20 February 2013
If I were a poor black kid
Gene Marks is a contributor to Forbes and the author of the article, “If I were a poor black kid.” In the beginning of his article he agrees with Mr. Obama and quotes the president’s statement, “This is the defining issue of our time…This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class. Because what’s at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement.” It is hard not to agree with the president and Mr. Marks that these are important times for the middle class. However, Marks seems to think that technology is the way forward, which oversimplifies this complex problem. He refers, over nine times in the article, that “technology” is the way out of poverty. Marks’ contends that, “The biggest challenge we face isn’t inequality. It’s ignorance.” He makes this statement in spite of having no experience of being black nor poor. Mind you, this is coming from a white guy who was raised in the suburbs and was the former owner of Marks Group PC, a 10 person customer relationship management consulting firm based outside Philadelphia. The point he refers to as “being poor” are black children that reside in West Philadelphia. He lacks any knowledge regarding these individuals, considering his only understanding of “West Philadelphia” is not from him his own personal experience but only from a few teachers he knows, which he openly states. It is easy to agree with Marks when he talks about all of the technology enabling things he would do if he were a “poor black” kid: * Use homework tools like Backpack, and Diigo
* Purchased hardware at outlets like Tiger Direct and Dell’s Outlet. * Study sites like SparkNotes and CliffsNotes
* Watch relevant teachings on Academic Earth, TED and the Khan Academy. * Get free books from...
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