Thursday, November 26, 2009

In 2010, is it still important to support Black businesses?

Several times in life you will be called upon to answer blanket general questions for your entire race. Questions like, why is it OK for Black people to call one another the “n” word, but not white people? The answer is pretty much the same for every Black person, “It just is.” For the record, don’t ever ask me how I feel about that word, you just won’t get a straight answer out of me. And it just so happens I tend to piss more Black people off than white. However, in year of Obama, two-thousand and nine, it’s time that we start revisiting some of these questions and start updating our answers. The subject of supporting Black businesses has been around for just about as long as there have been free Black people in America.

In order to build a nation, the nation must produce a commodity worth trading. It’s essential in proving one’s worth to the other nations, and important in sustaining a nation, because it is impossible to produce everything for one’s self. This is why it’s important that Black businesses exist; they create products that help Blacks exchange commodities with other races to create “civilization.” However, has our decision to support Black business sometimes come at the sacrifice of the common decision factors we use when deciding what to purchase? Cost, quality and innovation are my main decision factors. Is it a crime to say that my main decision factors do not include race?

The predisposed notion that I must support Black businesses makes fundamentally no sense and sounds like some type of quota system that I want no parts of. And also, take for example, if I’m Jewish, and so I only do my grocery shopping at a Jewish grocery store. The reason why I’m there is really two-fold, 1) because it’s someone I feel comfortable doing business with, and 2) because they offer the foods that I can’t find elsewhere. The harsh reality for me is that I don’t feel that by supporting Black business they offer products that I can’t find elsewhere. And I’m not always comfortable with doing business on the basis of color because people have a tendency to lean on that relationship.

I have two more examples that I’m going to lay out on the table for this conversation. The Black owned Soul Food spot and Carol’s Daughter.

The Soul Food spot around my way is the spot where you can get your fried chicken, collard greens, and candied yams that we all grew up on. My issue with this place is, the service is horrible and the cost is sky high. I get my meal on a plastic plate, a quarter of piece of dark meat, one spoon each of greens and yams, and the total cost is $12. Meanwhile, just a short distance down the block is the carryout where I can get basically the same food, larger portions, quicker service and the total cost is $7. Because I know that both of these places have knowledge that the other exists, the only reason why the Soul Food spot keeps its prices that high is because they lean on the strength of Black support. I do not tolerate the argument that they have higher costs because if that was the case they could simply find out where the carryout was shopping for their food and supplies. In this case, I rebuke all that say I should support the Soul Food spot “off the strength.”

Carol’s Daughter is a line of beauty products that appeal to everyone not just one race of people. You can find them in malls and you can also order online. They compete with stores like, Bath & Body Works, and Bed, Bath and Beyond. Here’s the thing about Carol’s Daughter, their products are better quality, the service is superb, and although the cost is a bit more, they sustain that cost by producing a superior product. In this case, I never buy beauty products from anywhere else but Carol’s Daughter. The consolation prize, oh yeah, I’m actually supporting a Black business.

I hope I was able to shed some light on an issue that bugs me. I do not have a problem supporting Black business, but I also don’t have a problem supporting white business either. I’d like to take race off of commerce, because my money is green, not Black or white. I realize that there is a need to sustain a Black economy, and overall I believe we do a good job of that. However, the predisposed notion that I purchase Black owned goods regardless of cost, quality or innovation is absurd. I can’t do it, and won’t do it.

While, I’m here talking about food. I just want to give a shoutout to Catfish Fridays in DC. My dude, Chris runs a great business over there and people should try and support as much as possible.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Dr. J is slowly coming back to the BlogWorld.

As always follow me, @DrJayJack – I appreciate your comments here, but I’d love to follow some of you and get good conversation more frequently.

Friday, November 20, 2009

There Goes the Neigboorhood.

I live on this gentrified block in DC. You know the block that if you go East, West, North, South.. shyt might just pop off. But this is to be expected, when we move our buppie and yuppie butts in a "up & coming" neighborhood to be able to afford the convenience of saying "we live in the city".

The most that has ever happened to me are my car windows got busted. Oh I lie. I got robbed too. But hey, I consider it a fact that you aint no real DC resident until you got your windows busted. So toast to me, it has happened twice.

I find it amusing how some other folks, ahem usually white yuppies, are surprised about the shyt that pop offs.

OMG, they are selling drugs! OMG there is a crackhead! OMG! OMG!!

HELLO!?! We all moved into the Hood Willingly! #wheretheydothatat!!!

All we can do is protect ourselves and employ common sense. Right? Mmhm Common sense is not common. Check this out:

A random neighbor wrote this :

"Yesterday at about 8:00 p.m. as I parked near Y Street about 20 black men were walking down the street in two large groups. They were coming from the intersection of X Street and 71 st. One of them attempted to initiate conversation as I got out of my car (from across the street). Needless to say, they were intimidating. Not sure who there were… I certainly didn’t want to assume negative thoughts, but could help to wonder if they were a gang."

OMG! 20 black people walking on the street at 8pm! There goes the neighborhood. Yea right. This person needs to get real. You moved into a predominately black neighborhood. This particular persons common sense said to him or her "Group of black people walking in the street= Gang". Some places this could be true. Is this person a racist?

A response written to this admission of intimidation:
"The post seems to be a partial admission of internalized racism, but I can't tell if the writer is struggling to overcome it or seeking validation from the group for holding these feelings."

What you do you think? Racism? DC Bup needs to move? What?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Buppie Must: Manage Your Money

I am always looking for ways to manage my money. I mean, maintaining my lifestyle and reaching a financial goals are important to me. Wanted to share an avenue in which I get a lot of my tips.
I use 7/10 of these services. Buppie Must Do!

Ten Financial Companies to Watch from Finovate 2009

I’m blogging live today from Finovate in New York, a one-day conference featuring the best new financial and banking technology innovations from leading established companies and the hottest young startups. I just finished listening to 31—that’s right, 31—presentations. Let me assure you, there’s a lot of exciting stuff happening behind-the-scenes of your bank account. There are also a lot of finovations that you can (or will soon be able to) interact with directly. Here are some of my “first impression” favorites. Enjoy!

1. SmartyPig: Goal-Based Saving

SmartyPig is the place to save for specific goals. Launched at Finovate 2008, SmartyPig has collected over a half billion dollars in deposits without spending a dollar in advertising. SmartyPig features a competitive interest rate on your savings, widgets to encourage friends and families to contribute to your saving goals, and the ability to receive up to a 6% “boost” on your savings when you withdraw money via a retail gift card (for example, if you were saving for a specific item). SmartyPig also announced today the ability to link Twitter and Facebook accounts to your SmartyPig account so they automatically send an update whenever you contribute money to your savings goals.

2. MShift: Deposit Checks with Your Cell Phone

MShift is a leading provider of mobile banking solutions to financial institutions nationwide. MShift already lets banking customers check their account balances and pay bills from most mobile phones (not just iPhones). Today, MShift demoed how users can deposit a check with a mobile phone simply by taking a photograph and texting the image to the bank. To use MShift, you’ll have to wait until your bank or credit union adopts their technology.

3. Home Account: Making Getting a Mortgage Easier

For every ten mortgage applications in the U.S., only four close. Home Account can help the forty percent of Americans ready to buy a home find the guaranteed lowest cost mortgage and help the 60% of home buyers who can’t yet qualify for a mortgage take specific steps (like paying off debt, improving credit scores, or putting more down) to become qualified. Users pay either a one-time fee of $49.95 or $10 a month.

4. Tile Financial: Connecting Advisers with Young Investors

In the next 10 to 15 years, young generations will inherent over $1 trillion. Problem is, young people aren’t identifying with today’s financial advisers and institutions. Consequently, 90% of the time money changes hands, it also changes banks or brokerages. Tile Financial aims to help banks and financial institutions connect with younger investors, especially those ages 15-25.

Through participating banks, Tile provides an online personal finance management tool that allows users to see their money in three distinct “spheres”: Spend, Grow, and Give. As users view each sphere, Tile pushes content—but not ads—to help users learn about money.

5. Credit Report Card

Look out CreditKarma, there’s a new “totally free credit score” option out there:’s Credit Report Card. The report card lets users see not only range estimates for all of their credit scores, but also a letter grade indicator of their overall credit health.

The report card then breaks down and grades you in the five areas that contribute to your credit health: payment history, debt usage, credit age, account mix, and number of inquiries. The credit report card is totally free for users and counts as a “soft inquiry” so there’s no impact on your credit score for checking.

6. Outright: Free Small Business Accounting

Did you know that 75% of U.S. small businesses are one-person shops? is striving to be the free Web-based accounting platform of choice for those 20 million sole proprietors. I’ve written about Outright before and, in fact, I use them myself for my accounting for my own blogging business. They’re everything you need, and nothing you don’t. (If you’re not an accountant and ever tried to use Quickbooks, you’ll know what I mean).

Today Outright unveiled the ability to import expenses form credit cards and bank accounts as well as partnerships with PayPal and eBay. PayPal users can send or receive money directly from Outright, and eBay sellers can use an integrated version of Outright right from eBay. Not for everybody, but if you run a small business full- or part-time (or someday hope to), keep a keen eye on Outright.

7. BancVue: Kasasa—Power to Small Banks

BankVue is a company that will soon give hundreds of small community-based banks and credit unions the power to compete with the largest national banks through a joint product and marketing campaign: Kasasa. Banks that sign onto the Kasasa program will offer interest-bearing free checking, high yield savings, unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, and even monthly rewards like free iTunes credits when you do things that “make the bank’s life easier” like pay bills online or enroll in e-statements. Power to small banks!

8. Kapitall: “Elegantly Smooth” Investing Research

Investors simply must check out Kapitall. This feature-rich, elegantly smooth web-based application does for investing what the iPhone did for cell phones. Kapitall looks a bit advanced for real newbie investors, but should please everyone else. Sign up for the beta version today, and soon you’ll be able to trade within Kaptiall using an integrated TDAmeritrade brokerage account.

9. Budgeting Widget Now on Yahoo!

Online budgeting tool Mint has about 1.6 million users, but they’re hoping to blow that number out of the water now that the Mint budgeting tool is available on Yahoo!. Now, you can check your budget just as easily as you check the weather. Despite the budgeting tool’s recent success and acquisition by Intuit, however, Finovate shows that there should be plenty of formidable competition for Mint in the personal finance manager space.

10. BillShrink: Building a Better Decision Engine

There are a lot of sites out there that give users the ability to compare bank accounts and credit cards, but BillShrink is raising the stakes with a customized deposit search tool that can even show you, for example, how many ATMs a particular bank offers in your region (and how many are free). Shopping for a new credit card? BillShrink lets you see how credit card companies are doing with complying with recently-enacted consumer protection legislation. It’s often hard to say why one comparison site is better than another; BillShrink is certainly trying.

That wraps up my picks for today, but I’ll probably be giving shout-outs to a few more Finovate participants soon. Have experiences with any of these companies or services? Do share!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Your b!tch is Wild

A few weekends ago I had a bit of mixer at the crib. It was a interesting dynamic because between myself and my roommate, we pulled buppies from all types of different crowds. For the most part it was successful except for this one buppie couple. And now I write this ode to them

Your Bitch is Wild.

1. Your bitch is wild if she come to a cookout and don't say hi to anyone.

2. You bitch is wild if she come to a birthday mixer and don't wish the birthday girl happy birthday.

3. You was wild for dragging your bitch here in the first place.

4. You bitch was wild for coming into the condo, and still not speaking to anyone.

5. Your bitch was wild, because even people who aint even know your bitch was like she stank, and she aint even open her mouth.

6. Your bitch is wild, because she took one shot, and was drunk for 5 minutes and told all the girls in the house they had weaves.

7. You bitch is wild for going to look for you when you walked 20 feet away from her.

8. Your bitch was wild for asking how much we pay in rent? Then got mad when we politely chose to say that's not her business.

9. Your bitch was wild for running into my bedroom talking like "sha nay nay" "O my goodness don't wear those shoes."

10. Your bitch is wild for fitten to fight your female co-worker in the club for talking to you.

The bottomline is this, it is a buppie don't: NOT to have social skills. It is a personal buppie don't to be all insecure with your man in front of people. Come on ladies. Keep your confidence issues behind closed doors. It is so not becoming. Please lets stop having "Wild bitch moments." The world will be a better place if you left your crazy bitch at home.