Last week, the hidden racists of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette decided to peak out from the shadows, and illustrate the blatant ignorance that allows white supremacy to prevail. The editorial board, including executive and editorial director, Keith Burris, graced us with a tablespoon of audacity and a pinch of cultural delusion as the paper released an editorial damning the multi-billionaire philanthropist, Robert F. Smith for paying off the school loans acquired by the graduating class of 2019 from the HBCU, Morehouse College.
Normally, I just argue with the editors in my head while reading, but this time the illusion was too great to endure. The editors boldly proclaimed the lack of civic duty Mr. Smith taught the students by relieving them of an estimated $10 million in student loan debt collectively. The blatant undermining, implicit micro-aggressions, and theme of, “paying what you owe” is not only extremely hypocritical, but also racist AF.
Robert F. Smith is a businessman, investor, and a REAL billionaire. With a net-worth of nearly $4.4 billion, he has proved his capabilities and skilled business practices. In fact, according to this country, this man is beyond qualified to run the country based on his credentials, which far exceed the joke in office, who the editorial board appears to support. By referring to Mr. Smith’s success as, “a bit of luck,” Keith and the clan indicate a form of favor or courtesy, rather than sense and ability. One could even interpret it to mean Mr. Smith never paid what he owed and therefore has no right to relieve other Black folks of their financial burdens. I mean, that’s what luck is, right? With the assumption that not one person on the editorial board ever crossed paths with Mr. Smith, I’m intrigued how they came to this conclusion. Even if that were the case, isn’t it still more difficult to get lucky than to be born with privilege?
Beyond the, this-negro-is-already-doing-too-good-for-himself-and-has-the-nerve-to-help-other-negroes approach, Keith ‘n’ dem saw fit to question Mr. Smith’s “impulse” decision (as if he didn’t have this planned prior to his commencement speech) amid condescending dog whistle jargon that at best is racially micro aggressive, but probably ranks closer to the worst side of the spectrum of fucking racist.
Keith and the homies go on to indicate Black folks have poor work and financial values, a lack of understanding in how higher education works, and need to be guided toward, “more affordable options like community college, state universities or technical schools.”
Here’s the thing folks, everything Keith and the crew produced on that editorial was done out of the typical white-American attitude of ignorance and entitlement. The basis of the article is racism. The attitude that made this seem like a good point was a racist one. White folks have been buying their way into prestigious schools for years. White folks have been building businesses and leaving them to their children for decades. White folks have been passing down family slave money and building empires from other people’s, Black people’s, hard work for centuries! Now suddenly a Black self-starting billionaire does something to help 400 Black men level the playing field and decrease America’s student loan debt ratio, and he’s wrong?!
It is these reactions and ideals that fester in America and more closely, our city of Pittsburgh, resulting in crooked police and justice systems, racially motivated mass shootings, division and separation, and a fed-up Black people. Real shit, how you gonna be mad at somebody for giving away HIS money? How does that elicit such a strong response, especially in light of the recent (and white) college scandals reported? Why are we not afforded the same chance to pay our children’s future educational institutions, even with dignity, so they too, can get the education and lives they deserve?