Gene something or another, some middle age white dude who writes terrible articles for forbes, wrote an article titled “If I Was a Poor Black Kid.” It’s awful. It’s filled to the brim with racism. It gives some lip service to the idea of privilege then spends two pages talking about how privilege doesn’t exist. It also posits the idea that the system that helps keep poor black kids from succeeding societally is fine because if you’re super exceptional then you can find the cracks and get through it. The article just out and says if he, a middle age white man, were a poor black kid with no history in academics, would be beyond an exceptional human being and do things that his children would never even have to consider doing. It also is written from such a place of privilege and has every coincidence possible. It’s bullshit. You can read it for yourself.
The thing no one is really talking about that really informs all you need to know about this Gene guy is that it is awfully written. It is a poorly written article. I feel like (and this is giving this guy all the benefits ever) he may have been going for writing it like he was a six year old, but it’s inconsistent. The parts where he, presumably, would be writing as himself are written poorly. The sentence structure is absolutely mundane. The cadence will lull you to sleep. It’s worse than the stereotypical “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” paper/speech children are or aren’t forced to do at the beginning of each year in grade school. It is so bad that it makes everything the man is saying come off even more condescending and stupid.
For the record
Racism: Still not dead.
Some absolutely excellent things have come out of this. Baratunde Thurston wrote a nice reply here and there’s funny twitter and tumblr accounts. The replies are good. It made this woeful article useful for something. That’s an unintended consequence of Gene’s awful article. I’ll take it though. It’s better than having a bunch of people rave about how America is a Meritocracy and this article only speaks the truth. It’s a little hopeful.