#345. No Longer being "Nigga Rich"

The French have a wonderful term for those come into money for the first time. It’s called nouveau riche:

They hate to not be nigga rich

Nouveau riche (French for “new rich”), or new money, refers to a person who has acquired considerable wealth within his or her generation. This term is generally to emphasize that the individual was previously part of a lower socioeconomic rank, and that such wealth has provided the means for the acquisition of goods or luxuries that were previously unobtainable.

The citizens of the United States reflexively reject anything French, so a more apt term for those who acquire a considerable fortune is (uh-oh, it includes the-word-that-must-not-be-named) nigger rich:

a derogatory term used to refer to a selfishly extravagant person who has no prospects of ever paying off the debts they incur. (Esp. someone whose sole purchasing power comes from disreputable credit cards or drugs.)

Professional athletes – primarily Black athletes in football and basketball – have come to define the idea of nigga rich. Hip-hop artists and rap singers who decided saving money for the future was an act of fiduciary nonsense also fall into this category. And don’t forget boxers.

Spending lavishly on “making it rain” and purchasing opulent clothes, extravagant fleets of cars and multiple residences where nocturnal recreation will inevitably lead to unpaid child support are actions that define the nigga rich motto of “get rich or die trying.”

Sadly a lot of Black people with low credit scores rely on payday loans to purchase wants instead of needs that further increase their debt load. With single Black mothers having a net worth of $5, this only exacerbates the problem. Fortunately government programs do exist that help Black people get by, such as subsidizing cell phone service.

The rates of student loan defaults in the Black community show that a nigga rich entitlement culture is found among those Blacks with degrees who feel paying back loans is an akin to acting white.

Were these Black athletes and rappers aware of the magic of compound interest they’d never be in the predicament of Jamarcus Russell, a former NFL Draft No. 1 pick whose penchant for imbibing the purple drank and spending lavishly has eroded a contract that had $31 million guaranteed (with the opportunity to earn more than $60 million):

JaMarcus Russell‘s return to greatness isn’t going as well as planned.
The former No. 1 pick of the Oakland Raiders, famous for wearing mink coats and taxing a heavy toll on the team’s bench, needs to find a job soon.
Foreclosure proceedings have started on Russell’s Oakland mansion, according to TMZ. If the former LSU star can’t come up with $195,512.05 in backed mortgage payments in the next three months, his house will be auctioned off.
Russell purchased the house in 2007 for $3 million before he even signed his contract with the Raiders.
The 5,800-square-foot has six bedrooms, six full bathrooms and two half bathrooms, a four-car garage, four fireplaces and bay views.
Russell returned to his native Alabama after being released by the Raiders in 2009. His attempts to return to the NFL have been slowed down by charges that Russell was illegally sipping “purple drank.”
The Raiders signed Russell to a six-year contract worth up to $68 million, with $31.5 million guaranteed. But in true Al Davis fashion, the team is trying to recoup some of the signing bonus.

Buying bling, grillz, and other luxuries items, including paying for groupies — as well as paying for entourages of brothers from the hood who act as leeches on an individual Black person’s success — all adversely impact a once healthy bank account.

Richard Lapchick has shown the disparity in college degrees attained by white athletes and Black athletes in football and basketball. It is a fact that most of these Black athletes at major colleges have woeful graduation rates and it is also a fact that NFL and NBA teams have rosters that are 70 and 80 percent Black.

Low Wonderlic scores an indicator of future financial insolvency? Perhaps a stacking in certain college courses and majors to help maintain Black eligibility in disciplines that lack any math, accounting or finance? 

The vast majority of these Black athletes sign contracts making them instant millionaires. The vast majority of these same Black athletes are financially illiterate, never understanding that the rules outlined in The Richest Man in Babylon can ensure monetary growth without continued earnings. These Black athletes are recruited to attend colleges where they are surrounded by adoring white alumni and a white fan base that is not nigga rich, but nevertheless treats them as Gods.

Financial Gods they are not:

In a less public way, other athletes from the nation’s three biggest and most profitable leagues—the NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball—are suffering from a financial pandemic. Although salaries have risen steadily during the last three decades, reports from a host of sources (athletes, players’ associations, agents and financial advisers) indicate that:

• By the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce.

• Within five years of retirement, an estimated 60% of former NBA players are broke.

• Numerous retired MLB players have been similarly ruined, and the current economic crisis is taking a toll on some active players as well. Last month 10 current and former big leaguers—including outfielders Johnny Damon of the Yankees and Jacoby Ellsbury of the Red Sox and pitchers Mike Pelfrey of the Mets and Scott Eyre of the Phillies—discovered that at least some of their money is tied up in the $8 billion fraud allegedly perpetrated by Texas financier Robert Allen Stanford. Pelfrey told the New York Post that 99% of his fortune is frozen; Eyre admitted last month that he was broke, and the team quickly agreed to advance a portion of his $2 million salary.

The Wall Street meltdown is only the latest threat to athletes’ financial health.

“Athletes have a different set of challenges from, say, entertainers,” says money manager Michael Seymour, the founder of Philadelphia-based UNI Private Wealth Strategies. “There’s a far shorter peak earnings period [in sports] than in any other profession, and in many cases they lack the time and desire to understand and monitor their investments.”

Being nigga rich is a Black privilege in America, where the federal government will provide money for cell phones, free lunches, subsidized housing and other amenities. Minority contracts from the government also help to create the impression of being nigga rich, as well as the artificial Black middle-class that has been created through government jobs and affirmative action. 
The white privilege of paying for these programs would make a wonderful addition to the whiteness studies programs and curriculum nationwide. Saving money for the future is a white privilege that enables white families to teach their children the value of hard work, frugality, and wealth creation. Instead of being entitled to money, the idea that you rightfully earn it:
The guaranteed contract is a fundamental principle of Major League Baseball, as much a part of the game as balls, strikes and outs. No matter how a player performs, or how his body holds up, he must be paid in full. Only in rare cases — an injury sustained off the field, gross personal misconduct — does a player forfeit his paycheck.

But the case of Gil Meche is rare for an entirely different reason. Meche, a 32-year-old right-handed pitcher, had a contract that called for a $12 million salary in 2011. Yet he will not report to Surprise, Ariz., with the rest of the Kansas City Royals for spring training next month. He will not have surgery to repair his chronically aching right shoulder. He will not pitch in relief, which involves a lighter workload.
Meche retired last week, which means he will not be paid at all. 

“When I signed my contract, my main goal was to earn it,” Meche said this week by phone from Lafayette, La. “Once I started to realize I wasn’t earning my money, I felt bad. I was making a crazy amount of money for not even pitching. Honestly, I didn’t feel like I deserved it. I didn’t want to have those feelings again.” 

Being nigga rich doesn’t last forever. Bills must be paid, debt must be collected, and mortgages are due. Child support and alimony payments are recurring and problematic reminders of past indiscretions. Purple drink hangovers aren’t exactly classified as fun, but neither is the morning after “making it rain.”
Live for the now, fail to invest in the future. That is the unofficial motto of Black Run America (BRA) and Stuff Black People Don’t Like includes no longer being nigga rich. Spending more than you make is a recipe for bankruptcy and financial ruin and a hallmark of being nigga rich.
The problem is Black people love being Black and being nigga rich is a goal of almost all Black people. It’s the consequences of this spending spree and the loss of financial security that displeases Black people.
Ironically, being niggardly with ones money is an obvious indicator of not being nigga rich.

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