This was originally a comment in response to the article written by Jim Clifton, “Let’s Fix It: America Is Running Out of Entrepreneurs,” that grew far too long to be a comment.

Clifton begins his article with a decent argument and then decides to link social unrest to unemployment, which could be partially true. However, he then chooses to discredit his argument for entrepreneurship as he links the people in Ferguson and their willingness to riot with negativity due to their unemployment.

“If all those young men in Ferguson had a good job to go to each morning — one where they could feel pride in themselves, feel productive, and be doing something that matters — do you think they would be in the streets, protesting, rioting, and looting? Probably not.”

Well you know what? Ferguson matters. Black and brown lives matter. How about if “police” weren’t killing young black men in higher numbers than any other ethnic group in Ferguson (and across the country) men could feel pride in themselves, feel productive and be doing something that matters? Ya know, other than looking over their shoulders for the George Zimmerman’s and Darren Wilson’s of the world.

I’m not understanding how this was a positive point for the argument on entrepreneurship. “Humiliated and hopeless” is the equivalent of trying to survive in a country that fails to recognize that your ancestors built this country on their backs and expects you to jump miles and miles ahead when you’ve been oppressed since before the Declaration of Independence. We fail to recognize that this is an underlying issue for the underemployment of minorities.

Access the Photo Above Here: David Horsey, LA Times, 2014.

We’re too busy blaming people instead of looking to systemic racial issues.

As The Washington Post reported, “The unemployment and poverty rates for blacks in St. Louis County are consistently higher than those rates for white residents.”

Oh look, another “wonderful” point. *insert sarcasm*

How about we look to the disparities in the numbers of college graduates by race/ethnicity? And while we’re at it, the social constraints surrounding the implications of attending college for minorities from communities like Ferguson, Missouri. For example: the dependence on financial aid versus sitting generational wealth to obtain the level of education necessary to compete in the global marketplace? Or the retention rate of minorities at PWI’s due to lack of resources to support our educational pursuits? OR maybe, just maybe all of the BLACK young men who were excited that a member of their community was accepted to college and set to attend in a few weeks had his life stolen from someone by someone who is paid to “protect and serve” citizens.

While we’re on the subject of inequality, let’s also talk about the lack of women CEO’s and unequal pay. I go to bed every night not feeling worthy and less productive because I make significantly less money than my male counterparts. I also would rather sit at home feeling hopeless and not expecting things to ever change. *insert more drastic sarcasm*

No, we move forward. We stand up for what we believe in and if that means we have to “riot” when we ask for equality or justice to be served then so be it. We’re entitled to do so in America.

Mr. Clifton, you could’ve saved this argument.


This blog was originally posted on LinkedIn.