Though many will disagree with his answer, I was impressed with how graceful he was and how quickly he was able to answer it. I thought it was quite touching when you see him get down to the kid’s level to connect with him.
When you read the YouTube description you see that young Jack is a huge fan of Tyson, even asking his pediatrician if it’s possible to change his skin color so he could one day be a black doctor.
When asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, Young Jack always gave the same peculiar reply. From the age of two until about the age of five, Young Jack wanted to be… a black doctor. With tremendous enthusiasm, he told anyone and everyone who would listen. When he told his pediatrician this—when he asked his pediatrician if we could make him black—the kindly white-haired woman peered at us over her bifocals with an air of disbelief not frequently displayed by medical professionals. Young Jack and I both, you see, have the approximate complexions of hospital sheets. I quickly explained Young Jack’s affinity for the PBS Program NOVA, and especially for its frequent host, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Tyson’s doctoral work is in the field of astrophysics, but he is a doctor. He is also black. Knowing not-too-much about astrophysics, and nothing at all about race, Young Jack nonetheless knew what his ideal future would hold; when Young Jack grew up, he wanted to be Neil deGrasse Tyson