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Ta-Nehisi Coates
Ta-Nehisi Coates: The myth of meritocracy

Let me tell you about the worst thing I ever did to my son. When he was 4, I took him to a small basement apartment in a Manhattanbrownstone. I then paid a man to give my son an intelligence test. The test was an attempt to deliver my son from the chaos of "normal" public school in my adopted hometown of Harlem into a gifted-and-talented program on the tony Upper West Side. My son performed pretty abominably. This did not shake me, as I was not very confident in how well I would have done had I been confronted at age 4 with an "intelligence test." Back then my interests were oatmeal cookies, picture books and the Fantastic Four cartoon, in no particular order. What did...