people must be able to render service and produce a commodity that the businessman can sell at a profit. If not the business can no longer employ the individual. . . .
Black people must pool their capital in order to help themselves. They must establish retail sales organizations throughout their communities and also must go into light manufacturing where retail selling has already produced an outlet for the products light manufacturing can produce. This will enable blacks to help solve their own problems. . . .
Since our capitalistic system is a competitive system, the black man must learn to compete with his fellowman. He must not only seek jobs, but he must own establishments which will give jobs to others. . . .
[Courtesy of Hagley Museum & Library, Wilmington, DE]
If SB Fuller could achieve success -- even megasuccess -- then neither racial discrimination, nor disadvantage, nor poverty, nor lack of education, nor lack of resources, nor hard economic times, can ultimately hinder you if you take charge of your own life and diligently do the right things.
Today the challenges are different, and the success that can be envisioned is a much greater level of success. Why don't we have more black people who have achieved success at the level of Donald Trump? Why have we never yet had a black President or Vice-President of the United States? I'll give you a hint: Although racial prejudice still exists, the real reason is not racism.
The other value is in the lesson: if SB Fuller could achieve success, anybody can.
By the way, I'll make a prediction: The first black President of the United States will be a conservative.
Yes, she probably will be. ;^)
If you're referring to Condoleezza, she would certainly be a prime candidate for first African-American President of the United States, as well as first female President of the United States... except from what I've read, I don't think she wants the job.
Now if she wanted the job...
Their parents busted their asses, made them study, pick up the language immediately, and my high school valedictorian was a boat kid who had only been in the country for 6 years, and she spoke no english when she arrived.
I am guessing that she is doing quite nicely for herself right now.
Another point. Black kids in the Bahamas average, yes average, 1200 points on the SAT's. They take them over there as well. They have outdated textbooks, less than $1,500 per student, yet they seem to be doing ok.
I get pissed off at the racists who think that blacks are genetically inferior, and that is why they flop, or the blacks who think the system is all gamed against them.
Both groups of people are full of crap. The problem is black american culture. Period. Kids are ashamed to do well, more often than not, don't have an intact family, and watch 3 hours more tv per day, than any other racial group. That is why they are not succeeding like recent immigrant groups like asians are.
Where I live, we have these "academies". Asian kids go to public school, then after that is done, they go to an intensive learning academy 2-3 hours after regular school every day, and then half days on saturdays. If black parents yanked the cable tv, and put money into sending their kids into extra schooling like this, surprise surprise, their kids would be doing better.
It is a very hot button issue for me. Nobody has the integrity on the left to say this to one of their key constituencies, and most on the right, are either fairly/unfairly tarred with racist attitudes.
We really need somebody like Jack Kemp, and a moderate black democrat to start up a foundation to push values that will further black kids towards success.
It is no good to just shrug our collective shoulders and just write off all these people. It is in our own economic self interest to have each american succeed to the best of their God given abilities. That means more taxpayers, less people draining the public dole. Our collective tax rate would go down dramatically because of this. It is a crying shame that we haven't declared a war on values, just like we declare a war on drugs, crime, poverty, etc..
If not now, when?
One prime example you may be familiar with.. Chief Moose, of Washington Metropolitan Area "Sniper" fame...
Granted, there were not many "successes" in his career - but clearly a strong candidate for having achieved his level of "accomplishment" with "preferences" strongly indicated...
Check out his history in Google and cringe....near your old hometown - Minneapolis has him on the short list for new Police Chief..
If Minneapolis hires this certifiable turkey, with his history - they deserve him..
There are two economic systems in the United States. Capitalism for the middle class and rich, and socialism for the poor. Socialism is a trap and carries a stigma, but eveyone has a choice. Once a person picks socialism they have doomed themselves and offspring to a life of dependency and poverty.
Then you have to define poverty. In the U.S. the poor have running water, heat, color television, phones, plenty to eat, and all the trappings of the middle class. Yet they are still poor, so what is poverty?
It is dependancy on government programs. It is also a state of mind. It is the lack of movitation to take the risks, work hard, and determine your own destiny, instead of waiting in line filling out forms and get a government handout.
I would like to see Condi run for a Statewide office first, get some actual experience as an elected official. Maybe a Senator?
"There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs."
~ Booker T. Washington
Grow up. There are a lot of black FReepers here on FR. Just say blacks or African-American, or is that too hard for you?
If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)
Extra warning: this is a high-volume ping list.
I see it around me in the place where I work. I see intelligent and talented but lazy and sullen black people who think there is racism everywhere, and blame racism for their failures instead of taking responsibility for their unwillingness to focus and work hard. There are also some more thoughtful young black people who have made a rather painful decision to move forward and leave their friends and family in the ghetto culture behind while they achieve success. I feel sorry for them as I watch them struggle with one of the big ethical questions of life.
It's time for blacks to reject liberal plantation solutions. Those liberal solutions don't work. Look at the fruit of the tree... Liberal "programs" have taught blacks to fail. It's very sad.
This article really hits the nail. I've grown up near black neighborhoods and I notice more and more Asians control all the retail locations. They barely speak English but they work hard, save money, work harder, save money, and eventually buy a business and prosper. Most Asians in these communities all drive luxury cars and send their kids to a good college. The black people I know generally don't have business sense. They think the only way to make money is to be an entertainer, athlete, lottery or by suing someone. I know some of you will say I'm racist. But I'm also a minority (Hispanic) and only white men can be racist remember?
This is a general statement. I'm sure there are a few unique cases where black people move up through hard work and saving, (I know a few) but I'm afraid that's becoming increasingly rare.
Maybe that's the only way Democrats can keep blacks in their party, by keeping them poor. Rich blacks (or those on their way) eventually leave the party, don't care about politics or become repubs.
Arnold's never held elected office either, until last week.
Rice's list of non-elected-office accomplishments is impressive, and speaks for itself.
And as Schwarzenegger has demonstrated, electability does not necessarily depend on prior elected experience.
Having said all that, I definitely agree she would need to get some elected-office experience first if she wanted to be President. Executive is better. In other words, if she wants to be President, she really ought to run for governor.
However, I could visualize her serving as VP and then possibly running for POTUS. Again, if she wanted to, and the available indications are that she doesn't.
Had Booker T. Washington "won out" over W.E.B. DuBois, the world would be a much different...and much better...place.
Yes. I heard Rev. Jackson saying much the same thing just the other night ... NOT!
One help found the NAACP and died an American-hating communist.
The other was a good guy.