Racist or funny?

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Racist or funny?

What do you think about this article?

If I were a middle-aged white guy, I would lease a nice car. Having a nice car makes a nice impression on others. And I would keep the car pristine. Whenever I parked outside Walgreen's or Wal-Mart, I would straddle the painted white line and take up two spaces. That way, you don't get dings. I hate dings. Dings bring down the value of the vehicle.
If I happened to be making a quick stop at the 7-11, I would ease into the handicapped spot, because eighty percent of those people are faking it. This one guy I heard about had asthma. That's how he got the handicapped plate. I would leave the engine running, partly so it wouldn't get cold, and partly so that, if some actual, no-kidding-around handicapped person were to pull up in their specially made handicap-mobile, they would figure I was coming back shortly.
If I were a middle-aged white guy, I would work hard at my job. No one likes a lazy person. And I would smile at my coworkers, because no one likes a sourpuss. I would also be sure to ask my colleagues how their day was going, and I would talk about TV shows and football games with them, and I would perhaps mention that I hadn't seen them in church lately, which is a funny thing to say nowadays, when there are so many people who haven't accepted the Lord Jesus as our savior.
If I were to see a coworker slacking off, I might remark, in jest, "Some of us have work to do." And if they told me to **** off, I would call human resources and report them, because middle-aged white guys should not have to be subjected to such abusive talk. I would also discuss the incident with my immediate boss, and if he were to tell me, "You just need to worry about your own work and let me take care of the rest of the floor," I would probably say, "It's funny how you asshole liberals are always talking about 'it takes a village,' but the minute someone steps up to point out that one of the 'villagers' is slacking off, you get nothing but **** for it." And if he were to reply, "Are we done here?", I would probably just say something like, "Yeah, I guess we are. I guess nothing's ever going to change around here," and then I would walk back to my desk, muttering to myself. For a little office humor I would make sure a coworker or two heard me use the word "shotgun."
If I were a middle-aged white guy, and my children were doing poorly in school, I would smash things in their rooms, the lamps and vacation souvenirs and such, and I would inform them that the stuff I had just broken to bits had been gained in exchange for a certain thing known as money, and you get money in this world because you have skills, like computer programming, and you acquire those skills only after you earn halfway decent grades in school, and then you offer those skills to an employer who will pay you for your services, even if they never take it seriously when you make the slightest remark about how you're the main guy pulling his weight.

If my kids were to start crying when I did my demonstration of the value of a good education, I would tell them to knock it off, unless they really wanted something to cry about, and then, if my wife comes into the room and asks me what the hell I'm doing here, when the court said I was to remain at least 500 feet from the place that I once called home, I would remind her that the man is king of the castle and, last I checked, I was the one whose salary had paid for this piss-poor, split-level excuse of a palace, even if I did happen to be behind on the payments, partly because Hooters gals expect gifts in addition to the tips, or else your basket of wings is going to have spit in it, although I probably wouldn't mention the Hooters thing to my wife, but would make my point all the same.
And then, if she turns to me and says, "I don't know what happened to you," I will say back to her, "This whole country is a bunch of freeloaders," and I will leave the house, allowing my wife and kids to put everything I had said into their pipes and smoke it.

http://news.yahoo.com/were-middle-aged-white-guy-220355249.html

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Neither. Trite, plodding, and slightly off target.

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"Potter75" wrote:

Neither. Trite, plodding, and slightly off target.

I agree... I'm still waiting for it to have a point...

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Neither, just stupid.

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http://www.forbes.com/sites/quickerbettertech/2011/12/12/if-i-was-a-poor-black-kid/

I think it was a response to this, right? Which is just as pointless and stupid, so I don't understand why anyone would even bother typing out a response. If I see something completely unintelligent I just don't respond unless I'm not sure if I'm understanding the point. There is no point to either of these.

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I don't think it is racist. Pointless...yes. But not racist.

I think the article was in response to the Forbes article willile mentioned which I thought was even more pointless. I think there are much better retorts to Mr. Gene Martin's article in Forbes. I prefer the article "If I Were a Rich White Guy named Gene Martin". (the link is at the end of the Forbes article)

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"wlillie" wrote:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/quickerbettertech/2011/12/12/if-i-was-a-poor-black-kid/

I think it was a response to this, right? Which is just as pointless and stupid, so I don't understand why anyone would even bother typing out a response. If I see something completely unintelligent I just don't respond unless I'm not sure if I'm understanding the point. There is no point to either of these.

I actually don't think that Gene Martin's article is as stupid and pointless as the one in the OP. Gene Martin's post may be niave and a little arrogant, but I don't think that it's meant to be malicious. The response is obviously simply meant to be malicious. Bleh.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I actually don't think that Gene Martin's article is as stupid and pointless as the one in the OP. Gene Martin's post may be niave and a little arrogant, but I don't think that it's meant to be malicious. The response is obviously simply meant to be malicious. Bleh.

Ditto this.

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I think my opinion may be flavored by some other articles I've read by him. I don't believe anyone is really that stupid AND able to type. But I'm cynical and think he is meaning to be malicious with articles like that.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I actually don't think that Gene Martin's article is as stupid and pointless as the one in the OP. Gene Martin's post may be niave and a little arrogant, but I don't think that it's meant to be malicious. The response is obviously simply meant to be malicious. Bleh.

Idon't think he is malicious but I don't think his intentions are commendable. Why would someone write an opinion piece from the perspective of someone who he doesnot know about? How can he say with full certainty what is true for poor Black kidswhen he is nietherpoor nor black nor a child? To me that takes a level of arrogance that I find counterproductive and even dangerous. So while he may not be meaning to be malicious, I don't blame a young black poor person for being upset and wanting to write a letter that chastizes him for putting such an arrogant and ignorant article out into the public. Especially since the reprocussions of the article don't negatively impact Mr. Martin but absolutely impact young poor Black people.

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How exactly does a stupid article online impact young poor Black people?

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"wlillie" wrote:

How exactly does a stupid article online impact young poor Black people?

How do articles effect anyone? It may not impact someone directly but for every person who thinks the sentiment is ignorant there is soemone else who feels vindicated.

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I thought the original article was pretty good. I'm confused. Don't people write opinion pieces all the time on things that they have not personally lived? I mean, I do it like 300 times a month on this board. I don't really understand what you are saying Lana, could you clarify?

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"Potter75" wrote:

I thought the original article was pretty good. I'm confused. Don't people write opinion pieces all the time on things that they have not personally lived? I mean, I do it like 300 times a month on this board. I don't really understand what you are saying Lana, could you clarify?

what "original article" are you referring to? I am talking about the article that prompted the piece int he op. The article written by Gene Martin called "If I Were a Poor Black Kid". And I have the right to believe that this middle aged white guy has no idea what it means to be a poor black kid and it is evident in his article. But you are right any one can give an opinion. However I think if I gave an opinion about a movie you would respect it less if you knew I never even saw it, no? Same goes for me and Mr. Martin's article in Forbes. but the problme I find is that it is easier for a middle aged white guy to have their opinion piece in Forbes on how poor black kids should pull up their fraking bootstraps but I will bet money that there are way less opinion pieces in major magazines by "others" who think that maybe not everyone is given the same quality bootstraps to begin with (or even boots at all).

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"culturedmom" wrote:

what "original article" are you referring to? I am talking about the article that prompted the piece int he op. The article written by Gene Martin called "If I Were a Poor Black Kid". And I have the right to believe that this middle aged white guy has no idea what it means to be a poor black kid and it is evident in his article. But you are right any one can give an opinion. However I think if I gave an opinion about a movie you would respect it less if you knew I never even saw it, no? Same goes for me and Mr. Martin's article in Forbes. but the problme I find is that it is easier for a middle aged white guy to have their opinion piece in Forbes on how poor black kids should pull up their fraking bootstraps but I will bet money that there are way less opinion pieces in major magazines by "others" who think that maybe not everyone is given the same quality bootstraps to begin with (or even boots at all).

But the article even acknowledges several times that it going to be harder for poor kids than it will be for his own children by the mere coincidence of birth. Basically what he is saying is pretty pat advice (work hard to get your education.) I totally get why it's naive of him it's "that simple." but I don't see how "work hard and get an education" is a terrible message either. If anything, it's a bit trite, because it's been so oft repeated.

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"culturedmom" wrote:

what "original article" are you referring to? I am talking about the article that prompted the piece int he op. The article written by Gene Martin called "If I Were a Poor Black Kid". And I have the right to believe that this middle aged white guy has no idea what it means to be a poor black kid and it is evident in his article. But you are right any one can give an opinion. However I think if I gave an opinion about a movie you would respect it less if you knew I never even saw it, no? Same goes for me and Mr. Martin's article in Forbes. but the problme I find is that it is easier for a middle aged white guy to have their opinion piece in Forbes on how poor black kids should pull up their fraking bootstraps but I will bet money that there are way less opinion pieces in major magazines by "others" who think that maybe not everyone is given the same quality bootstraps to begin with (or even boots at all).

Of course you have that right! I just don't think that the only people suited to opine on what it does take a poor black kid to succeed is a poor black kid. I don't really get how there was anything insulting about his message (or arrogant, ignorant, dangerous etc), he is acknowledging that it will be harder for these kids but that there is a way to do it.

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"Potter75" wrote:

Of course you have that right! I just don't think that the only people suited to opine on what it does take a poor black kid to succeed is a poor black kid. I don't really get how there was anything insulting about his message (or arrogant, ignorant, dangerous etc), he is acknowledging that it will be harder for these kids but that there is a way to do it.

I said "this middle aged white guy" has no business in my opinion talking for poor black kids. Nowhere did I say all, which was very purposely done. I don;t think only Black people can talk about the plight of Black people, or white people can only speak about the plight of white people. But I think if you are going to speak to something as important and personal as someone elses struggles and life experiences, I think it is a right that is earned. Anyone and everyone can have an opinion about someone else's life and what they should do or what there problems are, but that doesn;t mean they all deserve to be respected and that most aren't talking out of their arse. I believe Mr. Martin is talking out of his arse.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

But the article even acknowledges several times that it going to be harder for poor kids than it will be for his own children by the mere coincidence of birth. Basically what he is saying is pretty pat advice (work hard to get your education.) I totally get why it's naive of him it's "that simple." but I don't see how "work hard and get an education" is a terrible message either. If anything, it's a bit trite, because it's been so oft repeated.

I never said it was.

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"culturedmom" wrote:

I never said it was.

So do you disagree that this was his message?

In other words, if you agree that his message is "work hard and get an education" and you agree that is not a terrible message, why is this article worth getting up in arms about?

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"culturedmom" wrote:

I said "this middle aged white guy" has no business in my opinion talking for poor black kids. Nowhere did I say all, which was very purposely done. I don;t think only Black people can talk about the plight of Black people, or white people can only speak about the plight of white people. But I think if you are going to speak to something as important and personal as someone elses struggles and life experiences, I think it is a right that is earned. Anyone and everyone can have an opinion about someone else's life and what they should do or what there problems are, but that doesn;t mean they all deserve to be respected and that most aren't talking out of their arse. I believe Mr. Martin is talking out of his arse.

But why, as a middle aged white guy is this guy less qualified than other middle age white guys to speak about this? I'm not trying to argue, I just really don't get what you are saying. I think that it is pretty easy to look at the stats and agree with this guy, that yes this is hard to do it but the stats clearly show that a minority can do it, and how, and one can see that if they are young or elderly or old or a woman or even, well, white.

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I feeling the point was a little lost

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I think this dialogue on NPR explains why I have such an issue with the article.

http://www.npr.org/2011/12/16/143820316/reaction-is-fierce-to-white-writers-if-i-were-a-poor-black-kid

And I'm sure this point has nothing to do with what Mr. Martin wrote and why...

That's a lot different than a middle-aged white guy who had an epiphany when he decided that he needed something to blog about. And by the way, the author of the poor black kid article is not a writer for Forbes. They are a contributor. And the difference being that the contributors are paid per hit, or paid by how many unique visitors they get to their blog site. And therefore, encouraged to write things that get talked about, because that's how they earn their living. This writer, or this tech writer, his only reason for writing this - I got to get some hits.
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I know very few writers (actual writers) who don't want what they take the time to write to be read. Isn't that the point? How does it make it more shameful when it is for hits on the internet vs. downloads on a kindle or purchases in a bookstore? There is a reason that we have a bestseller list, and that most authors aspire to be on it someday.

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I guess I aspire to ahve my stuff written because it is important and I am passionate about it. Not just to be contraversial and talkabotu **** I dont know about just to get hits. Remember that social responsibility you mentioned on the other thread? I may not feel socially responsbile for keeping the Santa myth going but I do feel responsible to not say ignorant cr@p and spread my ignorance for money.

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Okay. I guess it's easy to call him names, but not easy to explain why he is ignorant, this is crap, and all of the other names you have called him, because I simply don't get the vitriol over this. It seems weird to me to bring up social responsibility when name calling because you disagree with someone or are claiming to know the motives of someone you have never met. Isn't it quite possible that he believes that his article was important, or that it is something he is passionate about? How on earth do you know?

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"Potter75" wrote:

Okay. I guess it's easy to call him names, but not easy to explain why he is ignorant, this is crap, and all of the other names you have called him, because I simply don't get the vitriol over this. It seems weird to me to bring up social responsibility when name calling because you disagree with someone or are claiming to know the motives of someone you have never met. Isn't it quite possible that he believes that his article was important, or that it is something he is passionate about? How on earth do you know?

Maybe your right. Or maybe it's easier for you to dismiss my opinion because You don't understand it. I think I have tried to exlpain why I feel the way I do. I've given links to other people who explain better and have the time to explain, and yet you still don't understand my point. That's OK. But then I have to weigh the time it takes to find a way to exlpain it to you or just cut my losses and let it go.

As for social responsability and name calling, well this is a debate board not a major magazine so I am quite ok at not thinking I am being a hypocrit.

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Lana, I read your article. And honestly, the biggest thing I got out of it is that since he's never been a poor black kid, he shouldn't be talking out of his @$$ about what he would do if he were in that situation. Which is a valid point. But your article also touched on something else that I was thinking:

And obviously, John, there is a huge problem right now over one in three black children, one in three Hispanic, and one in 10 white children live in poverty. In a way, you want to say maybe not this guy, but should it not be acceptable for even a middle-aged white man to talk about how, or possible ways, this could be reversed without being branded somebody who is totally out of touch? RIDLEY: There are middle-aged white guys. They're old white guys. There are white women. There are Hispanics. There are people all over America right now talking about how to solve the problem. The issue is: if we make it just a black problem, if we make it just a Hispanic problem, we're missing the bigger issues, that there's a problem. And I think the real issue is not that someone is trying to solve a difficult situation that maybe disproportionately blacks will find themselves in, that the fact that an individual tries to solve that issue with the perspective of a middle-aged white guy for a young black kid, or Asian, or Hispanic, or what have you.

See, the bolded is what I was thinking, and the rest of it is what confuses me.

Like, I think probably a lot of us agree that we have a problem with the distribution of wealth in this country, particularly in regards to minorities. And I think that's a problem that we should probably all be thinking about and talking about, and trying to solve. So it's confusing to me to say that he's allowed to try to think about it, but just not from the perspective of a poor black kid. Because really, I think we all do that sometimes. How many times have you started advice with the phrase "If I were you..." I think that's one way that we think ourselves through problems - we try to put ourselves in the other person's place and predict what we think the best action to take if it were us. So I'm wondering what people are really saying - are they saying that if you're not poor, you shouldn't try to think of ways that the poor can improve their situation? What's the alternative, ignore them? Or only do things *for* them? (As in "I will give you charitable contributions, but I won't try to give you any sort of help finding jobs or anything like that, because I don't want to offend you and I shouldn't have an opinion on what you should do...") I just think that we should ALL be thinking about and talking about ways that we can make things better, and part of that includes what we can do to help the poor, but the other part should be helping them find ways to help themselves.

I guess I just don't see what is so outrage worthy of someone trying to put themselves in someone else's shoes and come up with some ideas to help. Maybe they were stupid or trite ideas, but I think it's pretty cynical to be outraged that he would even try.

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Alissa that is exactly what I was trying to get at ~

further, had I replied to the OP ~ "This article is idiotic and this dumb obviously poor black kid is talking out his as$" I bet it would have offended some people. (the author was a white man) I don't like the article in the OP (regardless of who wrote it), but that is no reason to attack someone solely because of the color of their skin or their age. I don't for a second believe that the article in the OP was written with any intent other than mean spiritedness, and I don't believe that the initial article about poor black kids was.

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"culturedmom" wrote:

And by the way, the author of the poor black kid article is not a writer for Forbes. They are a contributor. And the difference being that the contributors are paid per hit, or paid by how many unique visitors they get to their blog site. And therefore, encouraged to write things that get talked about, because that's how they earn their living. This writer, or this tech writer, his only reason for writing this - I got to get some hits.

And I'm sure this point has nothing to do with what Mr. Martin wrote and why...

FTR, the reply was also written by a contributor.

Jim Windolf is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. He's @jimwindolf on Twitter, where he co-writes @wise_kaplan and @CrankyKaplan.