Skip to comments.Should Black People Walk Away from Valentine's Day Spending?
Posted on 02/14/2011 10:20:47 AM PST by Libloather
Should Black People Walk Away from Valentine's Day Spending?
By Boyce Watkins, PhD on Feb 14th 2011 10:56AM
Most men know how expensive Valentine's Day can get. Someone decided that spending money is somehow a translation to showing love, which is an interesting, misguided relationship philosophy. Valentine's Day is one of the most over-hyped holidays known to man, with advertising starting almost right after Christmas. Any man in a serious relationship is well-aware of the pending doom of his social life if he doesn't flex his wallet at least a little bit on that special day.
According to the National Federation's 2010 Valentine's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, over $14 billion is spent on Valentine's Day-related purchases. This is roughly $103 for every single man, woman and child in America. Yes, the hype has real economic consequences.
What's even crazier is that 2010 doesn't even set a record. In 2008, $17 billion was spent on the holiday. (Perhaps all those 'Oprah Winfrey' shows about saving money kicked in and people started to show their love in ways that went beyond spending money.) These numbers make me wonder why I have to prove my love for others by busting my bank account on a holiday created by someone else.
The challenge of Valentine's Day can be especially daunting for African American men, who struggle with unemployment rates approaching 20 percent. Black family wealth is, according to recent estimates, as low as one-fiftieth that of white families, and millions of African Americans are facing bankruptcy, foreclosure and other forms of economic devastation. The struggle to find economic resources makes it difficult for men to become providers, and adds to the stress of black families that are already struggling to stay together. It also makes it difficult for single men to date or show affection to the woman in whom they may be interested, primarily because economic stability is highly correlated with the perception of an individual's manhood. Valentine's Day can only make the embarrassment that much worse for men who are trying to survive in an economy where they have the worst unemployment and educational levels in the nation.
My belief? African Americans may want to consider letting go of Valentine's Day, at least the over-commercialized part of it. For women, I suggest that you make a deal with your man: tell him that you don't want him to spend very much money on you -- but what he doesn't spend in money, he must overcompensate for with time and affection. Your man will appreciate you letting him off the hook and he will hopefully return the favor by giving you a level of loyalty he wouldn't be willing to give to anyone else. Being a true partner in love means helping your partner become stronger, not becoming yet another drain on their resources. By getting away from models of romantic interaction that become nothing more than economic exchanges, millions of members of the black community can find everlasting love.
I’m a “white guy”. I don’t cooperate with the Valentine Day scam; and, my wife thinks that is pretty smart.
Here’s an idea: How about ANYONE who cannot provide for his family should not spend money on Valentine’s Day. geeezz
In a show of solidarity with my Black brothers and sisters, I am “walking away” from Valentine’s Day!
one less thing...heh...heh...heh...
Yo, what does Ballantines Day have to do with love? I thought it was about beer!!
Wonder how much money is spent on that other made up holiday, what’s it called, kwanzza?
Valentine's Day is a crock of crap no matter what color your skin is.
And you know what, if a woman is only impressed with how much you spend on her, dump her sorry rear end and find someone else.
I think ALL men should. I really am sick and tired of this manufactured ‘holiday’. I’ve been with my wife for 27 years and we’ve stood by each other through thick and thin...we don’t need Hallmark to tell us when it’s time to express our love for each other.
I would imagine since it is continual anger. But waking up every day blaming everything on color gives a certain number of drones a reason to exist for their shorter life span.
“In a show of solidarity with my Black brothers and sisters, I am walking away from Valentines Day!”
How very racially exclusive of you! Are they really “brothers and sister”? Or is it just because they’re “black” as you say? Too bad we’re not just all Americans. I’m so tired of that “Black brothers and sisters” crap. Now, I’ll be called a racist.
That's good advice for anybody regardless of skin color.
I have to wonder if this dim bulb author things tight finances happen only to black people. Like one dude said "I see a lot more black people driving white Cadillacs than I see white people driving black Cadillacs." Why is that?
Unfortunately the opposite sex has a different opinion, or this thing would not fly.
Minorities hit hardest.
You just can’t make this stuff up.
To quote Al Bundy: “Jefferson! The beast of all holidays is upon us!”
Dang! I wish I'd known that 50 years ago. I Sure could've saved a bunch of money.
Just make sure I’m understanding this correctly: so black people are the only ones struggling to make ends meet & pay the bills, right? Oh....in that case, we should all protest that evil whitey holiday known as Valentine’s day.
Please. Who is dumb enough to think like this?
Having a wife who doesn't expect me to break the bank on frivolous crap is a great bless for which I thank the Almighty LORD every single day... multiple times if I piss her off!
I know. Despite all my big talk I won’t go home tonight without a card. That’s all I’m buying though...
Should Muslims who decry Valentine’s day who also decry love, join with the blacks...in other words sounds to me like they are targeting to blacks to forego Valentine’s day....But then I just learned about 2 years ago, blacks try to only shop at black owned businesses!
What a stupid question. More racist nonsense.
“Someone decided that spending money is somehow a translation to showing love, which is an interesting, misguided relationship philosophy.”
Wrong. Women selecting mates who can care for them and their offspring’s material needs is a deeply rooted human behavior and not recently made up and decided upon by ‘someone’. Many aspects of human physiology, from the specifics of child-bearing to neurochemistry make it thus.
I agree with your wife, and my husband agrees with you. We celebrated our anniversary just ten days ago, and anyway, as a general policy we don’t care for invented occasions that demand we spend money.
We went out on Saturday night, and skipped all the expensive meals.
We’ll get each other cards, and I might get some flowers.
Simple is nice.
The challenge of Valentine’s Day can be especially daunting for African American men, who struggle with unemployment rates approaching 20 percent. Black family wealth is, according to recent estimates, as low as one-fiftieth that of white families, and millions of African Americans are facing bankruptcy, foreclosure and other forms of economic devastation. -——————
Yeah and whites don’t get Reparations, Pigford and Pigford II, but they pay for it.
Here it started just before Christmas and Easter was tucked along side it as well.
However, I have a few friends who learned that the hard way. Sad to say but true.
You can buy jewelry, flowers, and you can have a nice dinner without spending a fortune.... because we don't measure the value by the size of the expenditure.
i think that's sweet... i have all my Valentine's Day cards from my husband... V-day is my third favorite holiday--after Halloween and Thanksgiving... not because of expensive gifts... because of nostalgia... mu birthday is a few days before Feb. 14th, so i would often receive valentine-sy gifts on my birthday... red and pink wrapping... i like all the pink and red at this time of the year... and i always had a heart-shaped cake... today, after going to the gym and working out together, my husband and i went out to breakfast... later, after dinner, we will all (with our two boys) share a heart-shaped chocolate cake that i baked... he loves chocolate... i don't bake often...
That's a pretty good plan for EVERYBODY.
I’m past giving a damn what black people do...
A few years ago, Valentine’s Day fell on a Saturday night, and my husband and I went out on it.
Our dinner was expensive, and it took forever. I think it was a 3 hour dinner.
We had fun because we rarely go out, but I told my husband that I didn’t want to do something like that again.
We can’t go out when Valentine’s is on a weekday because we have kid duties.
The writer is saying black women aren’t worth it.
I wonder...how many people ever ask themselves why a group that has been voting for one party for about 40 years has a 20% unemployment rate and the worst education profile of any ethnicity?
I’m betting black unemployment wasn’t 20% at the beginning of the Great Society.
I tend to get into the crass commercial spirit of both Valentine’s Day and Halloween. It is Father’s Day and Mother’s Day when I go bare bones.
This year I didn’t buy any gold jewelry but got my wife, mother-in-law, and children big silly heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, top-quality stuffed bear, and chocolate brands including Godiva, Whitman’s, Russell-Stover, Gheradeli, Toblerone, and M&Ms. Included some spendable gifts too. I’m cheap with cards because I usually make my own.
...cause if there is anything destroying black families/relationships...it’s Valentine’s Day. (rolling eyes)
So is men being focused on appearance.
Doesn’t make either the female or male focus any less shallow.
We should be able to move past evolutionary imperatives. Seems to me that’s one reason we went to all the trouble to evolve into thinking beings. So we wouldn’t operate just on instinct.
Whitey’s fault. Makin the brothers send candy and flowers to all they baby mamas.
“I dont cooperate with the Valentine Day scam”
What’s the scam? I mean, no one forces you to buy anything or rips you off if you do. It is simply a made up holiday to sell stuff, but it has become a tradition.
Yep, valentine’s day is MUCH worse than paying teenage girls to have bastard babies.
Deep thoughts to ponder... ; D
Dear author, how does one know which ethnicities should participate in commercial Valentines Day and which shouldn’t? Please list the same 37 ethnicities as described in the California census, with how we should celebrate Valentine’s Day beside each fractioned ethnicity. Otherwise it will be too confusing.
If you like, you can also describe the celebration style per swatch of skin colors, using at least 20 shades of beige and brown, please.
Since this article divides people between WHITE and BLACK. why isn’t it considered racist? oh, wait a minute.... the author....
Well get each other cards, and I might get some flowers.
Simple is nice.”
I agree. My wife love plants and cut flowers just die, so I got her a bonsai gardenia plant and we will go out to our favorite restaurant on Thursday.
Not all of us. Hubby and I can afford to do an over-commercialized Valentine’s Day. But neither of us has the time or patience to think up more stuff we want or need for the other to buy us. So we took the pressure off by agreeing to not exchange gifts on Valentine’s Day. We don’t even go out to dinner, hate crowds. We focus on our relationship, instead.