Claims of “White Privilege”
My title is taken from the article below which has a longer title: “Felicity Huffman’s two-week jail sentence triggers claims of “white privilege.” I just cut a little piece out for my title.
You see, my eyes bugged out at the word, “claim.” Being not afraid to call a spade a spade, I’m going to say that is white privilege thrown directly in your face. This is an overt example of privilege mashed and gooey all over your newsfeed. All over the internet, this fraud is being compared to minor crimes resulting in years of punishment for women of color.
She paid thousands of dollars in bribes to inflate her daughter’s SAT scores. That’s right and when someone gets a coveted slot at a major university, someone else doesn’t.
We’re supposed to live in a meritocracy. This often seems comedic given the incredible effects of money and birth but the idea of a fair playing field keeps the lower classes in check and makes the remnants of our democratic system more palatable.
One of the elements of our enduring meritocracy are standardized tests. These keep the unworthy out of the good schools. Of course, the unworthy strangely enough come almost entirely from the lower classes. Having a stimulating home environment with two parents, more and more an upper middle-class phenomenon as salaries have collapsed over the last forty years, is a critical factor in later success. Two working parents barely able to make ends meet or not quite making it creates a stressful upbringing without the benefits of summer camps and special classes for the young.
But they believe.
Many of these parents encourage their children to read, to study – to work hard. They read countless books, buy test prep books by the dozens and take college courses while still in high school. And sometimes, their children get into a good school.
But the upper classes do not believe in merit. They believe in money and connections. For in the real world, we all know that who you were born to and who you know are the major elements of success. And the treadmill of study and test prep is just a diversion to keep the masses in check with the idea that there is some element of fairness.
So, when the children of the privileged are mediocre and incompetent, it is simply of money and the right people to call. Underachievers suddenly find themselves long term participants in sports. Special test sessions can be arranged and most commonly and most easily large sums are donated to the appropriate schools. The spreadsheets of the parental donations are carefully examined by the admitting bodies of many significant schools.
This is called corruption and along with legacy admissions and other treats for the already wealthy diminishes opportunity and stultifies real talent. The destruction of the best chances of the tens of thousands of the poor but talented is the great crime here. For in our society, it has been decreed that the old payola beats talent every time.
Wait, you say, you saw on the web some minority child gets admitted to a half dozen ivy league schools and, of course, that means the system is fair. Back in the 19th century, hucksters would sell sealed bars of soap on the street for a dollar each. A plant in the crowd would produce a ten dollar bill or a twenty or whatever amount was best considering crowd size – and the suckers would line up. Now, obviously this child is real and is actually going to one of the schools, but it is the exception that proves the rule. And when I read about these children, the sacrifices they made and the often incredible work they did, I have to wonder how much of a childhood did they have.
I think their sacrifices to play this awful rigged game show just awful it is.
This is America, the land of opportunity. Every child should have a fair chance at a good school and not be shunted into second choices based on accident of birth and an unfair game they can’t win save in rarest of circumstances.