Hey everyone, this is Gene Marks, the Carefree White Girl of the week! Normally, he writes a column about technology for Forbes Magazine. This week, he decided to shift gears and write: “If I Were A Poor Black Kid.” Surely a white middle-aged technologically oriented man with thinning hair (that tuft up front aint doin you no favors bro), is qualified to write a morally, sociologically bankrupt article about what he would do as a disadvantaged black youth, right??? right???
He opens with: ”I believe that everyone in this country has a chance to succeed. Still. In 2011. Even a poor black kid in West Philadelphia.” How does the “poor black kid in West Philadelphia” do it? Marks offers “google,” “google scholar,” “spark notes,” and “wikipedia” as the most useful tools to get ahead. Shit, all one has to do is read abridged, gutted versions of seminal texts to insure his rightful place in 1% ?
UGHHHHH, there’s that tricky issue of access. When “poor black kids” don’t grow up with a PC in their homes they have to use school computers. But school computers go underused because overworked teachers don’t have the time or the resources (extra help) to teach their students how to USE them. Remember holding a mouse for the first time, Mr. Marks? freaky, right? Flagrant budget cuts to public education in Philadelphia prevents kids from being able to use the few computers they actually do have access to!
I tried to find out just how many computers there were in Philadelphia’s public schools, but unfortunately that information isn’t available. I did talk to a staffer at the The Notebook, the education department’s newspaper, and he told me “even if schools are wired, kids don’t have access to computers at home.” Oh damn, kinda kills Marks’ dreams of the “poor black kid” using “Skype to study with other students who also want to do well in my school.” Right now 41% of Philadelphians don’t have access to a computer for personal use. And that’s all of Philadelphia, so imagine how much bigger that statistic becomes in blighted communities of color like West Philadelphia and North Philadelphia?
Read Jeff Yang’s response “If I Were A Rich White Dude,” it hits the spot.
Read Ta-Nehisi Coates response “A Muscular Empathy.” Also hits it.
Read Cord Jefferson’s response “An Ode to a ‘Poor Black Kid’ I never Knew: How Forbes Gets Poverty Wrong.” Brilliant. And he’s a total hottie.
Now, all we need is an ACTUAL “black kid” to respond to this malarkey. They exist, you know! I’m almost sure they’re out there!
This shit eater would look like a smarmy George Costanza, wouldn’t he.