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Reply to "Jack and Jill of America, Inc."

I think it's important to differentiate between intent and impact here. There can be no question that the impact of J&J is elitist. IMO to think that it is an objective of the group however - to segregate from other African Americans - is just inaccurate. For better or for worse, professional blacks have a set of common experiences and interests that - like any group - are best addressed by others who share those same experiences. For example, trying to survive as an African American in corporate America can be a tremendously taxing thing. The commiseration and counsel of someone in that same boat can be of great benefit. Fighting for your black child in a white school is a real challenge for many African American families. Trading best practices and just generally providing support for others with the same challenges can be tremendously important. Now the impact of that interaction is - no doubt - exclusionary and elitist (if you don't share the same experience you aren't a part of that "circle"), but can one really say that the intent of that interaction is to be such?

HB - I think I read that you went to Princeton. Your intent was certainly not elitist, but can you argue that the impact of attending that university is not?

We're all communicating via the internet - an activity that - while less so every year - is still an elitist, exclusive activity. There are plenty of African Americans who do not have the luxury to "chill" online here. Our impact may be elitist, but do you believe that our intent is to segregate ourselves from other black folks? Are we trying to "get away" from other black folks by communicating online where they can't get to us? Confused

Of course there are some people who do things for the wrong reasons. Of course I'm sure J&J has its fair share of those folks as well. That said, I just think it is wholly unfair to try to judge the intent of an entire organization by looking narrowly at its impact - particularly when there seem to be other unrelated issues/perceptions that might be impacting the perception of J&J as well. Beyond that, I can tell you without question that every family that I have ever had experience with in Jack & Jill is as committed to the uplift of African America as anyone else here. To try to judge them as human beings (or as African Americans) based upon the narrow sliver of life that is their involvement in J&J is just unfair.
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