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Posts Tagged ‘class division

I’m Gifted And You’re Not

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all children have a gift, not just some

all children have a gift, not just some

America likes to tout the well-worn myth to its young that if you work hard and persevere you can be anything you want to be. The implication of the propaganda is that there’s a level playing field in this country. That “anyone” can get a piece of the American Dream. It’s a great big lie of course, because America also has an obession with predetermined “chosenness.” We love the idea that some are destined for greatness – which flies in the face of the concept that everyone has a shot at it. But then myths always trump reality, because they’re usually so much more pleasant to ponder when you’re bored shitless at the office. Maybe it’s you that’s going to hit the big time.

There are many clues that lead to the not so bold assumption that the American Dream is a crock; the massive wealth gap, the ghettoization and subtle apartheid that pervades vast swathes of the nation, American gullibility, the proven statistical lack of social mobility in this country. Even the recession is unfair. It’s the poor bums who got tricked into buying a house they couldn’t afford with a time-bomb mortgage that are getting the worst of it.

But there’s one area where the American lie is particularly irksome and that’s education. The harsh realities of inequality are more painful when you’re dealing with the innocent. And the bad hands are dealt from the very beginning. I was recently chatting to a friend who told me of an incident that took place when she was very young. She lived with her uncle and aunt, and her cousin one day informed her bluntly,

“I’m gifted and you’re not.” Read the rest of this entry »