First off yes he title is a bit sensationalized, ok, heavily over sensationalized. That is because when I think about the story I heard on NPR’s Morning Edition I think about how African Americans aren’t asked, or guided towards banking. Every year around this time every business from car dealerships to rent to own places to retail store, even pawn shops will help people with your taxes in hopes you’ll spend that money at those places. Who doesn’t offer some assistance? BANKS. You never see some representative from a bank at some low paying jobs looking to help people save that tax money. There are no bank representative roaming the inner city dishing out flyers, cards, informing people about the newest sign up deals or even just asking people on the street do they have accounts. Now to be fair in the peirce I heard there were seminars given to those undocumented immigrants that were and or could be targets for being robbed. Of course that doesn’t say much because that same effort could have been given to those in low income areas. I also know that I’m bypassing the point of the story which was focused on those undocumented workers being robbed which is where the banks come in to help them save their money. Getting back to my point, African Americans in low income settings are wasting their money or saving it in unsafe places. The problem is like undocumented workers, African Americans aren’t that into saving money at banks, it’s some old school thinking where trust in the system just wasn’t happening. Today there needs to be some sort of trust not to mention some kind of reach out program from banks, it’s always the fact that check cashing places and pawn shops are on the corners of inner cities. That alone makes those in the inner city feel there is no need to deal with banks since the banks aren’t willing to open in the hood, hell close to the hood, there is a bank desert issue like there is with grocery stores. I personally find it odd and disrespectful to hear that Banks are willing to help one group of people who weren’t born here in America, that thought and statement makes me sound like my parents and their thoughts of how we as African Americans are really the second class citizens in our own country. Banks have never really made it a point to change that perspective inner city African Americans have, so to hear that banks are willing to extent a helping hand to undocumented workers makes me angry.
The same way one can say being on ware fare has become a family trait within the inner city so to is not banking. To be like you don’t banks because of what happened in 2008 is one thing but a good portion of inner city people have never attempted to use a bank as some sort of option of saving, even the debt card game like the Rush Cards aren’t being used. The walking ATM thing will be here and may even pass in certain cities but the fact a large amount of old to younger African Americans in inner cites not having a sense of banking will linger around as it has for decades. There should be classes in school to guide the youth to understand the benefits to working with a bank and hopefully that education could flow backwards towards older people in those youths family and most importantly be passed down to their children. The work force will be and has been going paperless more and more where the chance to have an account at a bank presents itself, which in one great way it helps eliminate the cash checking racket. Maybe the blame can be placed on community leaders, Hispanic community groups went out of their way to work with banks to help those walking around the cash all day being targets for robbery start a bank account. Why is that same approach not taken by those in the African American community?