clingman.jpgJAMES CLINGMAN


(NNPA)—Who is the first Black person that comes to your mind when you think of wealth? Probably 99 out of 100 of us think of Oprah Winfrey, followed by Bob Johnson and his ex-wife, Sheila Johnson, and then on down the line with the likes of Michael Jordan, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and Tiger Woods. Let’s not forget about P Diddy (or whatever his name is these days), Jay Z and Beyoncé, Tyler Perry, and Bill Cosby. Sadly, we’d probably leave Dr. Michael Lee-Chin and the Roberts brothers, Michael and Steven, off the list because they choose not to be as visible and flamboyant as the others.
The estimated net worth of the top 12 Black tycoons in this country is approximately $10 billion, with Oprah leading the pack at a robust $2.7 billion. Following are athletes, entertainers, corporate execs, and entrepreneurs—not necessarily in that order, which comes to an additional estimated $10 billion. That’s a lot of “jack” as they say; makes those folks who are “only” millionaires look poor.
Now most of us know that Warren Buffet and Bill Gates alone have more than $100 billion in net worth. Heck, the mayor of New York is worth $25 billion! What does that tell us about the so-called “wealth gap” disparity between Blacks and Whites that has once again raised its ugly head? What it tells me is that we had better not go for the distraction of trying to get even, which would be an exercise in futility. Closing the wealth gap is a worthwhile cause, but getting even is out of the question.

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