Tim Wise and Don Lemon break down “white racial resentment / white racial paranoia” that is occurring at town hall meetings and the inflammatory rhetoric (e.g. comparing Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler) spewing out of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Buchannan et al.
Jon Stewart and Larry Wilmore, from the Daily Show, satirize “white fear.”
The meritocracy myth is a lie. It is perpetuated and propagandized. It exists to buttress the status quo and maintain systems of power and privilege.
The Horatio Alger myth, so inspirational during periods of growth, may work against people during contractions. Its message of can-do individualism urges us to beat the odds, but it cuts us no slack when the odds grow terribly long. The impotent struggle to prevail against conditions that won’t yield can prove the unmaking of self-made men, and perhaps turn them into madmen now and then. For true believers in the gospel of pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, the notion that bootstraps sometimes snap — and occasionally in great numbers, simultaneously — is destabilizing and bewildering. To accept that this notion is true may suggest that you have been lied to about how the system works, provoking resentment. To deny this truth may convince you that the defect lies in yourself, provoking despair
I’ve been mulling over a few subjects that have been making appearances on my site as of late. The subjects are white privilege and the meritocracy myth a.k.a. “pull yourself up by the bootstraps and inequality vanishes as soon as the laces are tied.”
In addition to D’s encouragement, I received this comment/email today (which actually encouraged me to create this post):
…yes, I am white, and no nothing was given to me. The scholarships I had in college – academic (i.e., merit-based) based, not because they were promised to white people. The grades I earned – because of hard work, not because the professor favored white people. The job I hold now, I earned because of my experience and background, not because I am white.
…And if you do not believe in pulling oneself up by the bootstraps, then perhaps you should more attention to the people who have achieved success in this country by their own hard work.
In response to that sentiment, I present the following comic, excerpts and links regarding the meritocracy myth…