Traditionally, black people have had a norm in their culture where their working class children are expected to support their parents and/or families once they become self-sufficient. This was viewed as a token of appreciation to the people who raised you and made you who you are today.
Is it still a necessary practice to uphold supporting our parents or are the families taking advantage of their breadwinners? Are we hindering our parents from finding credible sources of money that could help give them their daily bread? Or can we help them find sources of money without spoon-feeding them?? Some even say we should help our families find other sources of money to ease their dependency on the sole breadwinner.
Is it economically viable for families to be expecting money from their breadwinners monthly looking at the current financial climate globally? Are our siblings also lazy to find jobs or start small businesses and expecting easy money from their breadwinners? How much is giving back to the family and where can we draw the line? What makes the black race feel indebted when other races the children are not as expected to be the family provider?
Is Black tax an eternal , integral part of Black culture worldwide?
The Patriot on Sunday went and investigated further:
Keneilwe ,31* agrees, she works a stable job for the government and buys her Gaborone based family groceries and essentials. Being the second born and being the most educated she got a good steady job and started to support her family. Her younger siblings and the elder one are all currently unemployed and dependent on her for essentials.
“My elder brother doesn’t want to find work, he keeps quitting jobs at his discretion.” She complains.
“The twins are lazy and would rather watch TV than go find odd jobs around town and help out with household expenses.” She continues.
“They take advantage of the fact that I have to support my family and this affects my long term financial goals. I barely have spare money for myself and never get to enjoy my salary or take myself out for pleasure”.
But what exactly causes this kind of laziness? How do we get to support our families without crippling ourselves?
One Mmereki, 24, an employee at a parastatal says it is all about having a budget and planning.
“I went through a stage where all my money went to feeding and supporting my mother and brothers, until I consulted my banker. I started budgeting well and saving after that. I told my family how much I can afford to give them per month so that they can find alternative sources of income.” Rhoda said.
“Eventually I helped my brother start a small business and the load on me lessened, everybody started benefitting more”.
In an age of extreme unemployment, black tax can help some families have their daily bread while others it ends up exhausting the breadwinner. The family does need to be helped in need, out of gratitude we do have to help our parents and/or families to survive these trying times.
The recipients must also not be lackadaisical and expect to be spoon fed by their working class citizens. This curbs family infightings and for married breadwinners it saves their marriages if their spouse does not overspend on his siblings and or parents In comparison to on their matrimonial partners.
It is reported that in the US alone, 90% of middle class African American families expect monthly stipends from their working children and siblings. It is still a norm despite urbanization and globalization maximus in the first world country.
In neighboring South Africa it is largely prevalent especially since most black parents were involved in the struggle and never got the opportunity to go to school hence their graduate children automatically become breadwinners.
This archaic yet modern practice vitally helps some families who need the help without disgruntling the breadwinner while in some cases it disarms the breadwinner of financial freedom with the family also being lazy or financially illiterate. It shall forever remain a back and forth topic of argument in society. We must seek ways to disburden the breadwinner.
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