#SOPA/#PIPA blackout post no. 1

In solidarity with the sites (including FTB) that are down for the day, I will not be providing original content today. I encourage you to poke around the archives. There’s nearly 2 years of quality posts to rummage through. Instead of writing myself, I have compiled a few interesting articles that I think you should read. Regular posting will resume tomorrow.

Tim Wise – “If I Were a Poor Black Child”…White Saviorism and the Politics of Personal Responsibility

Last week, Forbes Magazine’s small business reporter Gene Marks penned a column that has set the internet abuzz ever since. Therein, Marks, who quite accurately describes himself as “short, balding and mediocre,” proceeded to counsel poor black children as to how they might succeed in America, despite facing, by his own admission, longer odds than white youth like his own children, or other white middle class kids in general. Far from a harsh right-winger bent on condemning the moral decency, character or abilities of the black poor (or like Newt Gingrich in his 1994 vintage, ripping them away from their mothers and dumping them in orphanages), Marks appears to fashion himself an enlightened benefactor of good advice, a caring liberal who believes in the ability of anyone to make it with the right combination of hard work and a positive attitude.

No believer in Bell Curv-ish nonsense about black intellectual inferiority, Marks makes clear that the children about whom he speaks are no less capable than his own kids. Of course, one wonders just how much of a compliment Marks really intends for this to be, given his strange habit of dissing his offspring, on more than one occasion, as rather unintelligent, unmotivated, promiscuous and even inclined to petty criminality. Not sure what kind of asshole says things like this about his children in print, but I suppose we can leave that discussion for another day.

Read the rest of the article, leave your comments here.

Like this article? Call your senator, call your congressperson, tell them that you oppose SOPA and PIPA, and that ze should too. Not American? Neither am I.


  1. Pteryxx says

    …That was a heck of a lot of really big words, but worth reading and passing on.

    This is not to say that those in privileged identity groups have no role to play in the creation of a more just society. Of course we do, as allies. That means that what we can do and should be doing, so as to make more successful whatever strategies are ultimately chosen by the disempowered as they seek to overcome their position, is figuring out how we can use our status to open doors, to challenge policies that maintain inequity, and to combat the mentality of denial and indifference that too often grips our number. That is our role: to soften up the underbelly of support that the current systems of racism, sexism, heterosexism and classism rely upon so as to do their damage. It is our role to work as members of identity-based undergrounds, as it were, eroding the ambivalence that so often makes even caring and compassionate white folks, men, straight and cisgendered persons and folks with money turn our backs on our better instincts for justice, equality and democracy.

    Shorter version: What can we, the privileged beneficiaries of unjust systems, do as allies?

    Challenge our own.

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