Who’s the Man?

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    In my increasing dealings with lower-income black people, I find that many of them have harsh words for those among them who are climbing the social ladder economically, i.e. that they are 'selling out.' Why is this? Why don't they congratulate another for overcoming a shared difficulty?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Seamus28247, Gender : M, Religion : Catholic, Age : 20, City : Charlestown, State : MA Country : United States, Social class : Lower class, 

    Consider a 'rising star' becoming successful by appealing very strongly to a particular demographic (say, the latest pop singer). The problem is, that demographic has a certain percentage of the available disposable income. In order to grow economically, you have to either appeal to more members of that demographic or expand your appeal to include other demographics. Advertising can only do so much - you have to change your style a bit to appeal to more people. To the people who liked the artist before, this change can be seen as 'dumbing down' - the quality of the work becomes less of what made it special, more bland. So, while the artist may be making more money because more people are buying his stuff, the original fans complain that he has 'sold out'. In your case, I believe that the men who are complaining perceive that their friends will have to change in order to make more money. If we say financial success is perceived as 'white' to them, perhaps they are upset that their black friend has essentially changed color.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Jeff31182, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 32, City : San Francisco, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Software Testing Manager, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 

    J. Allen
    In my opinion, some Blacks feel that if they have to change or modify 'who they are' to be successful, then they're selling out. It's equivalent to wearing a mask, simply being phony. The higher one climbs up the 'social ladder', the more of him/herself becomes lost. Regardless, we should greet our more successful peers with open arms, sometimes we don't. Most often, the underlying tones of aggression are due to jealousy. Each case is different. BUT, there are situations where a person can give up too much of themselves just to 'make it'. Personally, I don't judge. It's hard enough walking in my own shoes. If they can live with themselves, so can I.

    User Detail :  

    Name : J. Allen, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Baptist, Age : 29, City : Charlotte, State : NC Country : United States, Occupation : Office Assistant, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
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