Ask Gwendolyn…Why do bankers ignore poor people?

Dear Gwendolyn:

I have never been so humiliated in my entire life. This is the problem: I recently had an overdraft in my checking account. You know how it goes…the bank executive told me to come to the bank and he would be able to remove the overdraft fees. When I took my lunch break from work, I went to the bank. This is what happened: The executive took one look at me and said that his boss told him he could not approve the removal of fees.


Now Gwendolyn, I am no fool. What really happened was an act of racism. If I had looked other than what I am, there would not have been a problem. My question to you is, “Why is it that poor people are ignored, especially Black? Somebody is going to tell me something.—Kimberly

Dear Kimberly:

Yea, somebody needs to tell you something. It sounds as you suspect, the executive did not consult with his superior. He made that decision on his own. I say this because you would not have had to go into the bank.

Removal of overdraft fees can be done by the bank’s authority figures—electronically. Of course, it hurts when you know that because of the color of your skin life is different. During the civil rights era and before, you knew where you stood in the scheme of things. But in the present time, people still show their prejudice, but it is now camouflaged. And it is not always due to an individual’s skin tone, it can generate from other dislikes.

It’s not necessarily a Black “thang.” But since you are aware of the situation, then why didn’t you keep a more accurate check of your financial affairs. Poor people of all races seemingly have a problem. Think about it. They buy what they want and usually their purchase is never something of substance. Take note to this: Poor mothers will spend $200 for their child’s tennis shoes, but won’t pay $5 for a dictionary. You cannot do stupid things and expect the world to give you sympathy. Do you understand? So often it’s not the color of your skin, but the lack of knowledge within.

(Realize the upside of being single. Read Gwen’s New Orange Shoes. To order go to website: or e-mail her at: or write to her at: P.O. Box 10066, Raleigh, N.C. 27605-0066 (To receive a reply, send a self-addressed stamped envelope).

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