915-910-1460 Equal outcome is not the same as equal opportunity: How inherent inequ

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Equal outcome is not the same as equal opportunity: How inherent inequality threatens the American dream

May 3, 2019

Imagine you're sitting at a table playing cards. Whoever has the fewest cards wins the round. If you are a woman you get a card, if you are of a minority racial group you get a card, if you are part of the LGBTQ community you get one, and if you have a disability you get one. Lets say you get a full hand and the person across from you has none. They are rewarded with a huge advantage in the next round. You throw the cards down in frustration. " This isn't fair I did nothing to deserve to lose" you complain. The winner shrugs" That's not my fault. Stop whining, you could still win". Every round they got another undeserved benefit and end up winning the game. You say that it's rigged. The dealer says that it's just the game.

 

 No matter how the game was played most of you wouldn't be surprised the guy won. They didn't get the same amount of cards, if all the rounds were played that way of course he would win. Equality has always been a key component of democracy in America. It is what Americans have fought for in times of corruption and civil rights violations. The conservative media has often criticized the opposition for giving "free rides" to minorities or objecting to programs that help a certain group.  American's whole heartedly believe in the American dream, yet don't realize that equal opportunity is one of the most fundamental principles in order for it to work. Some work hard, but others have to work harder.

This is not an attack on anyone's specific opinion but just a gateway into having a discussion about how we can make sure that citizens have the ability to reach their full potential. The cycle of poverty is a real issue in America as well as many other countries. Many minority groups also face discrimination. Sure, there are people who have broken the mold-Andrew Carnegie, Barack Obama, Oprah etc but these are outliers. Most stay in their same income level as their parents. The system is rigged against them. They can't pay for private school, they can't afford a tutor, often times they can't afford tuition for college or university. While it doesn't mean they will never succeed they do have significantly more barriers than others. They have to be exceptional. People with a better deck of cards may also work very hard but they don't face as many obstacles as someone else may. I see myself as very privileged. I grew up with a supportive family, a great education, and the ability to speak and be heard. For that I am grateful. I however have seen injustice and a broken political system driven by money and power. The rich are getting richer and the poor are staying poor. It is important to bring awareness to issues we see because if we don't acknowledge the unfairness in our deck of cards, if we don't acknowledge how prejudice and capitalism make some voices louder than others, we don't have a democracy. Martin Luther King once said " Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere". This issue should bother everyone, whether you are privileged in society or not.

 

The rejections at this point circle around a belief many Americans hold. That someone else succeeding takes away your ability to succeed. I am aware that we are all built differently. Some people are smarter than others, some people have a greater work ethic than others. People should be allowed to make money and be successful, but based on their merit, not because a flawed system worked in their favour. Money and opportunity allows some to succeed and have a voice and others to be forgotten.  Someone getting support in order to receive the privileges you have isn't unfair, it's actually the opposite. I'm not advocating for socialism but I  believe that the wealth gap is caused because of a rigged system. If you were dealt a different set of cards in life you don't know where you would be. You would still be as smart and as capable as you are now, but how likely you are to succeed may waver. That is the problem.

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