If I were a poor black kid…RESPONSE

If I were a poor black kid, is an article published five hours ago on Yahoo News. The article was poorly written by Gene Marks who contributed his article through the Forbes business section. After you read the article below, and my response, I’m sure you’ll have a response of your own. You made have thought of something to add that I forgot in my frustration. Here’s the email address: readers@forbes.com

If I were a poor black kid

The article in my opinion should be pulled immediately. It is clearly racially motivated, and the references to Obama are a slap in the face, not an indication of equality.

If I were a poor black kid, an article that walks us through the feeble mind of a white supremacist, I mean a middle-aged white man who thought it would be brilliant to tell the nation what he would do, if he were in my shoes.

The article talks about us needing to be smarter, and needing to overcome our disadvantages of going to an inner-city school. He mentions how we should get good grades, and search out better schools- as if we can enroll ourselves. He assumed to know our home lives, living with grandparents who work two jobs and struggle. Let him tell it, he’s the secret service! He’s been a fly on the wall of every black kid who isn’t applying himself.

I am asking for this article to be pulled, as I am outraged that at this point in time- as free as we are, an article this racist would be accepted.

Not all schools have books, and as crazy but truthful as this is, neither do all libraries. The economically disadvantaged are often not just living in a poor home, but a poor environment. To say that we would automatically know to raise our standards without the positive influence of someone around is ignorant. Mr. Marks has not raised his, in my humble opinion.

I grew up with my mother and while it was a single parent home for me, my siblings grew up in a two parent home. Does that mean that there was an absence of dysfunction or abuse? No- there were plenty.

I was tested in third grade because they were trying to figure out what learning disability I had. I tested in reading comprehension on a Sophomore college level- in third grade. All of my other scores were grade level or slightly above. Due to child sexual abuse that I was a victim of, I was angry and unable to communicate (rightfully so).

Statistics show that 77 percent of sexual predators are white men, compared to 50 percent of African American. You cannot blame child sexual abuse on poor black people either. Studies have also shown that economic class is not associated with Predators, at all.

Physical abuse has been shown to be more prevalent in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods- but that only links to African Americans because of the proportion of us who indeed are underemployed.

You speak of my black men as if they are illiterate when, many black men have built this country, invented things that white men have taken or attempted to take credit for, and did I mention that Barack Obama is President?

Poor is not synonymous with black. Much of the article is talking about an economic disadvantage, not a racial disadvantage as the title suggests. These are two totally different things.

If you were a black kid, you’d know what it feels like to experience the constant racism from you, and would have to find self-confidence somewhere to overcome the barrage of insults spewed at you- because of your color.

If you were a black kid, what? What would you do to be a Dr. Farrah Gray? Huh? What would you do to become a Tavis Smiley? A Dave Duerson who was a friend of mine that was a brilliant mind attending Harvard and Notre Dame- owning a company he took to 64 million in revenue, after his Super Bowl Championships?

For the record, there are many poor children who are homeless and fighting to keep themselves in school. For them the victory will be graduation. There are many homeless families who are broken, foster children, and other circumstances that come with being poor which make school and education more difficult to think about. You are more than welcome to degrade your own children, but what you won’t do is degrade mine.

I agree that there are parents who do not take enough initiative in their children’s studies, or fight to get them access to better opportunities. I agree with that, but I do not agree that your article is without malice or intent to harm the minds of the very children you claim should rise above their circumstances by being “smart”.

Each child has a different family dynamic, and to lump an entire race and class of people together, all as one is indeed racist, classless, unequal.

It is my hope that other “poor” or “black” people who were once a kid, speak out in protest of this vigilante’s fifteen minutes of fame.

Here is another response about the article as well…

I thought this one was great as well…

Thank you.

Again, send your email to: readers@forbes.com and request for this to be pulled immediately!

Ressurrection Graves

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Buy my Book (Memoir)/Support our mission to end child sexual abuse www.identitycrisisbook.com

About Ressurrection

Ressurrection Graves is a Child Sexual Abuse Grooming Expert and H.E.A.L.E.R. (Healer, Educator, Activist, Life Skills Expert, Empowerment Speaker, Relationship Mentor) Her website reaches readership in 188 countries. She is available for national speaking engagements, radio and television interviews. She can be reached at: 202.717.7377 or send your request to: ressurrection dot wordpress at yahoo dot com or comment on http://www.ressurrection.wordpress.com
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19 Responses to If I were a poor black kid…RESPONSE

  1. The truth is that it is damn near impossible for those who are not of the same cloth or similar ilk to speak knowingly of another’s experience . . . And a white man speaking of or to the plight of a Black child is similar to a white teacher trying to teach a Black child, whereby the teacher typically fails . .

    • I totally agree. I’m alarmed however by a comment I saw on FB where a woman felt that the author’s writing was on point, and she, a black woman. We must read with comprehension. The article is totally inappropriate but I am open to other’s thoughts on the matter- to try to make sense of it.

  2. ERIC says:

    marks is right for the most part. if a black person said the same thing you guys wouldn’t have a problem. so you;re really mad that a white person said it, not about what he said.

    • Definitely shocked to hear this from a black person,IF you are black. I stated my opinion on the matter and I disagree with what Marks said.

      In “poor” communities, there are not the same educational privileges as in a “wealthy” community. I took my daughter out of a “middle-class” school who did not have math books to spare for each child, and put her in one of the Top 75 schools in the country. Big difference! To put a whole class of people in one category is racist and ignorant. People have different limitations not only because of their economic class but because of their lives.

      If he had said “If I were a poor kid”, or “If I were a black kid” that would be different, and then he’d have to raise the arguments for both, individually. All black kids aren’t poor- or even in the 99 percent as he referenced. And most certainly all poor kids aren’t black. By his article he qualified his title with his remarks.

      I don’t currently have a working computer “in my home,” and even if I did, ir wouldn’t mean that we have Internet, but because of the school my child goes to now, she can borrow a laptop if she needs to. They do not offer this support in “poor” or even some “middle class” communities. And you have no clue what my family goes through to make sure she is educated. I can not imagine asking someone else to do what I do. The sacrifices made by my family over the last three years may not be the same as others, nor was he able to make me one of statistics in his article.

      But hey, we all have a right to our opinions…Peace

      • eric says:

        thats why i said he was right for the most part. yeah he coulda said ‘if i were a poor child’ and he woulda been equally right. but he was talking about black kids in his article. blacks make up what percent of the prison population ?

        i’ll finish this post later…………

  3. ERIC says:

    continued…..a white that says what marks said is a racist. and a black that says it is A TOM. So the fact is you don’t want nobody to say it. and you don’t want nobody to say it because the truth hurts.
    the gist of what marks said is poor blacks need to learn to read, make good grades, and take advantage of the opportunities that are out there whether the school is messed up or not. and if they do that chances are the will make it.

    • I would accept your view better if you weren’t telling me how I feel. Your opinion belongs to you- but I’m not going to tell YOU, how YOU feel. At any rate, I’m glad that you commented. We have different perspectives- but that’s okay!

      If you haven’t already done so, it would be my pleasure if you Subscribe or Follow my blog. http://www.ressurrection.wordpress.com on the right hand side of the page.

      BE. Extraordinary!


      • ERIC says:

        how u feel speaks for itself. i just said what you wont come right on out and admit. whats wrong with somebody saying, “learn to read, make good grades, and take advantage of the opportunities that are out there.” what person in their right mind would be mad or disagree with that. so if you are not disagreeing with that part of mr marks comments. then what part are you disagreeing with.

        • Eric, respectfully I’ve made clear what I disagree with. If you have time go back over my blog, and comments, I’m not hiding my thoughts on the matter. He’s not JUST saying “get good grades” etc etc… If he were he wouldn’t have to title it, “If I were a poor black kid,” he could title it, “If I were a kid!”

          It is well.

          BE. Extraordinary,


  4. Attamom says:

    Eric I totally agree with you. I believe Mr. Marks has his heart in the right place. And he did not intend to harm or offend anyone. This is something that need to be said. No one is denying the systemic racism in our society. Do African Americans wonder why Asians, Africans and West Indians come to this country and regardless of how poor or hard life is for them they raise successful highly educated children? My father grew up dirt poor, and I mean dirt poor! He had to walk to school on a train track, in a forest to a catholic school in a village in Africa . Both parents were not in the picture and his grandmother barely had enough to feed him and his sister. He came to America worked full time and went to college just so i can have a better life. Sacrificed for me to go to one of the best private schools in the states. Which I hated because there were only ten black kids literally in the school. Lived a frugal lifestyle so he can pay my out of state college tuition and by me a car. My husband and I have moved across the country to get more degrees with our new borns. And even though we are struggling to save up tuition for our masters programs we have sacrificed financially to live in a better neighborhood so our kids can have a safe and great education while we are still in school. That what mr. Marks is saying don’t settle but fight and crawl your way out by utilizing all the free tools out there. I am actually going to take a few courses from the sites he suggested.

    • Thanks for commenting. And in my opinion what you, Eric and Marks are saying are different. Not EVERY asian, white, hispanic or black person are poor, and of those that are, we have no idea what challenges they face in their lives that your belief in fighting for it will overcome.

      The point is- every black kid is not poor! And every black kid isn’t dumb as he insinuates! And for those who do fit his criteria in the article- we have no idea what they have to go through to “beat the odds”. I don’t understand what’s so difficult about comprehending that a middle aged white man can not write about a poor black kid because he was and never will know what it is like to be one!

      I know that not everyone will agree- and I so appreciate your comment.

      Have a beautiful day!


      • ERIC says:

        you missing the point ressurrection. marks isnt saying all poor black kids are dumb. i’d be mad too if he was saying that.
        when you think that, you automatically make yourself mad and shape your opinion towards that thought. but thats not what marks is saying. you threw ‘dumb’ in there, which is inflammatory. if you really be honest with yourself you know thats not what he is saying. c’mon now.

  5. ERIC says:

    hey resurrection, after saying all that i will say this to mr marks. yes you are right about what you said. but can you now turn around and tell the racist white people to stop being racist so that the kids who do learn to read and get good grades wont be discriminated against when they go looking for a job. tell those whites to be just as wiling to help the black succeed on the job as they do other whites. will you tell whites to train those kids properly when they are on the job and not sabotage them. and tell the whites to stop getting mad when they have a black boss who tells them what to do. and to go ahead and be cooperative with the black boss and not resentful just because he is black. that is the other side of the coin.

  6. dave says:

    well.as usual the black community cannot accept any constructive critisism. The article to me was nothing but good advice to be disected and used as best one can. Parents of the children should read and perhaps find some useful information or ideas to help their children with rather than seeing the article as a racist rant.

  7. Pingback: A Dumb White Guy’s Even Dumber Advice to Poor Black Kids « The Domino Theory by Jeff Winbush

  8. Pingback: Remembering Dave Duerson | The Official BLOG site of Ressurrection Graves

  9. eric says:

    I grew up a poor white kid. I was lucky however in that I found myself in a school district that included quite a large upper middle class tax base. Because of that, it was one of the “better” school districts(at least better funded). I have seen plenty of the students that I grew up with fail, even with all of that. They failed because of a lack of motivation. My interpretation of Mr Marks’ article was pretty radically different from yours. I quote ” The world is not fair to those kids mainly because they had the misfortune of being born two miles away into a more difficult part of the world and with a skin color that makes realizing the opportunities that the President spoke about that much harder. This is a fact. In 2011.” It seems to me that he is saying that because of the racism inherent in our culture, young blacks have to work harder, but that the ultimate responsibilty lies with the INDIVIDUAL.
    Some will argue that I don’t understand what it’s like to grow up black.Some will even call me racist. Still i have to ask, how much of it is actual discrimination and how much simple race card? I remember once when working at a job with a black boss, someone complained that he didn’t get a certain assignment because he was black. He was quickly informed that since he was talking to a black woman who had worked for everything she had ever gotten, that his “racial bullpoopie” would get him nowhere, and that maybe he should try showing up on time and improving his on the job performance.
    In short Ms. Graves, I believe that if we want to truly change things,we need to focus less on who has more advantages, and more on how we as individuals and familes choose to use the resources we have. There will always be inequality,even if race is taken out of the picture.(my kids, sadly do not go to the upper middle class school I went to.(but my eldest gets far better grades than ever I did)) What we get in life depends on how badly we want it… black or white

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