… who wrote a really dumb article.
A clip: a guy named Gene Marks, who describes himself as a “middle aged white guy,” by the way — not my words — writes in Forbes Magazine — Forbes, that is — that if he were a “poor, black kid,” he’d also … be an Internet geek?
If I was a poor black kid I’d use the free technology available to help me study. I’d become expert at Google Scholar. I’d visit study sites like SparkNotes and CliffsNotes to help me understand books. I’d watch relevant teachings on Academic Earth, TED and the Khan Academy. (I say relevant because some of these lectures may not be related to my work or too advanced for my age. But there are plenty of videos on these sites that are suitable to my studies and would help me stand out.) I would also, when possible, get my books for free at Project Gutenberg and learn how to do research at the CIA World Factbook and Wikipedia to help me with my studies.
I would use homework tools like Backpack, and Diigo to help me store and share my work with other classmates. I would use Skype to study with other students who also want to do well in my school. I would take advantage of study websites like Evernote, Study Rails, Flashcard Machine, Quizlet, and free online calculators.
I wonder if this guy has ever actually been to Philadelphia, let alone West Philadelphia, and asked any of the kids there if they’ve heard of Project Gutenberg.
Look, if you’re a middle-aged white guy writing for Forbes Magazine, and you find yourself writing an article entitled “If I Were a Poor Black Kid,” just stop.
Imani goes on to tell her own story of growing up black in Philadelphia, with an object lesson in how hard it is to just do that in this society, let alone if you’re also poor. And then she throws this down:
Privilege and racism are embedded in the system, and grand statements like “Try harder! Get a computer (which a poor black kid likely can’t afford in the first instance)! Get into private school!” are offensive in their banality.
You’re going to want to read the whole thing.