In the interest of fairness, revisiting the whole "Black nerd" debate

Awhile back, I kinda went off on David Adewumi for this post in which he looks at, what he sees as, a paucity of "black nerds." I probably could have been more charitable in my disagreement. What can I say? That one hit close to home. Anyway, upon further reading, I still find his perspective extremely problematic, and the utterly racist aspect of a couple of his posters disturbing, but that's beside the point. David responded in comments, and his rebuttal doesn't deserve to get lost in the archives. Here it is:


I'm sorry that you took my thoughts completely out of context. It's meant as a personal anecdote to the essay by Paul Graham, 'Why Nerds are Unpopular' taken from my admittedly limited life experience.

The fact that I am responding to someone else's essay while stating that I am from central, PA should be the first tip off this is not meant to paint a broad brush against all black people in the US -- it's simply a statement of fact when I say that I haven't met that many super-smart black people. I'm currently in an area that is predominantly black and have been a number of places, like Camden, NJ, and my statement holds true -- I just haven't met that many super intelligent black people.

It's a far stretch of the imagination to say that because I am first-generation American -- a black African -- that I am sitting atop any 'perch' and looking down at black people. I have black best friends, I have white best friends, I have Latino best friends, I am simply telling a personal story as a reflection on what I felt was a great essay.

I think if you read Paul Graham's essay, you will realize that most of the context I am writing from deals specifically with middle and high school years, written from someone who admittedly grew up in a high school similar to Paul's, which he calls 'suburbia.'

That being said, this post obviously struck a chord, I'm sure to follow up later.

Also, I think you might want to try taking more than choice quotes out of an essay/post -- it really does a disservice to the reader who loses what that entire article is grasping for.

"In the new racism, as in the old, somebody always has to be the nigger."

See: illegal immigrants.

This is why it's funny when you say I look down from a perch on anybody ...first all because you don't know me, and second, according to the article you provided, someone has got to be the nigger.

Also, I've been to the worst places in Africa (Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya -- look it up on Wikipedia) and some of the top high schools in the entire country were in that horrible slums. The difference between most every other country's value on education and America's is very palpable, and that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with color. Those kids from the slums were very, very intelligent -- and here in the US my high school was supposed to have been alright.