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  • Writer's pictureLucian@going2paris.net

Privilege, Luck


Bend

July 1, 2021


I didn’t pick the family to be born into. But so much of my life has been influenced by that. I didn’t pick my physical and mental capabilities — genes did that for me. I had no influence over the fact that I have two sisters and their husbands who have always been there for me. How different would my life be if I did not attend UVa but had instead gone to a community college — or not gone to college?


I am dancing around the hot button term of white privilege. I’m not trying to spin up anyone.


I saw homeless people in Bend yesterday. Sleeping on the sidewalk and a tent community off an exit of US 97 — on a dirt area between formed by the exit ramp. My first reaction was shock - in this affluent community on a very hot day?


I do feel lucky. Through the luck of the draw, I was born with a 99.9999 percent chance of not becoming homeless. I have had an incredible support system of family and friends throughout my life. I have had role models all along the way.


Others aren’t so lucky.


I am wrestling with what responsibilities does that mean I have. How can I help?


(BTW, the barn photo has absolutely nothing to do with this post.)


I give myself a C for my effectiveness in conveying my thoughts here. Maybe I will try again later.



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6 commentaires


dsmithuva75
02 juil. 2021

One of the most eye-opening mini-lectures I would give my students was whether poverty causes crime or crimes causes poverty. Virtually all my students agreed with the former, and they were amazed to find out that it is the latter.

If poverty caused crime, then:

(1) very few crimes would be committed by middle-class or rich people, and we know that that is certainly not true;

(2) to blame poverty for crime is to insult the vast majority of poor people who never commit a crime in their lives and raise their children to be moral individuals;

(3) statistical evidence shows that migration from economic quintile-to-quintile was always robust and has only recently began to lessen on the lower en…


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Lucian@going2paris.net
Lucian@going2paris.net
02 juil. 2021
En réponse à

I’d argue it’s a continuum.. On the lower end, it is poverty, greed — the desire to keep up with the Jones’ as you cross into middle class. At the high end, it’s the thrill of seeing if you can get away with it - “The Thomas Crown Affair.”

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dsmithuva75
01 juil. 2021

Yes, it was luck that gave you the parents you have, but it was their CHOICE to (1) stay together, (2) not abuse each other or drugs or alcohol, (3) teach their children a healthy respect for education, (4) impart their positive, Judeo-Christian-centered values to you, (5) push you toward a productive career; (6) effectively discipline you to respect others and work hard . . . I could go on and on.

The chances of ANYONE living in poverty if they (1) finish high school, (2) get a job, and (3) do not have children until they are married to their partner, is LESS THAN 2%. Not one of those items has a darn think to do with race …

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tommasopacelli
01 juil. 2021

I do not buy into the concept of privilege based upon a physical characteristic - ie as an example white privilege. Two very lucrative (although potentially short lived career spans) professions appear to made up disproportionately of one race. As an example, the racial composition of today's NBA player identified as 81% black and NFL players as 70% black (most current available data i could find). It is a fact that these fields of employment are disproportionately distributed by racial composition of the US. The current US government estimate from census data identifies 14% of population identifies as black. Conversely, being tall does not mean that you have an advantage over short people to make a successful career in th…

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Lucian@going2paris.net
Lucian@going2paris.net
02 juil. 2021
En réponse à

Patches didn’t have such luck. 🤪 The choices our parents made or did not make certainly influence who we become. But relative to the child it’s luck who you get as parents. After all, you can pick your nose but you can’t pick your family. I do agree with you though that poverty is the issue. I applaud folks like First Tee snd Big Brothers Big Sisters who reach out to kids from low-income families and give them role models to learn from. I wish I had tried BBBS when I was younger. Now the kids would see me as a grandpa not a big brother.

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