Forbes contributor, Gene Marks, latest article, “If I Were a Poor Black Kid,” is causing quite a commotion in the blogosphere and is quickly making the rounds on the major news outlets as well as social media sites.
Marks, who writes mostly articles on technology, decided to put himself in the shoes of a “poor black kid from West Philadelphia” and described how he’d use various technical resources paired with a motivated work ethic and a little luck to lift himself from the depths of despair and become successful.
In one instance Marks said: “If I was a poor black kid I would get technical. I would learn software. I would learn how to write code. I would seek out courses in my high school that teaches these skills or figure out where to learn more online. I would study on my own. I would make sure my writing and communication skills stay polished.”
Critics have said that Marks’ attempt to give a blueprint to poor black kids was ill-advised, especially considering Marks, by his own admission, has no clue what it’s like to be poor.
Danielle Belton from TheBlackSnob writes:
I understand the impulse to believe that anything can be over-come if you just work hard enough. And the belief that this is a one-size-fits-all solution, no matter who you are, what your situation is and what you can physically handle. But the dirty open secret is that many don’t work hard at all to get what they want, and what we’re really talking about is fairness and creating a level playing field in a society where the breaks and rewards are afforded to a select few, and everyone else must navigate an elaborate system where class mobility is more American “dream” than American “reality.”
Is he on to something here? Ill-advised attempt to help black kids “get it”? Let us know what you think.