UOM Bootstrap Mentality And Acknowledging Privilege Peer Discussions

Reply to the following peers:

student 1 Paris:

Gene Marks-“If I Were a Poor Black Kid”

Question: Are the opportunities Marks assumes are available to everyone actually available to everyone? Did you find his suppositions useful? Insulting? Illuminating?

Answer: The opportunities that Marks assumes are available to everyone are not actually available to everyone. In his writing, Marks has the assumption that pretty much every kid has Internet service or a cheap computer either in their school, at a library, or in their home. He fails to take into consideration that these poor kids may not have the transportation available to travel to their library whenever they choose. There may not be computers at their school or in their home. If there are computers at their school or home, they may not be permitted to be on the computer for long lengths of time due to financial constraints. Personally, I found his suppositions insulting, because he suggests that climbing the social ladder is an easy feat if these children want it enough. He makes poverty seem simplistic and straightforward, but poverty is an issue that needs to be addressed at its very core. Although I agree that education is helpful for low-income individuals, the real issue is the inequality that caused poverty to prevail in the first place.

student 2 Jermaine; 

[Martin] Why is it easier to talk about disadvantages than to acknowledge advantages? 

It is easier to talk about disadvantages because these do not directly impact you in any way from the perspective of someone that is highly privileged. I feel as if by only talking about the disadvantages for someone highly privileged, they, in a way, don’t take away from their own accomplishments. By not explicitly acknowledging their parents were rich, they are content in believing that their success was done completely by their own hard work. It also serves to remove them from the conversation and take on a third-person view. For those less privileged, not talking about the advantages that they do have might make them feel like they are taking away from their own struggles. 

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