A few quick notes on “the College Pledge” are in order. It is the work of something called Dallas Justice Now which claims to be “a member-driven project of activists, researchers, and local leaders dedicated to making our city more just.” Yesterday the rumor was rampant that its threatening “pledge” demanding that white Dallas parents agree not to let their children apply for admission to elite institutions so black and brown kids could have an open field to obtain an Ivy League degree was a conservative “false flag” operation. This does not appear to be the case, and the increasingly unhinged Far Left, which is now just “the Left,” hardly needs any assistance in appearing menacing and racist.
The version of the pledge that I posted yesterday was not the full document, which included the implied threat that those who did not sign would be outed and ostracized, and the miserable device of introducing a false dichotomy: “Will you take the college pledge?” can be answered only with “I am a racist hypocrite.” and “I agree.” That’s rather funny, since the whole exercise is an example of anti-white racist hypocrisy.
I have searched, and apparently no mainstream national media news source finds this attempt to intimidate white Americans in the Dallas area newsworthy.
Here is Michael West’s Comment of the Day on the “College Pledge” item in “Monday Mid-Day Ethics Considerations…”
The vast majority of wealth is *multi-generational*. Yes, America is replete with the starry examples of rags-to-riches stories, but even those are generally isolated exceptions. For the rest of those who have significant wealth, it is mostly because the generation before them made tiny sacrifices in their lives that they didn’t have to make. Those sacrifices were essentially investments in and for their children that paid off in dividends worth VASTLY more than the sacrifice.
This is the multi-generational “deferring of gratification.” Often the parents of THOSE parents also had made small sacrifices or even big sacrifices to set their children up to be *just a little bit* better off than their parents were.
I’m a landscape architect who served as an officer in the United States Army. I got there because my parents – a school teacher and a secretary – lived thrifty lives. We bought off-brands; we only ate out with coupons; and we didn’t vacation in places we didn’t have friends we could stay with.
My parents’ parents – dirt poor farmers – got their children to that point because when they weren’t farming they were hustling at side jobs (leaving them with almost NO personal time) that eventually turned into small scale rentals and a grocery store. THEIR parents had been dirt poor farmers, and they just worked and worked and worked and saved to try to ensure an easier life for my grandparents. One of THEIR parents, one of whom was on track to be a surgeon until being drafted into the Confederate Army as a hospital aide, recovered from the ravages of the Civil War by becoming a farmer. Another was the child of people constantly on the move because of run-ins with the law, with at least one relative hanged as a horse thief.
Multi-generational marginal sacrifices do not always work out. As the author of “Ecclesiastes” bemoans “I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool?” But based on the legacy of the centuries-long practice, the tradition seems to work out much more successfully than it does not.
One of the undeniable results of capitalism is that now even “poor” people live at a level of comfort, convenience, and luxury that “middle class” people could never have imagined 100 years ago. Capitalism, which affords a small sliver of society opulence that can’t be fathomed by the average brain (accounting for some of the animosity) ALSO affords the rest of that society, down to the least-well-to-do, comforts, needs and wants far outpacing previous generations of their counterparts.
Part of the backbone of this system is “unfair” luck: some people are born into wealthy families and some people are born into families that have to sacrifice if their offspring are to have a fighting chance at future wealth. But that backbone is a subcomponent on the promise made, not to the children, but to the parents in our capitalist system: “You get to choose how to dispose of what you produce”.
So what then of the obvious fact that African-American families *on average* got a late start in the wealth generation game, while non-African-American families *on average* got a head start? Are we to break the essential promise that “What is yours is yours”?
We could essentially upend the system (which is what most Left-wingers are aiming for) and take most of what people make and re-distribute it to those who aren’t “equal.” Human nature ensures that this will lead to people no longer putting in the kind of effort that makes capitalist societies so opulent.
We could go half-way and punish the inheritors. This will either lead parents to find ways to cheat the system OR give them the incentive to spend like drunken sailors in their own lifetimes, breaking the good habits described above that lead to better lives for not just their own children, but for everyone.
Then there is my answer: we can just leave the system alone and live with large disparities, knowing that even with the wild differences, *everyone* who tries is likely to end up better off in the end.
There is not much to be done about the historical disadvantage of black Americans because of slavery and Jim Crow other than to continue to discourage racism in society and the culture. Does that mean that American society will still seem to be “racially” striated? Maybe for another century at most. Still, those lines have blurred like crazy with the rise of the African American middle class.
I find it remarkably annoying that the average aggrieved African American compares themselves to Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk. It’s not like Elon Musk walks past a qualified African American to the white drug-addict and says “I need you because you are white”. No, the beauty of the free-market that most grievance hucksters will never admit is that for the vast majority of interactions on the market race plays NO role,or if it plays a role, it plays a vanishingly small role compared to the myriad other tiny reasons anyone makes a decision in the market. As Frederick Douglass and Booker T Washington both observed about the free market, skill, hard work, and personality are worth more than skin color even to most people with some measure of prejudice.
The only rational approach is to stop looking at people and evaluating them as a carrier of melanin; to evaluate them as individuals, and to stop giving any particular individual an excuse to avoid accountability for shortcomings and failure other than their own conduct. And the flip side of that coin is to also accept that sometimes, on occasion, someone else gets more rewards than you do, because of luck and the inherent unfairness of life, and accept it without animus. To do otherwise, and try to ensure that EVERYONE gets EVERYTHING they think they deserve will create a system so onerous and oppressive that NO ONE will get ANYTHING.