Yesterday, as I packed my belongings after a decent days work–I overheard my co-worker sighed in utter frustration. More than being simply curious, I was concerned. She exhaled, once more before revealing to me what had gotten her blood boiling. An article, on Forbes.com! What could possibly be so wretched?
I was soon about to find out. “If I Were A Poor Black Kid,” was written by contributor, Gene Marks–a middle class, middle age white man. If the title does not bother you enough, the tone and message of the “most popular” article on Forbes.com will seal the deal!
“I am not a poor black kid. I am a middle aged white guy who comes from a middle class white background. So life was easier for me. But that doesn’t mean that the prospects are impossible for those kids from the inner city. It doesn’t mean that there are no opportunities for them,” explained Marks. “Or that the 1% control the world and the rest of us have to fight over the scraps left behind. I don’t believe that. I believe that everyone in this country has a chance to succeed. Still. In 2011. Even a poor black kid in West Philadelphia.”
After two paragraphs, I was completely indulged. Ready to jump out a window because I just couldn’t read fast enough– damn I wanted to get the bottom without skipping a beat! This over privileged white man whom I have never heard of before, has figured out the solution to succeeding in America as a minority!
By god, get this man a Nobel Peace Prize!
Excuse my sarcasm, but as a (once) poor black kid, I can’t help but wonder, where the f*ck was Marks when I was growing up? Where was he to provide me direction to where I can buy an inexpensive laptop so I could become a Google Scholar? The in-complex answer is: no where near around!
I have had my share of struggles and while education was always stressed in my household it wasn’t so easy to just get “good grades;” especially while subsequently dealing with other components of life, with which a child should have no involvement.
“And I would use the technology available to me as a student. I know a few school teachers and they tell me that many inner city parents usually have or can afford cheap computers and internet service nowadays. That because (and sadly) it’s oftentimes a necessary thing to keep their kids safe at home then on the streets. And libraries and schools have computers available too. Computers can be purchased cheaply at outlets like TigerDirect and Dell’s Outlet. Professional organizations like accountants and architects often offer used computers from their members, sometimes at no cost at all.”
Really Gene? You have spoken to most inner city parents, to verify what he or she can afford? I’m sure my elementary school teacher with salary and benefits, dreamed at night of whether I was eating healthy and heartedly once I left school; let alone if my working parents could save enough money after paying bills to purchase a laptop from a discount website you would only know about if you already had a computer. How many accountant offices do you know of in my neighborhood? you would only be able to answer that if you knew where my neighborhood was or have visited!
Yes, education is the the key to “getting out the hood” in addition to what you prescribed–a little bit of “luck” (too bad I can’t purchase that at Tiger Direct).
As I read and re-read Marks’ noble attempt in solving a profound issue deeper than just my or his generation, I realize that we can actually take something from the controversial article. We as black people need to do better! That way people like Marks, don’t have the power to degrade our race like we are a some “back-of-the-van” case study, two pages on the Internet can quickly decipher.
We need to fully understand that there are more people out there who share his same perception of blacks. Besides sharing his article of Twitter, what are we going to do to ensure more article like this, don’t become the leading black news of the day?
Click here, to read the full “If I Were A Poor Black Kid” article!