What bothers me about this, Ajah, is the self-righteous and all-too-often stated argument by (not-so-woke)Boomers that this is YOUR fault, that YOU are lazy, that YOU just don’t work hard enough.
‘‘Scuse me while I retch.
Said Boomers are almost always white, upper Middle Class and infected with Horatio Alger bullshit. All you gotta do is work hard. And Horatio Alger was wrong. What a lie. NPR had a terrific story not long ago that completely debunked him, his life, his writings and the entire Disney-esque fantasy his rags to riches stories perpetuated. Still do. One only needs to -parce out the particulars of our current economy to see that working hard per se is bullshit.
Work harder isn’t the issue.
Some time back I saw a very intelligent little video which illustrated what you just described by lining up a group of folks at a starting gate. White man, white women, Black man, Black woman. As they headed around the track, the obstacles of institutionalized racism, bias, gender bias and much more impeded progress. It was a superb piece of visual work. I’ve rarely seen anything that so clearly delineated what we have done in society to brick off brains, capability, competence and potential. It isn’t just institutionalized racism. It’s stupidity.
These days to be fair, we’d have to add the gender differences to broaden the categories. Either way, what we refuse to look at and SEE, and I mean SEE, we can ignore, excuse away, and make tepid apologies for.
I will not be alive, I reckon, to see a true reckoning. At 67, I think that I might see the beginning of a real Renaissance, but it won’t be, I wager, until America bottoms out. We are declining, and badly. To my mind, it’s the exclusionist policies that are causing that decline. More to that, of course, I don’t mean to be overly simplistic. But the more we live in denial of what’s declining, the faster we decline. Fiddling while Rome Burns, as it were. Which is why the rats are leaving the ship…but they are finding, of course, that their private islands are going underwater. There’s a sweet revenge in that.