*Attorney and Emmy nominated producer Antonio Moore explains the larger context of the recent news of Tyrese‘s financial woes, and Will Smith’s supposed involvement.
Moore uses data from the Federal Reserve, and expertise of aneconomist to give a larger lens to frame the problematic news released by Tyrese in recent weeks.
Read More on the “Decadent Veil: Black America’s Wealth Illusion”
I write this piece following the ground work laid by W.E.B. Dubois’s Veil of Double Consciousness. The veil he described was a visualization of the racial duality blacks take on as part of their American identity. I now undertake the daunting task of clarifying the new veil of economics that has covered the struggles of a generation. The decadent veil looks at black Americans through a lens of group theory and seeks to explain an illusion that has taken form over a 30-year span of financial deregulation and new found access to unsecured credit. This veil is trimmed with million-dollar sports contracts, Roc Nation tour deals and designer labels made for heads of state. As black celebrity invited us into their homes through shows like MTV cribs, we forgot the condition of overall African American financial affairs. Despite a large section of the 14 million black households drowning in poverty and debt the stories of a few are told as if they represent those of millions, not thousands. It is this new veil of economics that has allowed for a broad swath of America to become not just desensitized to black poverty, but also hypnotized by black celebrity. How could we not? Our channels from ESPN to VH1 are filled with presentations of black Americans being paid a king’s ransom to entertain. As black celebrity has been shown to millions of people, millions of times, the story of real lives has also been lost, and with it the engine that thrust forward the demand for social justice by the masses. The heartbeat of social action is to recognize your mistreatment, and demand better. With each presentation of Kobe Bryant’s 25 million dollar a year contract, or Oprah’s status as the sole African American billionaire a veil of false calm is created within the overall American economic psyche about the immense black wealth disparity. Young black men from ghettos across America that used to dream to make great changes in racial inequity now just dream to be a millionaire and be like mike and dunk a ball or dance on a stage. The decadent veil not only warps the black community’s vision outward to a larger economic world, but it also distorts outside community’s view of Black America’s actual financial reality.