Is Black Girls Code a Scam? A Racist promotion?

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Many of you may be wondering why I am writing about the subject of Black Girls Code, and many more may be wondering what the heck is Black Girls Code? Since 1988, National Academy of American Scholars has sponsored merit-based scholarships to African-Americans, blacks, and African-American girls in particular. In fact, the Easley National Scholarships were the first pure, merit-based scholarships that benefitted African-Americans during the Ronald Reagan era.

Therefore, we take an interest in organizations that claim to offer educational services to the African-American college community.

Black Girls Code is more or less a cause that was founded by its African-American woman founder, Ms. Kimberly Bryant. Her exact marital status is unknown. However, it is believed that she is either divorced or never married, and is now raising a daughter alone. Ms Bryant states that she “studied electrical engineering at Vanderbilt University.” It is unclear whether or not she officially graduated with an Electrical Engineering degree.

According to Kimberly Bryant, the stated objective displayed on the website of Black Girls Code is that &#34By launching Black Girls Code, I hope to provide young and pre-teen girls of color opportunities to learn in-demand skills to at (sic) a time when they are naturally thinking about what they want to be when they grow up.&#34

In writing this article, I will address two specific areas of concern. First, I will address whether or not Black Girls Code is a Scam and whether or not Black Girls Code is a racist promotion. I am not privileged to have any prosecutorial powers, or tangible evidence either proving or disproving that Black Girls Code is a scam, and therefore any statements made hereon are purely a matter of opinion and should not be relied upon as facts.

FundRaising Techniques by Black Girls Code

Black Girls Code relies upon Internet-based promotions via Facebook, Twitter, and many of its corporate partners and/or sponsors to solicit funds based upon the stated mission of helping black-girls learn coding, and specifically programming languages such as Scratch or Ruby on Rails. Generous free publicity by main-stream publications such as the Huffington Post, Scientific American, local San Francisco newspapers, and several other publications have also helped Black Girls Code gather public donations. With this free publicity, and keen race-based marketing, “Black Girls CODE” now claims to have reached 2,000 students through chapters in half a dozen cities, including New York, Memphis, Detroit, San Francisco, Atlanta and Johannesburg, South Africa. Web-based traffic is no doubt being generated by off-line free publicity, and social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter.

As of the date this article was concieved, Black Girls Code claim to have raised a staggering sum of over $100,000.00 in a relatively short period of time. However, few of those dollars (if any) have apparently been re-invested to create a professional desktop or mobile website. What’s more, the amount raised is barely enough to cover an annual teacher’s salary but is plenty for a single person who simply wants to pocket the bulk. Thus far, the only managerial or administrative face that appears to be connected to Black Girls Code is the face of its founder, Kimberly Bryant.

Although fundraising material repeatedly asserts women of color as a target of its mission, my perception is that Black Girls Code uses a race-based theme that largely targets black or African-American girls.

Technical Critique of the Mobile website of Black Girls Code

The mobile website of Black Girls Code is quite different than the desktop website, except that both websites emphasize the call for DONATIONS more than what has been allegedly produced WITH the DONATIONS.

The mobile website of Black Girls Code appears to be single mobile landing page. The dominate message is the call for DONATIONS. When I last reviewed the page, there were no links to mobile apps or mobile websites designed or published by a single "black girl" that learned from the Black Girls Code organization. Moreover, I tested the mobile website of Black Girls with an Android operating system, and it became almost impossible to leave the mobile website. Perhaps, it was a programming error on the part of the mobile site creator.

It is not uncommon for unscrupulous website promoters to lock a visitor into a website and refuse to release the lock until a favorable action is executed by the site visitor. I have no evidence that the mobile website of Black Girls Code is an unscrupulous website, and neither is it suggested herein. I am merely relaying my personal experience that it was difficult for me to exit the mobile website, and documenting the tactics used by some unscrupulous promoters.

Legal Challenge to Criticism of Black Girls Code

Within days of this article appearing, I received an email message directly from KImberly Bryant challenging my legal right to post public criticism of Black Girls Code. Ms. Bryant claims the article is libelous or slanderous. OMG! If someone can point out what is exactly slanderous or libelous about this Black Girls Code group, please let me know.

I find it quite odd that an alleged non-profit organization would dare challenge the U.S. Constitutional Rights of ANY taxpayer to question the affairs, and/or operations of a non-profit organization.

A legitimate non-profit organization welcome these sort of professional review articles, has nothing to hide, and accepts a public review of its affairs, and finances. Instead of trying to use an attorney to silence, chill, and manipulate coverage of Black Girls Code, I encourage Ms. Kimberly Bryant, and her supporters to address the serious issues raised in this public review, as well as comply with my demands for evidence of compliance with I.R.S. rules.

Summary of Black Girls Code Review

I do not believe in race-based special favors. I do not believe that our standards should be lowered for any person simply because of their gender or race. I believe that true competition and equality is achieved when America moves beyond race in terms of merit and achievement. The central message of the website of Black Girls Code appears to be "Black Girls Code" and constant requests for "donations." I did not detect any form requests for businesses or direct emails for consumers or businesses to reach out to one of the over 2,000 black girls that Black Girls Code has allegedly trained and educated to develop custom websites, or mobile apps.

Based upon the purported $100,000 that has been raised thus far, when is Kimberly Bryant going to publish a public accounting of how the funds were used? Expenses? Salaries? Etc?

When a non-profit organization threatens legal action against tax-payers or reporters for merely questioning an organization's motives or intent, or affairs, then that is a major red-flag.

If Kimberly Bryant is capable of writing a better article, or capable of producing a better video, then she has the ability to articulate a free-speech response. Unfortunatley, I am not willing to apologize for my superior FREE SPEECH, and the attention that it attracts, and neither am I willing to give Kimberly Bryant a free pass simply based upon her race and gender.

Although women's groups, and others may applaud the works or efforts of Black Girls Code, I simply do not believe that we need to be creating more race-based organizations that divide male, and female by race. At what point in time, do we finally stop creating more race-based organizations? If a black boy and black girl both showed up at the foot-steps of a corporation, asking for donations to help each group write computer code, which group should the corporation support? According to Kimberly Bryant, the donation should be given to the Black girls because the "world needs Black Girls who code".

I have no records that Black Girls Code is a scam per se. However, neither have I examined their Form 990 tax returns. Based upon an examination of their marketing literature, statements of Black Girls Code, and the historical reservations of educating African male youth even in times of slavery (preference was provided the Negro (black) girl because she was more susceptible to conrol and manipulation), I have serious doubts and suspicions about the motives and intentions of Black Girls Code. I also have serious reservations about the motives and intentions of the companies that are sponsoring this cause.

One can argue that Black Girls Code is a ploy to marginalize the achievements and aptitude of African-American male youth by proclaiming that The World needs Black Girls that Code. One can be argue that Black Girls Code is a deceptively racist organization by implying that the world DOES NOT need Black boys or African-male youth, or other racial groups, who are trained in science, engineering, technology, or mathematics. One can also argue that Black Girls Code does not like public criticism of its affairs, and will resort to "legal" action to silence or manipulate its critics.

One can argue that Black Girls Code is a legitimate non-profit organization that seeks to support only Black Girls. There are many arguments to choose from supporting or questioning Black Girls Code.

The fact there is no visibile African-American male or legitimate organization like the National Society of Black Engineers listed as a sponsor, or partner, gives me further reason to doubt the intentions of Black Girls code.

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