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Opinion: Letter from a poor black kid: Baratunde Thurston responds to Forbes' Gene Marks
"With that one article, you solved the problems of millions," Baratunde Thurston writes. "Please don't stop with poor black kids!"
December 14th, 2011
07:04 PM ET

Opinion: Letter from a poor black kid: Baratunde Thurston responds to Forbes' Gene Marks

Editor's note: Baratunde Thurston is a comedian, writer, co-founder of the black political blog, Jack and Jill Politics and director of digital for The Onion. His first book, “How To Be Black,” will be published in February 2012 by Harper Collins.

"Black in America: The New Promised Land – Silicon Valley" airs at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET on December 18 on CNN.

UPDATE: Read Gene Marks' response to Baratunde Thurston.

By Baratunde Thurston, Special to CNN

The following letter is a response from a hypothetical child to Gene Marks' article in Forbes, titled "If I Were A Poor Black Kid." While completely fabricated, the letter below has a stronger basis in reality than does Marks'. In his article, Marks, a business and technology contributor to Forbes, argues poorly that poor black children should use technology to improve their station in life. The article is terrible.

Dear Mr. Gene Marks,

I am a poor black kid. I don't have great parental or educational resources. I'm not as smart as your kids. These are facts. In 2011.

The one smart thing I do everyday is read Forbes. It's what all us poor black kids do. Forbes is constantly reporting on issues of relevance to me and my community. This week, I found your article "If I Were A Poor Black Kid" printed out and slid under my door like all Forbes articles.

Thank you Mr. Marks. You have changed everything about my life. Thanks to your article, I worked to make sure I got the best grades, made reading my number one priority and created better paths for myself. If only someone had suggested this earlier.

But that was just the beginning of how your exceptionally relevant, grounded and experience-based advice changed my life. Thanks only to your article, I discovered technology.

Why did my teachers not teach this? Why isn't this technology mentioned anywhere in popular culture? I don't understand, but you do.

You listed so many different websites and resources, at first it was overwhelming. But I didn't let that deter me. I thought to myself, "If a successful, caring, complicated, intelligent man like Gene Marks says to do it, then I'd better head over to rentcalculators.org right now!"

I did not stop there. I became an expert at the CIA World Factbook, started using Evernote and made it my goal to get into one of those private schools you wrote about. Before your article, I never wanted anything more for myself. I used Google (thanks for the tip!), found the names and addresses of the school admissions officers, and showed up outside of their homes. It's like they were waiting for me. They smiled, waved and immediately told me about their secret scholarship programs.

Private school was exactly like you said it would be. I went straight to the guidance counselor, and I said, "You know everything there is to know about financial aid, grants, minority programs and the like."

And she said, "I sure do! And even though I don't know your name, I'm going to help you get summer employment at a law firm or a business owned by the 1% where you could meet people and show off your stuff." I love showing off my stuff, sir. You have no idea.

I took more of your advice. I got "technical." I had no idea I could get technical. I learned software!

From there it was just a quick hop to a top college, marketable skills and an immediate job offer from a businessman starved for talent. Did someone say recession? I can't see it!

The amazing part is that I did all of this in two days! All thanks to your article!

TIME: If I were a middle class white guy writing about being a poor black kid

I didn't know any of these opportunities existed. My parents and I were too tired. We were all ignorant, and quite frankly, I could have figured it out sooner on my own if I'd had the brains to do so. Your article provided those brains. It wasn't about my parents or ways to improve the school system or how to empower the community. It had nothing to do with history or accumulated privilege or social psychology. No, I simply needed to want success more and combine that with technology. You taught me that I can do all this by myself, and I have!

With that one article, you solved the problems of millions. Imagine the good you could do with three or four articles! Please don't stop with poor black kids! What about children trapped in sex trafficking? How about undocumented migrant workers? And of course, there's women. Have you ever wondered why there aren't more women CEOs? I'm sure you have. You've thought about everything and figured everything out. You are a great man. Thanks again for teaching me about technology.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Baratunde Thurston.

soundoff (1,061 Responses)
  1. Palmer735

    Until, whites are enslaved for 400 years..............can you hear me NOW?

    December 15, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      whites were enslaved for 400+ years....ever hear of the Romans...the Greeks....

      There is a very famous white slave from those times...his name is Spartacus...

      December 15, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • CharleyBrown

        Are you kidding? We're not in Greece or Rome, and that was not an issue of race. Here's a relevant American slave fabled character; KUNTA KENTE!! (spelling?)

        December 15, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Slavery ended around 150 years ago. It's time to move on. Even Bill Cosby said so. Our country has many problems that transcend race. We should stop identifying ourselves as Black or White or Christian or not. WE are Americans. Let's act like a team.

      December 15, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jack Black

        Especially when the government is about to lock ANYONE up INDEFINITELY.

        Blacks were just the beta test, they're coming for everyone now!

        December 15, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lena

        "Slavery" formally ended, but that didn't automatically make everything "fair" overnight. The civil rights movement happened only about 40 years ago. Up until then, African-Americans were not even allowed to use the same fountains or restrooms as whites. We've come some way on the journey to fairness, but not that far that everything is equitable.

        December 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. keith vanzandt

    To take a racist target away LOG OFF

    December 15, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jorge

    Al, if you're smart enough to bait like this, you're smart enough to come up with something constructive and contributory to say. C'mon Al, there are a few of us Hispanic, Black and White ex-poor boys who are waiting with great expectation, you can do it, dig DEEEEP...

    December 15, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jodie

    Anyone else hear the NPR article about the AP History class, where students were invited to pretest to qualify for the class...and NOT ONE Black student was invited? The mom of the A+ student who was interviewed heard about the test while she was volunteering at the school, and brought her daughter to the pretest. The daughter aced it and did well in the class. Students from that class were offered other AP classes which were not offered to the general student body.

    Black kids will do better if their teachers provide opportunities for them, they way they do for the White and Asian kids. Assuming that Black kids can't do the work - despite good grades - makes a lot of kids give up. Society is stacked against them, and they know it.

    December 15, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      This happened to me when I was in high school. I only found out about AP math two months after it started and had to fight to get in. I was the only black person in the class for 4 years. I just finished my masters degree in pure mathematics and I'm working on a PhD now. Those teachers just assumed I was stupid! I'm a college teacher now and I try to be better to my students than they were to me. I encounter so many bright students who have had their intellectual pride and energy destroyed by the low expectations of those around them. I may have made it out, but for every one like me there are 100 who didn't make it.

      And the USA is falling behind the world in mathematics. We are fighting with one arm tied behind our back because of racist shortsightedness and unequal, classist education systems.

      Poor black kids already know they need to work twice as hard. It's obvious. And it's why you don't see as many black faces as you should in higher education.

      December 17, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Drowlord

    So... you didn't like the Forbes article? Got it. You're a comedian? Good thing that was explained in your intro, as I saw the bitterness in your sarcasm, but somehow missed any trace of humor. Overall, I would say that knowing that there are ways to improve a person's life and knowing that YOU CAN IMPROVE YOUR LIFE are different levels of knowledge involving the exact same data.

    December 15, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. Black&Proud

    Oh Al....everytime u see an interracial couple...KNOW that you are dissolving, soon to be a thing of the past LOL. It's a mission my friend 🙂

    December 15, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • awesome

      awesome

      December 15, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  7. meech

    The Forbes article really isnt bad at all and he does provide a lot of good points and tools kids could use. Now, your article is just pure silly. I was a poor Black kid from the projects of N.Philly and now, I'm a Black man in the Middle Class. I was called "white boy" and other stupid things from ignorant Blacks; but that never stopped me. At least the Forbes article tried to solve a problem, your article was just pure nonsense. I'm going to start teaching Web Dev to the same type of kids mentioned in the Forbes article. One of the things I told the students was "I'm from the projects and was in the military–therefore, I dont play ANY GAMES. I quit recess because of games". Baratunde- stop playing games and DO SOMETHING besides write tongue in cheek articles.

    December 15, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • guessing most of you cant see the trees

      Meech, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say your parents or guardians were atleast supportive of your goals and gave some guidance as to how to achieve them,right? Well the same isnt true for the kids you will be teaching,so the "hard ass" act is going to get you laughed at as soon as your back is turned.As one of those kids who found out later in life the error of the group thought i was subjected to as a youth, im telling you NOTHING CHANGES WITHOUT PARENTS.Until there is no longer this out and out war on poor people expect not a whole lot to change.Yes in a perfect world adults would stop feeling sorry about thier situations and happily slave at 4 McJobs to provide for the family they planned to have.Funny thing is we dont live in a perfect world and part of the human condition is to compare and contrast and if as a poor youth reguardless of color, you see that even the hardest working guy you know still never makes more than 30 grand a year all that american dream crap doesnt mean a thing.While white and black and poor and middle class play the blame game guess who profits no matter what?So if your looking for accountabliity lets start at the top.Just a thought from another poor brown 20 something.

      December 15, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Black&Proud

    We are going to have our entire school, full of children of color to send letters to Newt who desires them to be janitors and learn how to work and get paid. Maybe he will let several hundred shadow him as he "works". They will learn that you can get paid 60K per speech and a big bonus for being a "Historian". I encourage the kids to major in history b/c apparently that's a lucrative career.

    December 15, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Big Bob

      But you can make bigger bucks by playing Basketball or rapping!

      December 15, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  9. swlabr

    The Forbes article was terribly condescending. I was a white kid who went to a predominantly black inner city school in New Orleans, and the biggest thing keeping kids from wanting to do well is not their ignorance of opportunity, it's that acting on those opportunities is also "acting white," which alienates them from their peers. Having said that, out of all the jokes this comedian could have made, he instead wrote an even worse article that was just kinda boring... At the very least the guy from Forbes had some interesting things to say, even if they were douchy. This dude just talks about how much he hates the Forbes guy, and it's isn't very insightful or even remotely funny. It's just another example of CNN's lukewarm sensationalism. They try to be edgy and exciting. But when you read or watch, it quickly becomes clear that there isn't substance in anything. Theres no message or meaning just... mediocrity.

    December 15, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Trina

      Very interesting insight as to why black kids might not take advantage of some opportunities; that they don't want to be thought of as "acting white". Another poster said that he was called "white boy" as he worked to better his situation. Wow! I didn't know that kids had to deal with peer pressure to not succeed! Kudos to all of those who overcome!!!

      December 15, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. 3rdEyeOpened

    After reading all of these comments, I'm in total shock. It saddens me to see that I'm basically one of the few whites on here who actually understands completely what the author is saying.

    I keep reading all of these arguments of whites positively acknowledging the Forbes article as a great resource for poor black children. Are you ignorant, blind, stupid, or all 3? It is obvious that the advise or Mr Marks is "vanilla" and in this case, plain, simple, and without substance. I would think that blacks are already aware of these resources that Gene Marks spews out. And that's the issue. It's not about being ignorant or uneducated in regards to the resources. It's about getting the proper access to them. Someone mentioned something about computers being available in libraries so it's no excuse for poor black kids to have access to them. But let me ask you this. How many public libraries do you think exist in poor black communities? And if it so happens that there are some, how much funding and materials do you think are available at these facilities compared to libraries in the suburbs and wealthy areas across the nation? If you think its pretty much the same, then I pity you.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • ????

      I think that the problem is one of culture within the black community. There has been untold money given to them for any number of reasons. However, when 72% of all black babies born in America today have no father, the problem is sure not society or the taxpayers. I won't bore you with the crime statistics. It is time for the absent father's to man up and be parents. Of course, with money given to raise the kids, that will never happen. Yes, there are ample white's and other races abusing the give away system. Just not in these large numbers. Growing up without a father, I can relate somewhat. Bill Cosby probably has it correct, if people would just listen to him and live what he is saying.

      December 15, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
      • Dennis Plunkett

        No black fathers because of the drug laws you take fathers out the community you get poor people prison industrial complex is hurting black people more than any other comments lack of oppurtunity when crime pays more than a job then you sell drugs. A 4 year degree for a 12 dollar an hour job please I would rather not go to college live in the hood and sell drugs. You the people on this forum and CNN needs to address the real problems How many of you lived with your parents starting out of college until you made good enough money? how many of you had two person house holds?Its a different time folks a different time

        December 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big Bob

      Here's the story. Black people move into well schooled, well policed area. The kids behave badly, thus chasing out the taxpayers. The people left behind have no inclination to maintain and upkeep the areas vacated. Stores and Malls close because security costs the retailers too much to stay there. All that's left are barber shops, nail salons and checkcashing joints.

      Why can other cultures make a go of it and one just simply can't no matter where in the world they live?

      December 15, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      You are not alone. I have a third eye as well. My only child is a young daughter and I have always wondered what I would tell her when she came to me and asked why boys are such idiots. Now I realize all I have to do is hand her the article Gene Marks wrote on women in the workplace and tell my daughter "Boys are idiots because they are modeling the behavior of their father". As to the inability of most white people to gain a third eye, none are so blind as those who will not see. If a person doesn't have the ability to stand aside from themselves, take a look around and see the world from more than one perspective, that person is cheating themselves.

      December 15, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Crappyname

    How about "letters from a poor white kid"? Black kids have the N.A.A.C.P., the A.C.L.U. and twenty or so other organizations protecting them. Poor White kids have no one. If a black kid can't make it today he is lazy or retarded, they have their own schools, their own rec centers and their own grants. I am so tired of black people trying to say that they are discriminated against. Actually White people are discriminated against more than Black people. PLEASE. Try enrolling in a black school and see what happens or sign up for a blacks only program.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • LAT1

      I agree! What happened to the "Letter from a poor white kid"? I am so tired of reading these racist articles about how bad the black community has it. I was a poor white kid. Did I have the organizations or recognition that african americans have? Nope. If the african american community wants us to all be equal, then let's stop writing dumb articles like this. Stop talking about how bad you have it. We all have poverty problems. We all have bullying and are treated unfairly. That's just called life.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Proud

      I think the cleaners just called and said your white robe is ready for pick up!

      December 15, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
      • DannyT

        Exactly what a liberal would respond with. Apparently all whites are racist if they comment on any issue involving other races. When was the last time YOU got a grant, scholarship, or assistance in any manner for simply being a poor white person? Last time I checked ACORN, the NAACP, and a dozen other "black" assistance programs were all providing funds to blacks only. So unless you can prove that I had any better advantage being born white than you did being born as any other race – shut your mouth you clown. Not to mention the fact that why is it only blacks scream the loudest about their discrimination?? Because the Latinos, Asians, and other races are all working to get educations and lead better lives – they work at it – they don't whine about it and do nothing.

        December 15, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
      • JoePub

        That's weak, not proud.

        December 15, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • CharleyBrown

      How soon people forget!!

      Here's a good question for white folk to ask; why does affirmative action have to be in place? Or why did all these programs come about?

      December 15, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • ComeOnMan9

      I am so tired of this very limited conversation.You both make me sick, even if every Black person in America went and got a job you would still have a little sad life. And you, stop being reactionary you are better than this. These people will never like the mud people why spar with these clowns. They only know one segment of a population of 36.8 million people. So glad we don't judge all of them based on Casey Anthony or Jerry Sandusky. Get a new hobby like paying attention to the 1% playing you.

      December 15, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joplin

      DannyT,

      I guess since us black folks have it so much better and have all these grants, scholarships, freebies and organizational support and you get ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for being born white in this country -- I'd like to exend a personal invitation for you to become a real (not honorary)member of the black race!!!

      You are out of your mind if you thind that black people have some kind of "gratuity card" that will give them access to all of these great things and whites have nothing!! Why do you think affirmative action, grants and minority scholarships were created? These programs and resources were tools of remediation for entrenched racism and discrimination and provided blacks with acess to education, jobs and accomodations that many whites (particularly in the south) took for granted!!

      If you think it is so easy or grand being black, why don't you conduct your own classic race experiment? You know the one where the guy went through a superficial metamorphasis to "look black" and could barely last a day without wining about how much it sucked to be black and with the realization that white people were more racist than he originally thought and he could not believe in the year 19– or 20–(you fill in the black) that people were so cruel and intolerant!!

      Go ahead, get started, report back and let me know how things turn out!! Good luck on your walk on the privileged BLACK SIDE. May you find all the peace, financial freedom and opportunity that you have been previously denied!!!

      December 15, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Good, leave.

    The only problem here, is that this country doesn't sterilize.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  13. czuklz

    Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they are yours. Richard Bach

    December 15, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Jubeeliz

      Amen!! Well said.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. Timothy C

    Yes, the Forbes article is terrible (it's worth a read though, but you have to register on the Forbes site to do so). What struck me most is the lack of feeling. Yes, a "poor black kid" could do all the things Gene Marks mentions, but it's impossible to do so without any sustained motivation. Unless you feel confident that your hard work is likely to pay off, you're not going to feel the motivation to spend hundreds of hours boning up on Wikipedia or other knowledge sites. You also need a good degree of peace and quiet so you can take the time to let the learning actually sink in. Yes, it's true that many poor families have an internet connection–but how many of them live in an environment where their kids can feel motivated enough to take advantage of it and have time and calm enough to make the most of it?

    December 15, 2011 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Grey

      "...without sustained motivation" And those are the key words. Why would anyone be it black, white or green work, when the government dole is willing to let you scrape by without effort. When I was 7 years old, I watched my father carry his shotgun out of the house to meet the local welfare agent, and let them know that was the last time he wanted to see them on his property. That was 1967. Since then, the following is what my and my sibblings have accomplished.
      Brother 1: 1 Million+ net valuation. Made through hard work in machining in MN, and frugal investing. (house paid off)
      Sister 1: 2+ Mil net val. Made through farming in MN (no inheritance of it either) (house paid off)
      Brother 2: 750K+ mil net val. Made through construction work in CA, and frugal spending. Rents.
      Brother 3: 5+ mil net val. Made through his own cabinet shop in MN and realestate. House and shop paid off.
      Me: 700K+ net val after losing 18Mill+ (everything) during the dot com bust in 2000 (I'm the risk taker). Owe 23K on house.
      Sister 2: 500K+ net val. Made through hard work in housing industry. House paid off.
      Sister 3: 2+ mil net val. Made through another farming operation in MN (no inheritance of it either) (house paid off)
      Sister 4: 300K+ net val. Made through hard work in medical field (house paid off)

      My father knew that if we latched onto the government teat, we'd never get off of it. All of us know the gift he gave us that day by showing us what it takes sometimes to stay free. That old single shot breaker shotgun is in a glass encased wall mount at my parents home as a constant reminder of that day.

      December 15, 2011 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
      • Seriously?

        WOW. Here's a cookie and a pat on the head you vile, ignorant thing.

        December 15, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
      • Kraas

        pics or it didnt happen

        December 15, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
      • GOOD FOR YOU

        Do you think you and your siblings could have accomplished all of that living in a single parent household, in a violent, drug-infested neighborhood, with no true role models? You had your parents, especially your father, to show you how to create goals, make plans, and learn how to achieve. I'm not positive but it doesn't sound like you and your siblings grew up in an urban area where the majority of "poor black kids" grow up more worried about dodging bullets and hoping no one steals their shoes or winter coat. These kids have to worry about basic survival; you can't truly learn in school or anywhere else, when all you can think about is, "how am I going to eat?" and "I hope my mom and siblings are safe walking home". You cannot presume to judge that every single person "on the government teat", as you so eloquently put it, is some lazy, no good, slacker with no goals except to sit around and watch TV all day. I know that's what Fox news wants to you to believe, but until you walk a mile in someone's shoes, you will never know what it is like to live their life.

        December 15, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Works with Some "poor kids"

      First off, the link to Forbes does work (no need to register). Secondly, great dad, Grey.
      My take: Peer groups are a powerful determinant that can make or break a "poor kid's " future. Hang with the budding cynical and you end up like that. Somehow, I ended up in a small college clueless in my day and was surrounded by fast
      thinking, optimistic, future oriented students. It made the greatest impact to get moving. Like Grey, I came from a large
      family-everyone made it college thanks to two blue collar, workaholic parents. If they only knew how close I came
      to a turn in the road, hanging with wrong crowd. I see it in the newer generation of underprivileged.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • wow

      I also used to believe that social mobility was due to will power and optimism ... and then I moved to the south. Wow, thank god I'm white.

      December 15, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
      • Jorge

        I also moved to the South, and I'm Puerto Rican. Wow, thank God I got an engineering degree back home and a bilingual education.

        December 15, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mayme

    Thanks for a good tongue in cheek article! You have to wonder what Gene Marks thinks schools are doing with kids these days. Nearly every high school kid already knows more about technology than he does. Why did he single out black young men and women? Doesn't every young person need these skills?

    December 15, 2011 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Shirley

      Gene Marks is Black. Just saying'.

      December 15, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  16. MONEY

    Why are people responding to this idiot? Clearly he's 15, his mother cancelled his World of Warcraft account and he's bored. He's just looking to get a reaction from people. Hey Al, do something more constructive with your time. I'm sure you can only do so much masturbating... just pick up a book and leave the "grown folk" to post intelligent comments that directly relate to the aforementioned subject matter.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
  17. asda

    Al- you are a white supremacist idiot, maybe even a dullard or mentally deficient just like your KKK cronies... your stupidity and lack of common sense is beyond words. keep your racist remarks to yourself!

    December 15, 2011 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
  18. M in Oz

    So now a hypothetical letter written by an adult retending to be a kid is news now?

    December 15, 2011 at 3:46 am | Report abuse |
  19. whosurdaddy

    Fact#1 98% Blacks voted for Obama, racism is NOT DEAD in the contrary its going STRONG ( only brainwashed retarded whites think its dead).
    Fact #2 Blacks are physically stronger than whites and asians.
    Fact #3 Black women give birth nearly one month earlier than whites and asians, Blacks develop physically much faster than whites and asians before age 12. ( also Black kids teech develop much earlier than whites and asians)
    Fact #4 Blacks have less brain than whites and asians in average. ( during the last few months of pregnance baby start to develop brain, one month shorter than white and asians could lead to less brain power , thats why in average Blacks IQ are lower)
    Most people agreed on Blacks are physically stronger but when it comes to IQ your prapaganda machine just keep DENY DENY DENY

    December 15, 2011 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Required

      Blacks in America tend to be physically stronger due to selective breeding during the times of slavery. Look at blacks in Africa they are smaller. Take Kenya look at the number of marathon runners.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      You might want to research anthropology. Based on where people derive from is usually displayed in their bone structure and build. Different areas of Africa have produced different bone structures of the humans there. Same in the Americas. Mountainous regions produced shorter, more squat stature to aid in climbing. Plains and non-mountainous regions produce taller, faster running humans. It is not a difference based on blacks vs. whites. If you choose to change that into a racial slant, oh well.

      December 15, 2011 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Sadie Boyd

      You are a discredit to your race, family and the species...

      December 15, 2011 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      Functionally meaningless data. Pound for pound, Hispanics are physically more strongly built than either Blacks, Whites or Asians, Jews less so; yet that accounts against the tidal wave of young assimilated Latinos wanting to get into physically easier college and office careers, nor does it hold logic for the proven military might of Israel in the Middle East. The human is the most adaptive creature on earth, and most of the limitations it encounters are within the environment of it's own societies.

      December 15, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • What are you talking about?

      the brains of "black people" are not smaller. Lets start with your IQ claim you racist ridiculous excuse for a human being... Have you EVER seen an IQ test. This in no way actually tests the inherent intelligence of a person. This test was created by white people with white knowledge. So, if you were to look at what IQ is supposed to measure (potential intelligence, not facts that you may or may not know) It is incredibly inaccurate. now, let me be clear... I am an American-born Indian with a degree in psychology, so don't tell me I am part of any propaganda machine or unqualified to speak to IQ tests. They are ridiculous, inaccurate and dangerous. period.

      Also, when talking about "black people"... please understand that that means all people in Africa, people in the Caribbean, and a number of other races all over the globe. So to generalize is insane. Putting things across as fact when you have no basis for saying them makes you among the most pathetic people I have ever heard. Racism is clearly not dead. You just try and make an excuse for your racism by claiming facts that are not facts which simply fulfill your stereotypes.

      December 15, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim Wells

      It is a fact that too much masturbation causes a decrese in IQ. This can lead to such shortcomings as premature ejaculation, baldness, myopia, as well as more serious complaints. And it is these more serious complaints we should address – how masturbation affects the areas of the brain that governs reason and language. Constant, chronic masturbation causes erosion of these areas and can cause problems in parsing simple grammar, punctuation and spelling. Beyond that, and we discover that the victims of their own hands start believing facts that were debunked over a century ago. What we now find is that these chronic masturbators now inhabit the comments sections of CNN, Yahoo and Fox, sharing their malformed beliefs worded in a style that would almost make you think that English was no longer their first language.

      December 15, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
      • the excuse of anonimity

        amazing... hahahahaha

        December 15, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • RTfromIL

      @whosurdaddy – what are "teech?"

      December 15, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  20. guest

    I'm willing to bet that you wouldn't say that to any "nigras's' face!!!

    December 15, 2011 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
  21. Drew

    Anyone criticizing these two articles for not "helping" poor black kids is misunderstanding the goal of Forbes and CNN. They are corporations whose goal is to maximize profits from publication sales and advertising. By creating such a controversy, I'm sure Forbes sold a few extra copies this week. Needless to say, by posting a million comments to this response, you've all just helped to increased the value of advertising space on CNN.com.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
  22. jmhuber1

    AL is black.

    December 15, 2011 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Margie

      I don't know if he/she is black, but I can guarantee he/she is stupid.

      December 15, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  23. Vinny

    we all bleed the same blood stop with hate both sides and Grow up!!!

    December 15, 2011 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
    • JACKIE

      Thank you for the humanity,Vinny.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      Amen Vinnie, rightly said. Why do they call it common sense if it is the rarest of the six?

      December 15, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  24. TD1016

    My friend emailed me Gene's article and while there were a few things I agreed with, I felt like Baratunde. Gene doesn't get that there are many things at the heart of this situation. This blog was completely done in humor. What Baratunde, IMO, is mocking Gene's article and perception of the situation of poor black children. Gene's article was lacked substance and any true knowledge of what poor black children (poor children in general) go through. This piece isn't meant to talk about the issue in depth, that's for another day and time because it's so much to take into account. Not even with "excuses' but just things that are reality, whether we want to acknowledge them or not. Purely satire directed towards someone who seems to think that "change" can happen at the snap of a finger. Good job Baratunde. I completely got where you were coming from.

    December 15, 2011 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
  25. QuietDown

    Last time I saw a "poor" black family, she had 3 kids and collected government checks... she bought top of the line products, weed, and beer... Stop the excuses you blacks and man up.

    December 15, 2011 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
    • ave

      oh, you were in line to buy top of the line weed and beer too? what kind did you buy after she was done with her transaction? oh, you weren't buying, you were selling. SMH

      December 15, 2011 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Black&Proud

      That's not nice to share that your mom bought weed!!!

      December 15, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • the excuse of anonimity

      I love how these clearly racist posts are fueled by people who can hide behind a username. Lets start with the level of inequality that, even now, drives LOW INCOME people down. How about the fact that sentences for crack are Much higher then those of cocaine? Is that not skewed toward punishing poor people arbitrarily? Have you eer lived in any of these neighborhoods. buying top of the line products are the only way for a person to feel humanized again. would you not but top of the line products to grasp at some straws of dignity in a destructive American culture in which what you have materially defines who you are and your self worth? Everyone needs some empathy. Otherwise we are already lost as a country. You have no idea what that life is like, and how someone can be thrown pretty deep into depression living in a situation where they cannot work and have to look for handouts. EMPATHY.

      December 15, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  26. jmhuber1

    We're all pink on the inside.

    December 15, 2011 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
    • bob

      maybe we need to give America back to the British, french and Spanish. so that they can solve out problems. clearly we cont fix out diversity BS on our own.

      December 15, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
  27. Jonathan

    Good to see that racists can have their own blogs on CNN.com. What a trashy angry rant.

    December 15, 2011 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
  28. ChEcKeRbOaRd

    @!%! you white folks – especially you white men who have more hair on your bodies than your head | animal that prey! you status in the world is dropping day by day and people of color are everywhere.

    December 15, 2011 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Al-

      Funny monkey want banana?

      December 15, 2011 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
    • wow

      What about Kimbo Slice? He's pretty hairy.

      December 15, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Big Bob

      And notice how things are getting crapier and crapier!

      December 15, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  29. Candy

    The article lack substance... It is impossible to offer solutions without first understanding the problem. I am an African American female who just happens to have a Ph.D. I am not lazy. I was never awarded a position based on AA Programs. I served my country honorably by enlisting the Navy for over 7 years. My parents were not drug dealers or hoes. I did not have 6 baby daddies (no kids at all). We cannot assume that all African Americans experience the same fate in life. Nor can we ignore the fact that the playing field is not always equal for all.

    I find it extremely disappointing that the author of this article did not take the time to first speak with “poor Black kids” to gain their perspective of this phenomenon. To this point, the author failed to provide a true account of what is like to be a poor Black kid in America. This author more or less a slapped the faces of all kids of all races that are living in poverty and are without the basic resources needed to prepare them to for the mean world they will face.

    I would offer that instead of spending time debating the issue of race and privileges, we work to find a common ground for which we call can build alliances with each to help each other – especially the kids!

    Stop using blogs as a method to address your on hate and bigotry towards mankind.

    P.S. I work with many poor African American women (and men) who are doing a fine job of rearing their kids despite being faced with all sorts of challenges. They want so much for their kids to have the opportunity to follow their heart’s desire without barriers or restraints. They too seek the American dream for their kids which do not include a life of repeated poverty…handout…or poorly written articles.

    December 15, 2011 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
    • JUGGERNAUT

      WELL SAID.

      December 15, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Lisa Floyd

      Great response!!

      December 15, 2011 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Excellent response! Very positive and too the point. This is the most intelligent post I have read all day, and there are no vile put downs, complaints, or me me positions. Please post more, maybe others will learn from them.

      December 15, 2011 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Chosen1

      Thank you Candy for being so articulate about the issue instead of being like the above blogs and bashing one side or the other. I cannot believe that we are living in the 21st century and still have this type of intolerance.
      I, too, served my country in the U.S. Marines and I have a PhD as well. I come from a mixed race family that experienced this type of hatred in the 60's. Our country goes around the world and tries to promote tolerance, democracy and education, yet at home, we treat our underprivileged like garbage. I currently reside in Germany and I was just having a discussion with some of my foreign colleagues about this very issue. They were asking me how can my country be so racist, yet speak out about against everyone else in the world.
      As I can see by some of these blogs, we still have a long way to go. I have faith in my country, the country that I fought for and would give my life for; a country that my daughter is also planning to serve in the Marines. I sincerely hope that we all will soon open our eyes.

      December 15, 2011 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
      • PileitHigherandDeeper=PHD

        Racism exists everywhere. It is NOT particular to the USA. Puerto Ricans hate Dominicans, Dominicans hate Haitians. Mexicans hate Horndurans and Hondurans hate Guatamalans...... Get over it. Germans don't have a corner on being enlightened. While they may not understand the USA there's no shortage of predjudice among Europeans....The university system in the USA produces a bunch of you numbskulls every year. It doesn't mean you're smarter or more intuitive than the masses.

        December 15, 2011 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
      • Jorge

        Puerto Ricans hate Dominicans??? Tell that to the countless Dominicans who have smuggled to Puerto Rico and who would not go back for all the tea in China. The type of functional, organic enmity that qualifies as hate to me has been expertly expressed during the last century by Anglo-Americans, Northern Europeans, Africans, and Arabs through Jim Crow laws, lynchings, pogroms, ethnic cleansing and Final Solutions. There is no such analogous phenomenon in the Spanish Caribbean.

        December 15, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      You couldn't have said it any better.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
  30. minerva

    I see two things wrong with this article: 1. It's feeding the troll known as Gene Marks. If he's not a troll, then he must really have his head shoved up his 1% White-privileged ass. If Google Scholar could replace good schools, it would have already been done. If it could replace parents who can't spend enough time with their kids because they're working 2 or 3 jobs apiece, and nobody realizes the kid is left behind until he's getting ostracized. If it could replace the threat that come from seeming too "smart" in the hood.

    2. Baratunde's written three other books. This I know because he gave my mother one of them. I suppose if it wasn't published by a corporation run by 1%ers, it doesn't count as being written.

    December 15, 2011 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  31. CARL FORBES--NOT RELATED

    THE ARTICLE IS NOT AS BAD AS YOU THINK. OUR BLACK KIDS NEED TO READ AND WRITE AND THE ARTICLE IS SUGGESTING THAT THERE SHOULD BE OTHER MEANS OF ALLOWING THE KIDS TO LEARN TO READ. YOU NEED TO GO TO THE HIGH SHOOOLS AND TRY AND HELP THE KIDS WHO ARE FAILING AND YOU WILL SEE FIRST HAND THAT THE KIDS NEED OTHER SOURCE OF LEARNING TO READ. WE HAVE TO GET OFF THIS KICK OF WHO MAKES THE TOUCHDOWN AND MAKE THE 100 YARDS AND FOCUS ON EDUCATION OR JUSTREADING AND WRITING TO START.

    December 15, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
    • JUGGERNAUT

      S T F U you m0r0n.

      Black high school graduate have rose from 45% to 70% between 1970 to 2009, blacks are doing jut fine.

      December 15, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
      • Al-

        Spare us your primitive monkey-babble!

        December 15, 2011 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
      • JUGGERNAUT

        spare us you inbred.

        your dad probably doing hi sister again right now, you will oon have a sister so that you can do her. LMAO

        December 15, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
      • Tired of stupidity

        "Black high school graduate have rose from 45% to 70% between 1970 to 2009, blacks are doing jut fine."

        Now, let's break down this 'sentence', shall we? No? You just want to see how it would look if it were written by someone who wasn't illiterate, you say? OK, here goes...

        "The gross national percentage of black high school graduates has risen from 45%in 1970 to 70% in 2009. Blacks are doing just fine."

        Now wasn't that easy? Well, it was for me!

        December 15, 2011 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
      • carioca

        Juggernaut,
        Please leave the writing of comments to people who can write. Your butchering of the english language only furthers the case of the racists.

        December 15, 2011 at 5:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      all you are saying is that we need to do this, and we need to do that. Your comments are no better than the original article being mocked here. Of course that is what we need to do. Do you have the financial means to make it happen? Our messed up school system punishes schools that are failing by eliminating their funding. So year after year these failing schools get worse because they can not afford to buy new textbooks or fix desks let alone invest in a computer. If we want to test the crap out of our kids thats fine, but use logic... if your roof is leaking, you dont go out and buy new windows and expect the roof to get fix itself.

      December 15, 2011 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
  32. Chris

    Blacks have done nothing for the world, they only caused grief and destruction. I care about a blacks' opinion like a care about the turd in my toilet, especially a black "youth" who knows about the world about as much as my dog.

    December 15, 2011 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
    • JUGGERNAUT

      Destruction???

      WWI, WWII, The roman Empire, The British empire, the colonization of various countries and etc...

      Construction of the Bomb atomic, Guns, missiles and etc...

      WHITES have caused more destruction than any other race.

      December 15, 2011 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
      • Al-

        Big black Sambo, the subhuman beast! Give me that big watermelon grin, Sambo.

        December 15, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
      • JUGGERNAUT

        wqqqwwq

        December 15, 2011 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
      • Big Bob

        Fair enough. But they've also built almost everything of any value.

        December 15, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Tuesdaygirl

      Wow. Self hate much? Do you know who invented the traffic signal? You are apparently a low life trailer park meth smoking, mountain dew drinking, sixth grade drop out miscreant with a small penis who only knows exactly nothing. How dare you. Show your face. You are a chicken, self hating person. I am sorry that you were molested and mistreated. If you were a real man you would you would not write this kind of thing. You are in hell and I wish you well. Well, actually I don't. you are exactly where you are supposed to be. And btw, your mother is, well I am not gonna say the words....

      December 15, 2011 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Whites built civilization, blacks never evolved out of the stone age and have no business in our lands.
      NEXT

      December 15, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
      • JUGGERNAUT

        @chris

        whites built civilization by stealing from previous civilization before them.

        NOW whites are destroying the entire economy, Europe is collapsing and the continent is F UP and whites are starting wars in almost every countries. Whites will bring about the Apocalypse.

        December 15, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
      • LULU

        It's not your land, your ancestors STOLE it from the NATIVE AMERICANS!!!!

        December 15, 2011 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
      • Susan

        I think the (black) Egyptians had a much better go at civilization than the whites running around to the north who didn't manage to build anything of consequence, much less THINGS that STILL STAND TODAY!

        December 15, 2011 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
    • TruthBeDamned

      I might like to point out that Native Americans are doing even worse then Blacks, most people in the Middle East are doing bad, many poor Asian nations, and poor nations of the South America all have one thing in common. They all met some White men who claimed to be their friend. I will not say all White men are like the ones these people met but what I will say is Black people have no history of bringing destruction to the lands of the places they visit.

      December 15, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • ltd

      Whoa whoa whoa, black people invented peanut butter. Have some respect.

      December 15, 2011 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Candy

      May God bless you and find it in His Heart to soften yours. I would assume that you are unhappy with yourself, hence, the need to offer such negative comments to an entire group of people. Dig deep and find something of substance to add to the conversation otherwise you come across as being well, Dumb.

      December 15, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
    • dave

      I no longer believe affirmative action is neccessary, but I feel it is imperative we have equal opportunities, respect.

      You sir, are more disgusting than what you see in your toilet. You are to be pittied.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
    • guest

      Hey Chris.....do you eat peanut butter? Ever used a mailbox or stopped at a traffic light? Ever needed a bolld transfusion.....? Yeah all these things (and a s&%tload more).....invented by "blacks"!!!! PWNED and FAIL!!! Read a history book DOOFUS!!!

      December 15, 2011 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
      • Big Bob

        Yea! Wow! Bet that would fill up at least a page or two!

        December 15, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Al-

    Blacks are apes. The Arabs know how to control their nigras through castration and the whip.

    December 15, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Tuesdaygirl

      Al, you are beyond childish. Your sitxth grade only education is abundantly clear. By the way your mother is an ape as are you. Hate is an inside job. As within so with out... Ha Ha. If you were a real man you would go up to a black person and say it to their face. I dare you. At least black people don't wear white sheets. They are not inferior, but superior and that is why you can't take it. Jealous! Hahhahha. stupido1.

      December 15, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
      • Al-

        Spare us your semi-literate nigra sermons, you preening she-ape!

        December 15, 2011 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
      • Chosen1

        why do you even reply to him? if you ignore him, he will go away. as long as you speak to him, you give him something to comment on...

        December 15, 2011 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
    • LULU

      Al, that didn't stop your ancestors male and female from "hitting it" every chance they got!!! You're probably a mass of body hair which, along with your lower IQ makes you more of an ape than an actual ape or any black person.

      December 15, 2011 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Candy

      Is this something that you would say to an African American face-to-face? No, right. Why would you think that it okay to say this on the blog... Grow up and gain some accountability for how you conduct yourself with Adults.

      December 15, 2011 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
      • Dave in Portland

        Agreed. It's amazing how the internet gives courage to this pathetic little slug. Mommy and Daddy's basement must get cold and lonely and so to keep the darkness from creeping in he has to post ignorant, childish garbage on the internet. It's the only place anyone will even acknowledge his existence, albeit to ridicule him.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      I sincerelly hope you are a stupid person who is doing this for shock value. If not you are a disgusting individual living in another time. Get a current life!

      December 15, 2011 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
  34. JUGGERNAUT

    I HOPE THE DUMB BLACK GUY WHO SIDE WITH PEOPLE LIKE HERMAIN CAIN READ THE POT OUT HERE AND SEE THAT RACISM IS ALIVE AND WELL IN THE USA.

    December 15, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Al-

      Subhuman monkey!

      December 15, 2011 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
      • JUGGERNAUT

        Subhuman inbred.

        December 15, 2011 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
      • Al-

        OK: Subhuman inbred monkey.

        December 15, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
      • JUGGERNAUT

        ok, subhuman inbred redneck.

        December 15, 2011 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
      • dave

        Were your parents by any chance, cousins, or closer?

        December 15, 2011 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
  35. JUGGERNAUT

    AFTER READING THE RACIST COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG, IT IS CLEAR THAT PEOPLE LIKE AL SHARPTON AND JESSE JACKSON WILL ALWAYS BE NEEDED.

    December 15, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Commodore

      Has anyone ever noticed what incredibly hard working, appreciative, and intelligent people africans from actual africa are? As in Kenyan Americans,-Nigerian Americans,- etc. etc. I was a personal trainer for this guy from Kenya named Metobo. Real thick accent, difficult to understand, but always a jolly happy guy. Worked at an airport lifting baggage while he studied pharmaceutical studies at Texas Tech. It's kind of shocking how extreme the contrast is between Africans and African Americans. But if you think about it from a genetical standpoint, it makes perfect sense. Blacks in Africa have to use their wits and their hard work to survive. Blacks in America get everything handed to them by the government, including the government itself.

      December 15, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
      • JUGGERNAUT

        JUST KEEP PROVING MY POINT.

        Are you saying as a simple example that blacks in military are lazy?? are you saying the black cop or fireman you see are also lazy??? are you saying Hermain Cain and Will smith are having the government giving them handout???

        LMAO, m0r0nic and racist generalizations, just prove my point. THANK YOU.

        December 15, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
      • minerva

        While Black immigrants have to work even harder than those born here, such a sweeping generalization is so very, very harmful. I am first-generation. My Jamaican mother and Nigerian father worked their tails off to make sure I could live in a middle-class neighborhood, and therefore, a good school. However, in my years as a case worker, I have also seen immigrants from those very countries expecting handouts from the U.S. government.

        December 15, 2011 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
      • Tired of stupidity

        @ Juggernaut- Are YOU saying that you don't understand the disparity he's talking about? Because if that's the case, I'm calling you a liar.

        December 15, 2011 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
      • Marie

        I'm from the suburbs of Chicago and I know a LOT of lazy white people. ie highschoolers, college students, and college grads who don't get everything handed to them by the government, they get everything handed to them by their parents. Oh and lest we forget the trailer trash that also gets handouts such as abusing workman's comp and otherwise playing the system. Obviously it would be a GENERALIZATION to say this is true of ALL white people. Therefore it's obviously just as ridiculous to say ALL African Americans are lazy as the commenter before me pointed out (firemen, police, military, professors, CEO/moguls). This seems obvious yet so many people out there seem completely stumped by this concept.

        December 15, 2011 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
  36. Winston5

    LMAO! Thank you. Gotta find the original Forbes article. (my fairy elf forgot to slide a xerox under my door) 🙂

    December 15, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  37. Stop the hatred

    I think it's fair to ask blacks to stop mentioning slavery, lynching, and discrimination WHEN white people stop posting comments about blacks smelling, not knowing who their fathers are, or looking like monkeys. Discrimination and hatred are, unfortunately, alive and well in 2011 America, as proven by the disgusting posts about this article. Stop the cycle of intolerance. Stop the racist comments. Until then, white America has no right to judge others.

    December 15, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      Until the day comes when we no longer have to have black rights, womens rights, gay rights, and we all start living under the same HUMAN rights, there will always be descrimination. I ran for public office back in 1986 as a first time candidate. At a speech for a predominatly black caucus, the other 7 candidates before me stood up and said "Im FOR affirmative action...etc etc." after hearing those same exact words 7 times, I refused to say them.....so I started out by saying "well, I dont believe in black rights, womens rights, gay right...." and believe me...the eyes on me looked like there WAS gonna be a lynching...of me! But I paused and said "I only believe in HUMAN RIGHTS. and until we stop looking at each other as black, male/female, gay, etc, and see only another human being, we will always face the same obsticles that have stabbed this country for generations. WE ARE ALL CREATED EQUAL and have the same rights under GOD! THOSE were the words of our founding fathers. Seems like we are all just like children....we want to take the parts of advice from our parents that we like, and discard those we dont. But until we accept that there were some brilliant, once in a millenium minds at work creating this nation, and follow the true principles of EQUALITY for ALL....we create the divisions amongst ourselves. Whites, Blacks, Men, Women, it doesn't matter. WE ARE HUMAN! Lets start treating each other that way.

      December 15, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
      • TruthBeDamned

        I will say again racists comments in the room although mean are not holding down a single Black woman or man. So why do we feel such a need to worry about racism? Anything can be overcome, not so much by hard work, as all the hard work in the world is not going to make me and NBA player. But by banding together. Blacks biggest issue is self doubt and lack of unity. Unity in the Asian community has worked well in some respects. It has worked even better in the Jewish community.There are definitely lessons to be learned.

        December 15, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
      • JUGGERNAUT

        @TruthBeDamned

        ooohhhh YES it does. THe people saying those racist comments maybe police officer, HR manager, Recruiting managers, General manager, Supervisors, Teachers and etc...

        get my drift?? they will make sure to keep blacks down if they ever encounter one.

        December 15, 2011 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
      • vintage274

        Interestingly enough, when our Founding Fathers said that all men are created equal, they were only referring to WHITE, MALE LANDOWNERS. If you were black or red or yellow or brown, a woman, a slave, an indentured servant, a poor farmer or anyone else who didn't own land, you simply didn't count to your government. We've come a long way since our revered Founding Fathers put all those obstacles to human rights in our way. We haven't arrived yet (as witnessed by the ignorant, racist, bigoted posts to any CNN article).

        December 15, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
      • JUGGERNAUT

        @TruthBeDamned

        AND I WILL SAY IT AGAIN.

        people making those racist comment in here are out there in the real world some are in high position in which they can decide who gets hire and who gets fire or who goes to jail and who does not.

        GET IT YET????

        December 15, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
      • JUGGERNAUT

        @DOUG

        your whole story is a LIE.

        and stop with the "we are all HUMAN" crap.

        Racism exist and discrimination exist and they are mainly done by whites.

        December 15, 2011 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
      • Tired of stupidity

        I am a musician. I just got home from a gig. Before the gig, my bass player and I went to a local McDonalds in New Orleans. We ordered some fast food crap, sat down and ate. During our 'meal', we noticed two black teen males giving us the stink-eye. Their pants around their butts, stoned, and looking to start a fight. Do you seriously believe that I would treat them with the same respect that I would treat an African American teacher, or lawyer? Or that I SHOULD? THAT is ignorant. If your goal in life is to smoke blunts and intimidate white people, you have no business in my life. I am not a racist or a supremacist- But I DID feel superior to those two individuals, and I will not apologize to anyone for it.

        December 15, 2011 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Christy Gordon

      Well said.

      December 15, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
    • dave

      I don't think any of us should be able to judge others. I am a Republican. In my opinion, most comments on this blog have been extremely disgusting and need to stop if we hope to ever get out of this.

      December 15, 2011 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
  38. jay

    Great to here the great divide is still there.. we are reading two people that are out of touch with what they think is really going on.One the pompous ass that a computer solve's years of financial and family issue's. The other will say and do anything to get him out there to spread anger when he does't believe half of what he write's. so two people making money off the same poor people neither helping

    December 15, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  39. Wickeddoll

    AS a black person, I didn't find the Forbes article offensive, but certainly Mr. Marks is in no position to counsel black youth. As someone said here, what poor black kid would even *see* this article? I took Thurston's response as highlighting that fact – not disputing the value of what Mr. Marks said. Marks comes off as just slightly condescending, in thinking his solutions are reaching the proper audience, and that he has blanket solutions, that no one else has considered. Kids of all colors these days, are all about technology – he's not really shedding light on anything, but he means well, so there's nothing wrong with his effort.

    December 15, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • TruthBeDamned

      Let's not assume Mark is not trying to help. But the question you should be asking is where are Blacks in helping other Blacks?

      December 15, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  40. T3chsupport

    Yeah, if I were a poor black kid, I'd know everything that some old bald white dude who writes for Forbes knew, and I'd just do all of those things, and then I wouldn't be poor!

    And this is why we can't have nice things.

    December 15, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  41. Otis

    Blacks are subhuman. They are ugly and have that "nigra" odor. No more handouts for the black beast!

    December 15, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
    • fj

      May Allah burn Otis in eternal hellfire. No virgins for him.

      December 15, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
      • rename me black

        i can shot dead otis and his entire generation and burn them into ashes....i swear to God i can

        December 15, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  42. csno

    Marks had it right. Whoever wrote this article had the IQ of a potted plant.

    December 14, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anjana

      You are right. Forbes articles was beautiful. It is meant for those kids who is doing whatever he is doing because everyone else is doing it and want to escape from that. the letter is just like putting water on the seed. the seed of wanting to have a better life has to exist.

      December 14, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Rob

    I'm sure there's a point in this article, but my sarcasm filter got clogged for the third time and is no longer functioning.

    After I repair it I will try to read the article again.

    December 14, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anjana

      love it.

      December 14, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Jason

    Think for a second! Who is the target readers for Mr. Marks article? It is definitely not any "Poor Black Kids". Keep in mind this article was written in Forbes magazine. The article is nothing more than satire for Forbes' readers. He has not helped any poor black kids.

    December 14, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  45. AmericanCitizen

    You need to talk to people as Americans. Some black people are poor and educated. Are you assuming all poor blacks are not educated?

    December 14, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Voice of Reason

      I find it sad that a REAL poor black kid couldn't respond to the article, and it had to be written by an adult. Bring on those who SHOULD respond and not those who respond to get attention.

      December 14, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Should I BEmbarassed

    I read the article by Gene and he keeps insisting kids will find the technologies. I am 30, have easy access to most of them and still don't use them. So hard to expect low-income kids to. Also the article would have been better received if it was listed as "helpful resources for parents, teachers and kids to know about" and not "what i would do" – since the latter suggests that the kids know these things exist and have easy access to them but willfully refuse to improve themselves.
    I lost him at the point he referred to a small number of teachers he knew as the authority on technology for black kids

    December 14, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Gdawg

    Wow! thank you Baratunde for that wonderful essay! Sadly, so many people are just living in a fantasy world. Some of them are writing comments here about poverty and how the poor are responsible and how they just have to do this or that. The level of ignorance is remarkable. It's time to stop living in the Newt Gingrich fantasy world and think a little bit. As a society, we have nothing to gain at all, ZERO, by having a substantial number of people living in poverty. Nor do we have much to gain when a very small minority enjoy fabulous wealth while a large minority don't. The real world is this: swim together or sink together. To swim together, we have to throw out the libertarian BS that pretends we are all islands unaffected by the world around us. Throw out Newt and Ron and Rom... and the rest of them.

    December 14, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • jc

      "It's like they were waiting for me. They smiled, waved and immediately told me about their secret scholarship programs." best line of the essay lol

      December 14, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  48. LMBO

    LOL!!

    December 14, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  49. longshot

    Gene Marks apparently likes to write about things he has no freakin clue. Not that hard work and technology aren't good, but he has no clue what it's like to be very poor, or a minority. And his article Why Most Women Will Never Be CEO is just as horrible. Who pays him to write? He's horrible, and simply writes uneducated opinions about things which he has not clue. Go back to accounting, you're perfect for it.

    December 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Matt

    If you are going to keep with the "white people can't understand..." line then quit asking white people to bail you out. Don't ask the U.S. government for help...don't ask your boss for anything other than a paycheck...don't go to a school with white teachers. If you stick with the "white people can't understand..." line then be consistent and don't ask for anything from a white person...EVER.

    December 14, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • TruthBeDamned

      It is not that White people cannot understand that is the problem. It is that Black people need to pick up the slack instead of leaving it so often at the step of White people with no vested interest in their communities in most cases. How come African immigrants come to the USA facing the same racism and discrimination, go to the same poor schools, but some how manage to excel?

      I believe it relates to and old saying long after the body has been freed the mind can remain enslaved. Once Black people realize they have to save themselves true change will come. So far you have had a number of successful Blacks that make it while leaving their brothers behind in the dust. There are more wealthy Blacks then ever before. Most give back in time and money to the community. But few of them actually teach the disadvantaged HOW TO FISH.

      December 14, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Hmmm... Strange, I did not see "white people dont understand" anywhere in the reply letter.

      December 14, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Matt

        Did I say it was in the letter? I was referring to the commenters.

        December 14, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      You are right, blacks are not very good in general. At least they entertain us with sports and by showing up on the news

      December 14, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sylveebee

        Wow. Your ignorant generalization speaks volumes about how simple you are.

        December 15, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
    • tony

      Last I checked, Matt, the government has a Black president- so nobody is asking a "white" government for any help. And how do you know that the writer gets paid by a white man?

      There's the problem- white prvillege commenting on white privellege is like a fish commending on water

      December 14, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anjana

      So according to you, it was the government is all white people? /bosses are all white? Good teachers are all why. Wow racist much???

      December 14, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      And while you're telling us "poor black folks" to stop getting govmint handouts, please tell yourlilly white coporations to stop asking us "poor black folks" to bail them out!

      December 16, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  51. alice

    I teach technology classes in a public high school and every year I have kids of all races come in to class who don't have a computer at home and who don't know how to use a mouse or create a folder on their desktop. The problem isn't know that computers exist- they most certainly do. Many have game stations, smart phones and TV's that are bought from rental places. You can buy an old game station at a flea market for a few dollars and many poor do. What they don't see is how it can be a learning, earning tool and how a computer is a basic part of a middle-class life now.

    The Forbes articles doesn't seem to me to be so much racist as elitist. Targeting it to black children is racist, but not understanding WHY people are poor and why their kids have such a hard time breaking out of poverty is certainly elitist. Good vocabularies come from parents who read and value education. Computers come from parents who will sacrifice other entertainment areas to get their kids used to technology. Many of my poorest kids have food and clothes, if only from Goodwill, but what many don't have is stability in their families economic situations, healthcare or a functional, two-parent family life.

    December 14, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  52. A POOR WHITE WOMEN

    IM WAITING! FOR SOME PATHETIC PERSON TO PLAY ME AND HUMILIATE ME AND MAKE ME THINK I NEED TO STUMBLE ACROSS A PERSON THAT SOUNDS TO ME LIKES WATCHING POVERTY STRICKEN PEOPLE THANK AND RDJOICE FOR THE SIMPLE THINGS IN LIFE EVERYONE USED TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD

    December 14, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • T3chsupport

      All you ever do is complain, everyone already stopped listening to you a long time ago.

      December 15, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  53. RandP

    Has the whole world gone stark raving mad? Gene Marks' article was a travesty.

    Baratunde, your response is masterful, and I thank you very much for it.

    December 14, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • TruthBeDamned

      This article was and utter waste of time. He spent all this type making fun of someone that was at least putting up A solution. Not the only solution but A solution. People with no ideas only wanna criticize . Like that occupy movement, they have valid points but put forth zero solutions. Anyone can complain but it takes a leader to tell us the path forward.

      I will give a few solutions. One Black kids need to know about their history. They need to know about people past and present who have done great things. Second end the idea of low expectations. Blacks were slaves and forced to not read, study, or learn and then faced a 1960's of unequal education. But since that time they have been lied to, they have been told that it is racism and the White men that is responsible for their current state. But Blacks are the only ones that can effect change. Listening to non sense like more money would make a difference is crap. Do White schools have more money on average? Yes they do but money is not where the problem is. There are far poorer countries then the US that have better education rates.

      December 14, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Teila

        Oh please. Black kids don't need to know about history no more than white kids do, because when it comes to being successful or getting a premier job, no one gives a rats behind whether or not you squat about history. On virtually every standardized exam, history and the arts are dead last on anybody's list of any sort of remote relevance so stop it with that "black kids need to know their history crp". Black kids need to know exactly what anyone of any color needs to know in order to have a much better than average chance at financial independence. Tenacity, Will to succeed, Knowledge of math past trigonometry or many jobs and college majors in technology and medicine are by default unavailable to you do to requisite courses; knowledge of chemistry (not the intro stuff, but the hard stuff that has the average student sweating at night), physics and any numerous hard sciences (the lack of high level math, chemistry and or physics credits are the basic gate keepers that keep most black college students from the more lucrative tech and medical fields). The bottom line is that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. People (black and white) basically know what they need to succeed, but are too lazy to do it. Poor people don't know you say? I call bs, if you don't know what to do, copy the smart kid in the class and the smart people at school. Most kids having trouble in school don't practice jack once they get home. I blame the parents and the kid. Don't whine about not having a "chance" unless you've put in the work that others have done. Poor black kids all over the U.S. that "didn't have a pot to p..." have made it to the Ivy eight with hard work. Poor black (and white) kids have spent weekends reading math and chemistry books at the public school and public city library (almost impossible not to be able to find one to check out). I'm more about kids of all shades getting down to business and putting the work in to get somewhere as opposed to whining foul, slavery (not that again), white man did it to me, stars never line up for me, or someone broke my favorite crayon. Put in the work, and it's almost impossible to fail. There. I said it.

        December 14, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • TruthBeDamned

        How do you explain poor African kids? They are killing it. They even score higher the immigrant Asians. Do you realize there are Black kids to this day that say being smart in school is "Acting White"? The assumption you make is all kids start from the same mental background. A Black kid seeing his father absent, Black men in his neighborhood gang banging or selling crack, women selling their bodies, and teachers that lower expectations assuming he could not pass any other way, how is this kinda kid even supposed to know of another reality? Again educate the kid about the possible, expect more, and invest time rather then money in kids and you will see a turn around. Or you could just keep blaming the White man. Blaming the White man has done such wonders so far.

        December 15, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  54. Alex in NJ

    There is a very simple truth about poverty, as well as bad, inner city education. Until people who are not fit to raise children stop having children, there will always be poverty, and there will always be bad schools. Sorry, but that's the cold hard truth. How can a kid born the 5th child to a 27 year old mother in the inner city, with 4 brothers and sisters from 3 other men ever expect to have a shot? He can't. But you know what. I am sick of hearing people blame society, or white America for that. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out if you don't have the financial means to raise one child, you shouldn't be having multiple children. This doesn't have to do with race either. If you are a set of black parents who have the financial means to raise 4 or 5 children, by all means, go ahead. If you are are white woman, with no husband and a minimum wage job, please, ask whomever you sleep with to wear a damn condom. People need to start taking personal responsibility. Yes slavery happened, yes Jim Crow happened, yes there are a lot of people out there who are still racist. But enough is enough! Honestly, call me cold but I just don't feel bad for a poor woman who has multiple children in her mid 20's by multiple men. I feel bad for those children for sure, and that's both the Catch 22, and the ONLY reason we shouldn't abolish welfare. However, somewhere, we have to find a a way to both end the rewarding of stupidity, without punishing children who's only crime was being born to a person entirely incapable of providing for them, who knew that going in.

    December 14, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      You are wrong. There isn't 17 million hungry children in Western Europe or Canada, but there is in the USA. Why? There is the same percentage of dumb parents everywhere in the world. Our parents are no dumber or smarter. The difference is that they have different public policies that deal with bad parents. These social policies more effectively educate and feed children with bad parents, so they do not become bad parents themselves!

      December 14, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • TruthBeDamned

      Welfare with no expectations leads to more of the same. I would rather spend a little more money by not only giving the woman welfare but insist she take a job training course or two and actually pass it. A gravy train is giving someone something with no expectation. With all the beatings, killings, and even torture Blacks went through the Master name "low expectations" by far has done more damage to Blacks then anything else.

      December 14, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uncle George

      Be careful! Your attempted use of "common sense" has placed you on thin ice; and you run the risk of being labeled as "racist", by one of those who claim they are "qualified" to make such a judgment against you.

      December 14, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • will

        that sounded racist

        December 15, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Janet

      I agree with you, Alex. Perhaps it would be helpful to offer people on welfare (and their fertile female children) additional money if they would agree to be on long-term birth control, such as patches and implants. Such incentives might actually prove cost effective in reducing some of our most serious social problems.

      December 15, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  55. jim

    Racist rants from the facist right, what did I expect? Oh well. Mr Marks tried to write an article, and I will give him a benefit of the doubt here, that was constructive. However, it was so far removed from reality it is hard to know where to begin. No middle or upper class white person can understand what it means to be black in America, much less black and poor. How are they supposed to get a laptop when they don't have money for shoes or food? Yes, my little hate-filled hoards, hunger exists in America because of income inequality and lingering racial discrimination. Growing up poor and white, I have an inkling of their struggle, but I can never know the daily struggle these children go through to survive. It isn't the color of thier skin or 'failed socialist policies' that have caused this (after all, this predated Roosevelt and Johson) but the content of America's collective heart.

    December 14, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sambo

      Dat be "fascist," not "facist," Jim.

      December 14, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Sambo

    I gots a rap:

    hu yo daddy?
    hu yo daddy?
    how is i sup-posed to no?

    hu yo daddy?
    hu yo daddy?
    baby mama wanna no!

    December 14, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa D

      I've got "h@nkey-tonk" because I think I'm better with my country music

      December 14, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sambo

        Ooh dee doo!

        December 14, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lisa D

        Computer Confederate Rebel on the attack....

        December 14, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  57. tronique

    dank you.

    i do not like technologe.

    i'm gone be a rapper/nfl player/nba player/gangster.

    i don need a computa.

    you tell that evil white man dat we gone "empower the community".

    i don't know my dad.

    i'm violent.

    December 14, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sambo

      Ooh, that sik! Im rappin' dat at da next sidesho!

      December 14, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lisa D

        Computer Confederate Rebels on the attack (blinded by white lights)

        December 14, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • John C.

      LULZ!

      December 14, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Mr. Charlie

    So, if suggesting hard work and deferred gratification is inherently "racist," what's the point? Why don't blacks just admit that they can't compete intellectually and want a free ride?

    December 14, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • AntiPalinAlaskan

      Oh...I don't know...maybe because that's a total load of &@$$!%#!.? Just a thought.

      December 14, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • BlackAttorney&Dr.

      There is no need to try and subjugate something that is already inferior. It is the fear that something is better that leads one to try and supplant it. Blacks are not and have never been inferior to whites, intellectually or otherwise. However, I need not point out the obvious, your blaring display of ignorance just made that abundantly clear! 🙂

      December 14, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • UMM

        so...you're a black attorney and doctor, eh? that's odd. there aren't many of those. you must be 3 standard deviations above the average black i.q. do you know your dad? if you do, then you're definitely not like most black people! do you yell at cops, abuse women, and listen to mind-numbing rap?

        my point is this: blacks are culturally inferior to whites. if blacks want to be successful, then they should imitate whites to the best of their ability.

        have a nice day.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Kanageloa

    Ah yes, another new nail in the public school system's coffin. Local,state and federal failures abound when it comes to education. Technology is the answer? Nope. That won't fly either.

    December 14, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tmoney

      You know nothing.

      December 14, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  60. mugsie13

    I think this letter was written out of frustration and I can't blame Mr. Thurston that one bit. As a mid 20's middle class white woman, I was appalled by Mr. Mark's article in Forbes. As some commenters were saying on that article, does Mr. Marks honestly think "poor black kids" don't think education is the key to success? They're not idiots. They're kids who, unfortunately, don't get the same opportunities many of us are easily handed too. Yes, some of you might have been the poor white kid and you became successful but the truth is being poor and black together leads to twice the amount of discrimination and twice the amount of struggle than most. I don't know from experience and neither do many of you so you can't sit behind your computers and say how easy it is. You're not there. You're not in their shoes. You don't understand. Let's buy a cheap computer to have at home? Well, if you're truly poor, you're not going to spend 200-300 bucks on a computer (if you can even afford to pay for electricity that month!) You're going to help your family out and use the money for food or clothing or something you truly need to survive from day to day. And our welfare system is an absolute piece of crap so using the excuse that it's supposed to pull people out of poverty. Anyway, to stop rambling- I just have to say that unless you are that poor, black kids who doesn't have guidance from adults or parents or teachers that care (because on those communities the teachers are sometimes worse than anyone else!), you will NEVER get what it's like to be black and poor and feel that struggle.

    December 14, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  61. B

    Forbes sucks, Harvard Review is so much better, that's what us poor people read, even though we can't afford it. Well that and the Wall Street Journal. Also, since I grew up poor, I used the public library a lot, in fact it was my home away from home, as was volunteering. That's how I got my jobs. If you want to get educated and learn stuff, it's really about memorizing encyclopedias, dictionaries, puzzles, and world fact books. Not necessarily technology, more like philosophy and literature, then you can pass an IQ test. An old copy of a good book is on average $0.75. Good Will Hunting pretty much lays it out for you. You can read on your own at the public library or used book store at home, or pay for someone at Ivy League to force you to read and help you interpret.

    December 14, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  62. mike

    I am really not sure what the point of Thurston's article is (or I suppose, more specifically, what such an article is doing on CNN). Thurston attacks an admittedly oversimplified solution proposed by the Forbes writer but proposes no solutions of his own. Yes the Forbes article ignores a lot of the barriers Black youths face to success (it isn't just a matter of getting a computer and hopping on the CIA world FactBook), but Thurston has turned what could have been a jumping off point for a real discussion into an exercise in pity and helplessness. If Forbes guy is missing something, give us some information about what you think that is. He is right about education. Yes this isn't going to get fixed in one generation, but it needs to start at some point, even if many people in the current generation never make it past a high school degree.

    December 14, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lydia N

      It was "tongue in cheek". Thurston's article was an attempt to show the absurdity of some people who think they have the answers or to know what a "poor black boy" or poor anybody what they could do to lift themselves from their bootstraps.

      It's almost like reading what are the "10 best things you can do to get ahead" type article.

      Some people have no idea how hard it is to get ahead or to overcome being poor or even to live each day wondering whether you will have a place to live, whether it will be warm enough, whether or not there will be enough food for the one meal you may have at dinnertime, if your mom or dad are not working in their second job.

      For that one person who is fortunate and hardworking enough to break through the glass ceiling, there are thousands that don't. It has nothing to do whether you worked harder than the next guy because sometimes it's just plain luck or the lack of it.

      I grew up in the South Bronx. I was poor but didn't know it then. I excelled in school with top grades but not one teacher during my early years ever mentioned the word college. Not in junior high nor in high school. I had no role models although my mother wanted me to continue with my education. She herself left school in the 8th grade because of family obligations.

      I find it extremely sad and a lack of reality when someone who has been born with more advantages than others has such a misunderstanding of what's it like to be poor.

      December 14, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Noel 77

      The article was a satire of an article absent of value. Mr. Thurston writes for The Onion. I question more Forbes editorial choice in printing the Mark's article that was so poorly written and simplistic. When you say that the Mark's article provides a jumping off point, that would presume that no educator has ever suggested any of these ideas, nor anyone else for that matter, which is incorrect. Many educators have discussed and written about these issues and not only are their reflections on the situation more insightful but they have developed solutions in some cases as well. Solutions are out there but it is a systemic issue which needs more that 750 words.

      December 14, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  63. sean green

    sarcasm on the internet

    December 14, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Guest

    What a bunch of fu'kking drivel
    from a poor white kid

    December 14, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  65. PlantarwRt

    The last magazine a poor black kid should read is Forbes.

    If we can't and don't send all our children to public schools then we basically don't live in a democracy. That might be the fault of the rich white people or it might be the fault of the immigrants who are swarming the country with 3d world arrogance or it might be the fault of the parents or it might be the fault of the beurocratic schools. But we have to take the blame and change things. (and f if I know how to dothat)

    December 14, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Solidarity

      Voucher system. Not perfect, but really the only real education reform available (unless you favor privatizing the whole thing, which would be crazy)...

      December 14, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Solidarity

    People complain too much in this country. This is America, you have way more opportunities available to you here, regardless of race or class, than people around the world. There are hundreds of millions of people in India and China that are born poor and have a 100% of dying poor. In the US, there are opportunities for moving up if people just make the effort.

    December 14, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • latrina

      I aint care bout no chinaman!

      December 14, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • Solidarity

        Touche

        December 14, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • latrina

        Thanks, Solidarity. Man, talk about a tough audience! I think I'll put Latrina away for a while and use another persona.

        December 14, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  67. thecentrist11

    A lot of people forget that the point of affirmative action and welfare programs are to pull people who are stuck in poverty-cycles can break out of it. Unfortunately, many a time, that is not what is happening today. Getting rid of these programs and allowing people to "freely" compete won't work because, statistically speaking, certain communities start lower and have less resources than others. You will end up having a shrinking upperclass and a growing lower class, possibly heavily segregated.

    The real question is, what do we do to address communities that are stuck in cycles of poverty?

    December 14, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • latrina

      All dey gots to do is print mo muny! Dey own da presses!

      December 14, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • AntiPalinAlaskan

        No actual black people have ever said anything remotely like that. We're on to you, Nazi jerk.

        December 15, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe M.

      One question: When your house is burning down, do you want the best fireman tryiing to rescue you? Or the best minority fireman? If given the chance to equally compete, there may not actually be a difference between the two. However, with affirmative action, there very well may be. Your life depends on it.

      December 14, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Chad

        Is that a joke? What about this one: When your house is burning down, do you want the best fireman trying to rescue you? Or the best white fireman?

        December 14, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joe M.

        I seem to remember only minority firefighters challenging ing a promotion test based solely on disparate impact. Considering they have to get the test approved beforehand, to make sure it is not discriminatory, I'd say my scenario is far more likely than yours. You're stuck in time 50 years ago.

        December 14, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Brian

        Are you talking about the current FDNY issue or another area?

        December 14, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Michelle

    Mr. Thurston – Education IS the way out. To say I grew up poor would be an understatement. I remember being 4 years old and homeless, sleeping at whichever party house we were at that night. I'd take a single cushion off a couch and try to find a reasonably hidden corner to sleep on... curled up on my cushion on the floor with no pillow or blanket. I have a thousand more memories like that and worse. Reading WAS a priority for me. However, it wasn't due to any long range planning on my part. It was an escape from reality. Fortunately, that allowed me to do well in school. Today I have a Masters Degree and while I am not wealthy (yet) I am solidly middle class.

    So I repeat... Education IS the way out.

    December 14, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Relictus

      If you are educated in a field that is in demand.

      December 14, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        Education can be a toss up. Get a degree that will lead to a solid job, get a degree that leaves you doing something that makes you happy, or get a degree that will leave you searching for a minimum wage job? The job market does not change at lightning speed. People need to balance happiness against income. Sometimes the two will be the same path, sometimes not....but don't gripe about having a degree that won't get you a job....you did have a say in what degree you got......

        As an example, if the estimate calls for 500 new jobs in Animal Science over the next several years, but the estimate says 90,000+ Animal Science degrees will be given out.......have you made a good choice to go with Animal Science?

        December 14, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Hankerin

    Dear Mr. Baratunde Thurston,

    I am a middle class white kid. I have decent parental and educational resources. I’m smarter than some, but not as smart as others. For example, I believe it’s the year 2011.
    One smart thing I do every day is read opinion articles. One stupid thing I do is take these articles seriously. Another thing I like to do is go for long walks. Sometimes I jog.

    Thank you Mr. Thurston, for giving me a new perspective on things. I was able to discern your sarcasm from real political arguments and have become a better person for it. I now realize that personal effort can only take you so far. If we are to better our situation in life (or in the case of middle class white kids, slightly improve it) then the change must come from other people. We cannot effect the course of our own lives any more than we could find something on the internet without a search engine. If the black community wants to lift themselves up, they must rely on white people to do it.

    Technology is just a gimmick, a distraction from the real problems facing youngsters. Education after all is so skewed towards Anglo-Saxon ideals and the scientific method that it is of no use for anyone outside of a boarding school. What writers like Mr. Marks fail to see is that lower income blacks like you, and middle income whites like me are from two different worlds. Whereas no matter how badly I screw up in life I will be provided a cushy office job and 401(k), you are another story. You cannot possibly hope for more than a managerial position at a fast food establishment and the occasional vacation to Atlantic City.

    While I shall atone for my sins through community outreach and voting solidly liberal, we must agree to unite against our common enemy. Rich people. Business minded money grubbers and the likes of the Forbes editorial staff. Really anyone who owns more than two cars I would consider to be a villain. (I might revise this to 3 cars if I win a current eBay auction though)

    So to you Mr. Thurston, I just want to say thank you. You have my support and allegiance in this fight against those who we disagree with. Let us shout till they see the light!

    December 14, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • latrina

      Uh huh! Rich jew folks be keepin' all dey muny in da bank. Dey wont share none of it!

      December 14, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • AntiPalinAlaskan

        What is wrong with you?

        December 14, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan

      Right on the money about this article.

      December 15, 2011 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  70. bigWOWO

    Amazing. The Forbes guy wrote some common sense advice, the same advice that black leaders like Russell Simmons and Bill Cosby have shared. Elijah Muhammed, the guy who taught Malcolm X, more or less said the same thing. Even Malcolm X shared the same views as Gene Marks–he once criticized white charity groups as giving money but not showing black people how to be self-sufficient. Oprah Winfrey took her money from the U.S. and put it in Africa because she felt American kids don't appreciate education.

    It's really sad. When a prominent black person pushes education in the inner city, he or she gets ignored. When a white person does it, he or she gets attacked. Pro-education people just can't win in the media.

    December 14, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • ebony

      the point you've missed in your efforts to stick to the political line you've been trained to regurgitate is that what marks has to say is only "common sense" to people are NOT poor black kids, and the evidence that he has no desire to actually reach any poor black kids with his message is that he wrote this blog on forbes.com.
      i suppose satire is lost on many and some people just need things spelled out for them to "get" it.

      December 14, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Reemo

    Gene Marks: "I don't know what it's like to be black and poor, but here's the perfect solution for them to succeed..."

    Baratunde Thurston: "I've got no solutions. But I got tons of jokes. Jokes, anybody? Two for a dollar..."

    December 14, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  72. EDUCATED BLACK WOMAN

    i loved the letter, but the comments that people made about why black people should take the advice is bull..how can we lift our selves up in a society that has been molded to keep all people of colored lower. Even when i get out of the ghetto, and get some $ and education i and my family will never have what a white man or woman has or there future families will have because we started out with less. We will never be equal, no matter all the resources and time. Racism and inequality will persist until the structure and ideals of our society change. This will take hundreds of years, because it took hundreds of years ( slavery) to get us here. Until then please believe that i am tirelessly learning, helping people of all colors to learn and up lift each other, but please to not hand us a hand book on how to be successful and expect a quick fix. NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

    December 14, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • latrina

      Crakas gunna be payin' us fo hunderds o' years! Pay up, jew craka!

      December 14, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • Susie Lou

        There's really no need for anti-Semitic comments. That kinda makes you racist. Not good.

        December 14, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • latrina

        Hu yu be callin' racis? Yu bess keep yo mouf shut, fo i shut it! Yu dont no hu yu be playin wit!

        December 14, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • AntiPalinAlaskan

        Look...we all know you're writing this at Klan headquarters somewhere.

        December 14, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lisa D

        Confederate Rebels on the attack... scared huh, buying all those guns for no reason, there's no fight against whites, just the pursuit of equality through education.

        December 14, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reemo

      I agree with you almost completely, but that being said: How does Thurston's article help any more than Gene's?

      December 14, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • KiddSS

      You "African Americans" can whine all you want, but with a black President, Supreme court justice, and fortune 500 CEOs opportunity exists for ALL in this country. No one has been a slave for over 161 years. So just how long does it take for a race to get it's collective act together? Hopefully soon because the gravy train is coming to an end.

      December 14, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • ebony

        hahahahahaha! sorry, all i can do is laugh at this response...it's just too ridiculous.

        December 14, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      The President of the United States is BLACK!!!!!!!

      December 14, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Hundreds of years? The leader of the free world our President is bLACK don't you think we have made it? The majority of America voted for a Black man to lead our country what more do we need to say racism is mostly dead?

      December 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lisa D

        When forums like this one, stop exposing racists, then we will have evolved.

        December 14, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  73. NorCalMojo

    I couldn't make it through this

    December 14, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Alicia

    SORS, (same old racst s. .). Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    December 14, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Monjambon

    I'm a teacher at a high school with a pretty good mix of poor students (white, black, asian, whatever), middle class, and rich. One day I pointed out to my lowest-achieving class that the other class had a class average 20 points higher than theirs. Their response? "They're smarter than us." Well, duh. But that doesn't mean you can't work harder and get smarter and increase your grade so you won't have to work for those "smarter" kids one day. This article sends the same message – point out ways to help a situation, even if they aren't perfect, and the only response is a sarcastic "they're smarter than us poor black kids." If you want to stay dumb and in poverty, that's your problem, but don't whine about it like there are no options for the poor black kids.

    December 14, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • elsi

      PLEASE get out of education!!!!

      December 14, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • wow

        elsi, agreed...i would be horrified to know that the person who wrote that is responsible for what's going into my children's heads on a daily basis. wow, indeed.

        December 14, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • PROGRESSIVEJUSTLIKEJESUS

        Agreed.
        100%

        December 14, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Guest

        Why? What was wrong with the comments to the class? Is it "wrong" to challenge a student to try harder? Work harder?
        Anyone can get smarter (acquire more knowledge) if they so desire, the trick is that they have to "desire" it. The problem with inner city poor kids (black, white, whatever) is that they are typically brought up in a culture that does NOT value knowledge, other than street smarts. I went to an inner city high school (>80% below poverty level in the 1980's), and yet I received a great education. Yet I was surrounded by kids that failed every class. They didn't fail because they were dumb or couldn't learn, they failed because "learning" and "getting good grades" were considered uncool. And being "cool" was the MOST important thing to those kids. I see the same thing with the kids at school today, and until the the culture of the poor starts to value education, this will not change.

        December 14, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Matt

        What because she is actually telling students to work hard and that they need to work hard to get ahead in this world. And you want her OUT of education? No wonder our education system is terrible in the inner cities. We want the teachers who give kids hope of achievement out of the schools, and we want to bring in teachers who preach a defeatist agenda where the black inner city kid has no hope bc he's being held down by the man. Give me a break, I think this person needs to stay in the system...AND we need more of him/her!!

        December 14, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • thecentrist11

      Yeah, that's pretty monstrous..

      Anyone that's seen the conditions kids in poverty grow up in can understand how and why they are where they are in school. Have some sympathy and try and grow some understanding.

      December 14, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      @Guest–

      Apparently it is. Apparently kids shouldn't be challenged, it should just be a happy PC every wins education system. If kids fall behind oh well the Government is not doling out enough money.

      December 14, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Reemo

    While Gene's article was indeed flawed in the sense that it severely over-generalized the problems the young poor blacks in this country face, I saw this as a great opportunity for someone to respond with an elaborate and comprehensive breakdown of what the black youth really needs to succeed (the answer cannot be as simply laid out as Gene has attempted). Instead, we get Mr. Thurston, some guy who thinks it's better to waste my time with his lame sarcasm and his "Gene's-article-is-so-racist-that-I-don't-even-have-to-explain-why" rhetoric.

    It's people like Gene who show how out-of-touch the upper class is with the rest of society. But it's people like Thurston who show how badly the black community needs a leader with solutions (not one-liners).

    December 14, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • dontknowwhy

      seriously?! the problem is that that's be done...and done again...and done again. if someone of his age and stature, who lives only "two miles" from the people whose futures he claims to want to inform is that clueless, he doesn't actually want to know what the truth is. sometimes people get tired of explaining things to people whose only response is ever that they're coming up with excuses.

      December 14, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Reemo

        If people have come up with solutions "again and again" as you have said, then why aren't they being implemented?

        December 14, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • sharky

        @dontknowwhy–

        Explain what has been done. And if it as "be done" then why are things not improving?

        December 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • sharky

        Darn it, "has been done"

        December 14, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Anderson

    The article in question isn't an "article". It's a blog written by someone whose only connection to Forbes is the indirect traffic the generate for Forbes.com.
    And as "corny" as the blog is, what exactly is wrong about the "advice" Marks gives. As is often the case in this day and age, we focus far too much on the veneer ("If I Was a Black Kid. . ." what the hell!) instead of actually looking at what is inside.

    December 14, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  78. millie

    the forbes article offers advice for how a disadvantaged kid can best use the system to improve his lot in life. thurstons "rebuttal" offers zero advice but lots of sarcasm and snark.

    good luck building a future built on snark kids. thank you mr thurston

    December 14, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nadine

      There's no room for intellectual debate in America anymore because this country has become a snark-infested cesspool.

      December 14, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • latrina

        Uh huh ...

        December 14, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • sharky

        Eh more like a polarized PC ignorant infestation of a country. Sadly enough.

        December 14, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Skegeeace

      So they're 0-0 for usefulness is your point? The difference is this response wasn't a 'how-to" manual on how to get out of poverty steeped in naivete. Also, seeing as how he's a published writer on CNN, I'd say he's doing very well for himself. 🙂

      December 14, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Guest

        What is so naive about the advice?

        December 14, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Anjuan Simmons

    As always, Baratude combines wit and sarcasm to point out the truth: Forbes is far from the ideal platform to prescribe solutions for poor black kids.

    I shared a few recommendations for affluent whites who are truly concerned about helping poor black kids without making Marks' mistakes here:

    http://www.blackweb20.com/2011/12/14/3-guidelines-for-affluent-whites-who-want-to-help-poor-black-kids/#.Tuk5FYl5mc1

    December 14, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • latrina

      How much yu wanna bet dem crakas keep all dey muny fo they own self?

      December 14, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lisa D

        You're so dillusioned to FOX news that you don't realize that the majority of AA are not looking for a hand out. Like most AA, we are told at a young age, you will have to work 10 times harder than your white counterpart... Get over yourself and your ignorance.. Computer Confederate Rebel

        December 14, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Bob

    So this week at least two black writers for CNN have come down on people who have pointed out obvious issues in the black community, but issues that the black community is not addressing. And apparently if you are not black you are not allowed to offer any advice or criticism. Good luck guys.

    December 14, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • FYI

      Dont beez givin' us no advice, jus gives us mo muny, craka!

      December 14, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • latrina

        Uh huh ... yu gots to gives us mo muny! Hows I gunna feed nine childen?

        December 14, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nadine

      Do you live in a Black community? If not then you do not understand that problems there are problems in every other community, amplified by social and economic marginalization. If you think its easy living in a Black, or any other ethnic neighborhood, then live in one and that experience will completely alter your perspective on life.

      December 14, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • latrina

        Yu go gurl! We beez magalized an shiit!

        December 14, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nadine

        @Latrina Will the white guy who's mocking Black women, knock it off. It's not cool and it's definitely not funny.

        December 14, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • latrina

        Oh, no yu didnt! Fony azz house nigra!

        December 14, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Seola

        When the black community stops calling success and ambition "Acting white" – then come talk to me.

        December 14, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kemi O.

        Your very right. White people have no idea what its like to be black in America. They just see a community of complaining, lazy leeches. Its not easy to be black in America. A black girl from Chicago has to work twice as hard to get the same things that a little white girl from upstate New York get with a breeze. Also, black kids aren't offered the same opportunities as a white kids are and we can live in the same city! Maybe you should walk a couple days in our shoes to see it.

        December 14, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Seola

        @Kemi – It's not easy being WHITE. Get it right. No matter the crime, it's automatically a hate crime. If you are black, it's not (see fairground beatings). A black girl from Chicago gets hundreds of millions available in extra grants and scholarships not available to the white girl from NY which means not only does the white girl have to pray she GETS a spot over the black girl (since colleges get free cash for having a quota of minorities – white girl may be eschewed), but then SHE gets to take on debt or her parents do for her college while the thousands of grants/scholarships ring up for the little black girl.

        For all this, the "white man" gets to take the blame for every reason why a black person does not excel. Not finish school? The white man made school too hard! Knock the curriculum down! Can't get to school? Free bus to schools of YOUR choice while the white kids don't get their choices. Can't graduate from school? It's the white mans fault for being lazy.

        There are good black people around, the sad part is – when they are around, they get called names, blasted – Cosby told black men to step up and parent – he was called a white wannabe, out of touch. Donovan McNabb started making waves with cash as a QB in the NFL and *shock* didn't live a thug life with absurd amounts of bling and 6 baby mamas. He was called out a few months ago for trying to "act white".

        So don't EVEN talk about walking a mile in anyone's shoes.

        I was born into a brick cheese and black and white rice box family. I worked hard at school, screwed up and dropped out, but went and got my GED anyway. I worked hard as a waitress while pregnant after I left an abusive first husband AND took online courses from the local college with Pell – available to ALL those under income requirements. I will have my degree soon, my husband has his and is starting his masters and we own a lovely home with a pool in Florida.

        And I did it WITHOUT the benefits of affirmative action.

        December 14, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lisa D

        AA and NEVER received a handout, no one paid for my college... I worked and saved and paid for it myself and there was no Financial Aid because my parents "made too much money," despite the fact that they did not help. I could go on about my success but it was a HUGE part of my parents telling me to "KNOW WHERE YOU COME FROM." Mixture of alot but I am proud of my life and my hard work, no handouts, TOO PROUD!!!

        December 14, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Park

      How can the black community address these issues when it is systemic? How can a child know what success is when he or she was born into poverty? Parents of these children want to help, but don't necessarily have the means or knowledge of how. It takes a lot more than just "hard work." I think this article is more targeting the surface level analysis of Marks and how he really failed to look at the issue more critically. And a dialogue between all people should be welcomed, because these issues are so prolific. It also helps to educate people about the deeper issues that uproot the falsity of "the lazy black person."

      December 14, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • latrina

        Uh huh ... it beez the systum n' shiit.

        December 14, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Der Dee Der

        parents want to help?! WRONG! my son goes to a mixed (both economic and racially) school and let me tell you. The parents (and kids) of those who are ghetto (irregardless of race) DO NOT GIVE A RATS A** about their kid's education or their behavior. My son had a run in with one those kids and it took SIX DAYS for the assistant principal to have parents (actually parent) to have a meeting with me and my wife. when we finally met, she was black, ghetto, and completely nonchalant. She had the gall to say "I ain't gotz time fo dis, I haz to pick up my check!". This unfortunately is the OTHER side of the radicalization of the USA

        December 14, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • gremlinus

      It's not the taking of the advice that's the problem it's the advice itself. "Poor black kids" aren't too stupid to make use of technology. They don't have access to it! Many schools only have a few computers available and those are used for classes most of the time. And most people that are poor, black or not, don't own a computer and/or aren't online. I know it's hard to believe when this tech seems ubiquitous, but not everyone has instant access to the internet.

      December 14, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • Seola

        Something like 96% of libraries have computer and internet access now (mandated by state law in almost all states). Stop giving excuses.

        December 14, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Pretty much, but well if you dare offer advice you are just a racist. Bill Cosby once told black people want they should and need to do, he was derided for it.

      December 14, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Jay

    I guess I don't understand. The forbes article while pretentiouse(its forbes) points out some benifits available. Here are all of these benifits that are available to you to help you improve your station in life and now you complain about that with a sarcastic article? I'm sorry your born poor and it sucks and life is giong to be tuff, be glad you have a great lobby for your race. A lot of poor people don't have that option my friend and it is very condecending to look down your nose at an oportunity when most people would take advantage of everything they could to improve their lives. Anything worth having isn't easy.

    December 14, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nadine

      It's amusing to here non Blacks debate on Black issues. I think Eddie Murphy did a skit on this kind of baloney on Saturday Night Live back in the 1980s. Proof positive that the more things change, the more they remain the same.

      December 14, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • sharky

        And black people complain the man as in the white man keeps them down. And black people attack successful Republican black people, yet successful Democrat black people are awesome. Athletes and Rapper/Hip Hop artists are revered despite what they have rapped about, despite the violence the do invoke. Bill Cosby, a wise man, told the black community time to cut it out and take responsibility, oh he was attacked for that.

        Fine, from now on, black teachers only teach black kids, black kids only listen to other black people. We are not all Americans here, lets just segregate ourselves yet again because how dare anyone help another by offering advice if they are not of the same race.

        December 14, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  82. SherwoodOR

    I wish we could, as a nation, move into a post-racial society and stop thinking about everything in terms of race. We started working on racism and racial issues back in the 50s. Brown vs. Board of Education was 1954. It's all but 2012 now. We've been at it about sixty years now, three generations. The last step is for us - all of us as a nation - to let got of it, to stop talking about it.

    December 14, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nadine

      Schools never really desegregated. My school is all black because it's where all the black people live. I don't see any whites in my neighborhood who want to go to my school.

      December 14, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • gremlinus

      If you think race isn't an issue anymore then you live in a single-race area.

      December 14, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seola

      The problem is, now – it's become incredibly profitable to cry racism against whites. Affirmative action pretty much guarantees to keep racism alive. Any race getting special treatment will be seen with disdain. This amplifies when not only do minorities have a ridiculous amount of things like education grants and scholarships available ONLY to them, while NAACP sued several grants attempting to be set up for whites only as discriminatory, but also while through this affirmative action with massive benefits heaped upon minority races – opportunities are continually squandered. Possibly at the thought of their own race (blacks mainly) calling each other "acting white" and offensively "Oreo" to their own for anyone wanting to go somewhere.

      December 14, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lisa D

        B.S. Whites where Im am from have had more SOCIAL PROGRAM interaction than any blacks I know. The world needs a punching bag and blacks suit the description. Lazy is in every race, judge yourself(race) before you go judging others

        December 14, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kelly

        What most people fail to realize is that Affirmative Action does not address just race, it also includes WOMEN and other minorities. It is not a "black" thing. Affirmative Action and the ruling in Michigan and California is one of the reasons many women engineers, lawyers, etc had to set their educational goals elsewhere because funding wasn't available to them because of the ban on AA. Do more research on Affirmative Action and who it actually benefits before ASSuming.

        December 14, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  83. dan

    poor asians can make it through the poor inner city education system. why can't poor blacks?

    December 14, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nadine

      Asians aren't poor. They've got family and network with other Asians. That's how they survive.

      December 14, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • johnterryblogs

        Black people can have families and friends too; or at least, I heard that once.

        December 14, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • millie

        as opposed to african-americans who have NO families or community network?

        December 14, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • sarah

        Black people have no family and cannot network to survive? They were most likely born in America! Many Asians come from other countries with no English and truly no family or network and survive!

        December 14, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nadine

        Asians rely on each other because their culture teaches the family is an important resource and source of strength. They also treat their community members as extended family and important resources on whom to rely during times of thick and thin. Once upon a time Americans both Black and White used to behave like this, but have since grown more materialistic and greedy.

        December 14, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • comm0nSense

      Last I checked Asians weren't enslaved by white America for generations. They weren't segregation or burned alive by mobs of white people (lynching and enjoying the massacre with their children). Had my parents lived in this country, my dad could have possibly been lynched. This stuff happened not too long ago. We are the first generation of African Americans to live without fear for our very lives. So you want to pretend none of that happened and has no consequence? What ignorant you are.

      December 14, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Poor Asian Kid

        Are you kidding me? Indians were enslaved by British for centuries, thousands were put to death by British army. Discrimination was rampant in colonial era. Learn the history.

        December 14, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • sharky

        Black slavery ended in the 1800's. You were not alive then. Enough with using that as an excuse.

        December 14, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Son of a Hungarian Immigrant

    Society has made a decision. Those who are born into bad environments are not valued as human beings. Those who are born with inferior intellect are forced to live degrading, often painful lives. The only real answer is population control. Our planet reached its limit for sustainability a long time ago. When will we realize the planets resources cannot support a continuing exponential rise in population. Limit all people to 1 offspring per person per lifetime.

    December 14, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nadine

      Population control starts with birth control, and there's not enough people willing to use it on a regular basis. There are Christian sects, such as the Catholic Church, which sharply denounce birth control as a type of abortion–an anathema to all sects of Christianity. So the only way to have population control is to tell all those Christian sect to stop controlling the population.

      December 14, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nadine

        @ Linda You're a woman, so you have the choice to have or not to have children. Telling another woman her parents didn't use birth control, indicates a lack of self-control and self-respect.

        December 14, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • Beth

        Yeah, it's the Catholics and their stance on birth control that are having all these children they can't support. Look, my mother-in-law was one of six kids, my husband has over 25 cousins. Guess what, every single one of them that has reached that age has a high school diploma and most have a college degree and trade skills if not.

        Meanwhile, I work with inner city teenagers who have access to free birth control but can't be bothered or want to have a baby so they'll be "grown". That's a direct damn quote. Don't blame a church for a community that has has given up raising it's own children.

        This article was a humorous way to point out the inherent white privilege in the Forbes article don't turn it into something else.

        December 14, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • sharky

        And statistically speaking minorities especially black women avoid using birth control as it was looked as black genocide. Margaret Sanger the inventor of birth control was attacked as being a eugenicist and then the myth was perpetrated in the black community that all of it was for black genocide. Not to mention not trusting the Government regarding the purpose of birth control.

        December 14, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lynda

      Unfortunately your parents did not use birth control.

      December 14, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • ctb67

      You haven't really read about what is happening in China with their one kid policy have you? Kids being murdered because they are girls, not to mention a shortage of girls in villiages is making some rural people inbreed. This is causing birth defects. Is that what you really want for us?????

      December 14, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  85. FYI

    Blacks are stupid and look like monkeys.

    December 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nadine

      Yo Mama!

      December 14, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alice

      Shut up.

      December 14, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • comm0nSense

      Suppose that is true ... what does that make you?

      December 14, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kemi O.

      That shows how ignorant you really are. Come on now, is this the Jim Crow Era. Black people DO NOT look like monkeys and we are high intelligent intellectuals.

      December 14, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Scott

    And while is sarcasm is comical, he does not raise any good points. Maybe one at the end. If he wants success more, he can be. He doesnt need technology, his parents, his teachers, or any community. They help, yea. But all he needs is his own desire and motivation to succeed. The moment he forgets that THAT is all he needs, he has lost and will always be dependent on other people. I'm not saying food stamps, he could become a very successful businessman. But the moment he no longer believes he can do everything, he cant do anything.

    December 14, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Brian

    There was nothing wrong with the advice in that article, except for the author Gene dude thinking it's a cure-all for black problems (what a jerk). Just ignore that snarky dumbell and follow the advice and you will be a lot better off. Don't disregard it just because you have black pride.

    December 14, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Michael

    While Forbes Guy is out of touch, perhaps the author could be less sarcastic and more constructive.

    December 14, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Carl

    "I'm not as smart as your kids." – Why does the author of this article think black kids are more stupid than white kids? Why would CNN allow such blatantly anti-minority racist statements like this to be printed?

    December 14, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aelia

      It's supposed to be sarcastic. Duh?

      December 14, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parody

      December 14, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  90. stray

    EPIC!!!!!!

    December 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  91. rexedie

    man im out of touch..... i didnt know such a secretive company as the CIA has a website.... things have really changed
    though.... im still a very "cooperative inoperative operative"....just waiting .... (40 years)....

    good artiicle....

    December 14, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Larry Craig

    Forbes himself is neither intelligent nor hard working; he just got lucky early on. The reason he is ahead is because he is ruthless, cheat, thief and ripped many unsuspecting people in the 99%.

    December 14, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnterryblogs

      Hardly seems relevant, as Forbes died in the fifties. We could occupy his grave if that makes you happy.

      December 14, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  93. m

    White upper income white guy has advise for poor black kid. Wonder what that is all about?

    December 14, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Laughs Alot

    lMAO at Forbes; how could they ever relate? Great article here.

    December 14, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Chuck

    Nice sarcasm. I'm sure that helps. Way to pick on a middle aged, middle class white guy's effort to point out how people can help. Maybe your hypothetical poor black kid doesn't have Forbes articles slid under his door. Maybe, however, his teachers read them. Maybe some guy looking for a reason to become a philanthropist reads them. Maybe, just maybe, some guy who's looking for an excuse to be a role model reads them. Now maybe they have an idea of how they can help. What if this article gives some upper middle class person, white or black, a direction on how to start a foundation to help poor black kids in Philly by helping them get access to technology? What if a middle aged black man writes a response to that guy's article in an attempt to further that effort?

    There's a lot of what ifs there, but they're positive what ifs. Now, what if a middle aged black man just attacked his article with ridicule and sarcasm?

    December 14, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gonzo

      I agree with you Chuck. I was thinking along the same line as you as I read Mr. Thurston's article.

      December 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Chuck and Gonzo – You aren't fooling anyone, Gene Marks. You can come clean.

      December 14, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • ebony

      sorry...helps what?

      December 14, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • RandP

      Really, Chuck? Good Lord.

      Sometimes the depth and breadth of white privilege, arrogance and condescension is just astonishing to me.

      December 14, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Chuck

        White privilege? Are you serious? You don't know a thing about me. Just because I'm white doesn't mean I couldn't have teenage parents. Because I'm white doesn't mean I couldn't come from a family of drug addicts and alcoholics. Just because I'm white doesn't mean I didn't grow up in an inner city. Being white means I started with the same disadvantages of anybody else in my neighborhood, and then some. I didn't have the excuse of 500 years of slaver to fall back on. I didn't have the excuse of racism to fall back on. What I had was as much an opportunity as the next kid.

        Because I made something of that opportunity doesn't mean anything about the color of my skin, my family background, anything. It means I made good, and sometimes lucky, decisions in life.

        Now maybe I'm looking to do something good for underprivileged kids. Maybe articles like this, and ignorance like yours, is making me look elsewhere.

        December 15, 2011 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
      • Chuck

        Whites are born with parents of parents of parents etc.... that stole the wealth of the land from the natives and horded resources for themselves. 400 yrs of slavery vs 50 years of psuedo equality. 400 yrs worth of slave blood, sweat, and tears vs breadcrumbs and no dividing of the spoils. WHite people are inherently stupid, evil, greedy and vile. Thats why they divorce eachother and change bed partners like musical chairs.....but al least they murder their babies rather than struggle to raise them.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  96. ratherBthepope

    🙂

    December 14, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  97. august washington

    AWESOME!!!!!!

    December 14, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  98. d

    well done...I wouldve added a bit more sarasm and spite for good measure but it gets the point across

    December 14, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Bert Bigdongle

    TLDR. But I bet the black kid is the good guy and the Forbes' writer is the bad guy. Just a hunch.

    December 14, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      It really wasn't that long. Smaller than most articles.

      Moving on....I think this was a clever article. My husband is a Public Defender and works with clients who were never given the tools to be successful. That is not to say that someone cannot find these tools on their own, but in the case of some of his clients, they were born in extremely poor households, surrounded by family who abused alcohol and drugs, engaged in domestic violence, who did not value education in the slightest. It makes me appreciate my childhood, and though it wasn't the best, I was raised by parents who were responsible and valued education.

      December 14, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phattee

      Nah, the Forbes writer is not the "bad guy". I suggest you read the article, although it might damage your ego to find out that your hunches are not that great.

      December 14, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
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