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Troy

It seems like everyone has their hand out today...

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On a daily basis I'm being hit up by someone or some organization for money.  I'm not talking about a sales pitch where you are get something tangible like a product or service.  I'm not even talking about a charitable organization seeking a tax deductible contribution for a worthy cause.

 

I'm talking about the solicitations for money where there is no direct benefit to you.  The only benefit goes just to the recipient.  These are not requests for a loan where you may get a little interest, or at least see your money again, but an outright request for money.  These requests are indistinguishable from the "homeless" person asking for money from strangers on the street.  We used to call this begging and the behavior was frowned upon in most circles.

 

Sure the begging today is a little more sophisticated and slicker, but it is begging none the less.  But unlike the beggar, you may encounter on the subway on the way home from work, this new form of begging is more difficult to ignore. 

 

In this modern form of begging the beggar actually refers to you by name.  Indeed, you may even know and like the beggar.  In fact, they already know this and are counting on it to make you an easy mark.  Amazingly, these beggar can even get you to beg on their behalf without sharing in any of the proceeds with you.  

 

The worse part is the beggars often have more financial resources than the person they taking money from.  In fact, the more money the beggar has, the more success they will enjoy, separating the less well off from their funds.

 

I'm not sure when it started, maybe it was when Barack Obama first hit me up for $25.  I guess some computer program sized me up and determined 25 bucks was the right about to ask for.  At any rate, I made the donation, proud to financially support a Brother on his way to the White House to fight on behalf of the masses.  But the requests never some coming, in fact I got another a couple of days ago.  The elections are over, where is the money going?  I ignore the emails now.

 

It seems like every time I turn around there is another person with a kick-starter or Indie-go-go request asking for money for some project.  I feel bad not being able to contribute, but I work really hard for every penny I earn, and frankly some of these organizations asking for money really do need to support AALBC.com for a change. 

 

Yesterday, I got several requests, all from organization I like and support.  But I've also come to the realization that I can't support every individual in the way that they want me to support them.  I feel like the parent who won't give one child a treat unless I can one to everyone.

 

At the same time I realize I'm probably taking all of this begging too personally.  The beggars are not looking to see whose has contributed and holding it against them:
 

     Barack reviewing his list of donors is taken aback that Troy Johnson has not contributed.  Michelle, noticing his frustration, tenderly rubs Barack's brow, and whispers, "Baby what's wrong?"
     Barack blurts out, "That Negro, Troy has not given me any money since 2008! Doesn't he support a Black man in the white house?! Michelle these self-hating Negros will be the death of me.  He probably is against Obama Care too."

     Michelle unaccustomed to seeing her Barry loose his cool, pulls Barack to her bosom and says, "Don't worry baby just get the IRS to audit him or have Google drop his page rank a few points that will fix his monkey a-s."

 

No, despite the personalized salutation, these are usually mass mailings and the beggars are not thinking about me anymore than the more traditional beggar on the street corner.

 

Maybe it is just the sheer volume requests coming from every from celebrities like Spike Lee and Alice Walker to regular people including my friends and family. At any rate, I'm just tired of seeing them.

 

Lately I've been putting a lot of effort into Huria Search a website whose mission is to support independent Black owned websites. The website is run, like AALBC.com, by just me.  But I'm not attempting to make money from it Huria Search, though of course it takes time an money to maintain. 

 

Free promotion through Huria Search and even the platform provided by AALBC.com and articles in my Blog is my contribution to the indie book sellers, newspapers, magazines, and other types of websites.  This is much more valuable than a onetime $25 contribution.

 

I just need to acknowledge I'm giving all that I can now and to stop feeling guilty about not doing even more.

 

 

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Me, I'm such a procrastinator. I keep saying I'm going to send a contribution in the envelope they provide, but I've never gotten around to financially supporting the Disabled Veterans of America for the name and address labels they send me sheets of on a regular basis. I actually use these handy little items, some of which are very pretty. I'm going to do better in the future.

 

To demonstrate my contempt for what this country has become, I'm also going to take the DAV's patriotic stickers with the American flag on them and throw them into the trash!

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I always use my addresses label -- they even come with designed for the holidays you gotta love them.  I contributed once, not I'm permanently on the mailing list it has been a quarter of a century now.

 

I went to Wikipedia today (laud help me).  Wikipedia had a very prominent appeal for money at the top of their site.  Boasting about being the #5 website (thanks in no small part to Google), and to only having 137 employes but serving 5 million (I have only myself and I serve a quarter of a million).

 

It seems to me that being the #5 site that Wikipedia should be able to raise money for their site without putting their hand out to the general public.  If AALBC.com was the number 5 site I would be giving away -- seriously!

 

Now Wikipedia seems to provide a good service but if you look carefully they serve as a vehicle for large company to promote their sites at the virtual exclusion of independent, especially Black independent, sites.  I read somewhere that 85% of the content is generated by white males.  I wrote and article about Wikipedia sometime ago on how the volunteers are really being exploited as large companies use Wikipedia's content on their own websites.

 

What nerve...

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I see things a little differently.....

Just like I don't have a problem accepting money from people if I'm doing them a favor.

There's nothing wrong with giving money as long as you're getting something of value in return.

Look at it as an investment.

I didn't mind paying local radio talk shows money or taking them to lunch in exchange for some airtime or promotion....it was an investment.

As long as both parties understand eachother.

This is a CAPITALIST based society, money is important and to pretend otherwise is disingenuous.

 

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Pioneer there is a big difference between using money in a transaction where you get a good or service in return.  Using money in an investment where there are terms for interest or a share in a company -- that is cool too. 

 

But that is not what I'm talking about.

 

What I'm describing are the daily requests for money from profit driven entities -- not charities, who want you to fund their project -- just because.  Sure you are promised something like a signed DVD from a filmmaker, for example, but it is never equal to the value of what you've paid -- nor is it even expected to be. 

 

You are just funding a project because it is worthy.  (And now that I think about it I have never received a DVD from any of the films I help fund).

 

Maybe I'm sensitive to this because of the sheer volume of requests I get.  I used to at least read the appeals.  Now I'm overwhelmed and ignore them most of them.

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