Dr. Mr. Gene Marks:
It was quite kind of you to take time away from your busy schedule as a successful “business owner” to pen an advice column for the “poor black kids” of West Philadelphia. I am certain, after reading your Forbes’ post entitled “If I was a Poor Black Kid,” that you are off somewhere right now interviewing that one black kid who managed to slip through the many devastating cracks of the ghetto and arrive at your office. Well, since you, and many of your colleagues, are “starving” for “smart, skilled people,” there’s little doubt that he will get the job; or, at the very least quotas must be filled, right?
Mr. Marks, unfortunately, your advice reeked of enlightened racism, and that is not okay. Yes, you heard Obama speak and he said there is an equality gap that threatens the very livelihood of America. Of course, you thought about it and agreed, which gave you the audacity to attempt to impart knowledge to the lowly-caste black kid. You alluded to the 1% and mentioned the 99% frequently in your article, but where is your advice to the 1%?? Did it just not strike you as logical that America could reform from the top down? Your automatic response, as is the same for many others, was to tell the one with the least to do the most. Gotcha.
Let’s be clear, Mr. Marks, you want that young black kid to buckle down and do more? The same one who is sitting in an overcrowded classroom, led by a teacher who has long since given up because her benefits ran out, and he is already attempting to read from page 10 to 13, but finds he is missing page 11, which your privileged white son tore out in an absentminded-state, not to mention, all the while he is freezing because the school is too cheap for heat?
Alright, he could do that, sure. But Mr. Marks who is going to tap that young man on the shoulder and introduce him to the idea of more, a legal idea of more, that is? Shame, you did leave that part out of your “if-I-was-a-poor-black-kid” advice. The mentality of most kids stuck in a ghetto is that failure is the only option. Failure is inside your home, its a part of your family, its at school, its on the playgrounds. The only glimmer of what looks like success and fame are the shiny cars and fast girls and wads of cash that the corner drug dealer has. Now, Mr. Marks, this kid is supposed to just know to bypass all of this and head straight to the library, or even to an accountant’s office (
yea, he can really find one of those in the ‘hood) and ask to use a computer, or better yet to keep it because he’s poor and black. There are handouts at every corner for poor black kids in the ghetto, Mr. Marks, you are too right about that!
How often do you go over to West Philadelphia, Mr. Marks? I suggest you go to tomorrow and preach your advice all day, starting at the daycare and all the way to the high school. You’ll be very successful, I think. Be sure to write to us again and let us know how that day went for you! 🙂
Now, here’s what I really wanted to say to Mr. Gene Marks, but I don’t think he’d understand:
“If I were a poor black kid …. If I were a poor black kid … If I were a poor black kid …” REALLY?! Get the F#*& outta here! The kids you speak of don’t even know that half the crap you mentioned exists. And why? Because of the poor black schools and the poor “tired grand moms” who are raising them. POOR BLACK KIDS ARE PRECONDITIONED TO FAIL, so Mr. Well-to-do-White-Middle-Classed-Gene Marks, what the hell would you do with that type of mentality?
~Peace, Growth and Prosperity~
- ‘If I Were a Poor Black Kid’: Really, Forbes? (theroot.com)
- But Gene, You’re Not a Poor Black Kid, Now What? (hellobeautiful.com)
- ‘Poor Black Kids’ Should Work Harder To Escape Poverty, Says Forbes Writer (theinvisibledragon.com)
- Louis Peitzman: If I Were a Middle Aged White Man (huffingtonpost.com)