same opportunities, then this story would be closer to true. But two people
who do the same amount of hard work in life do not necessarily get to same place.
There are other factors at play. Pretend your were a black man, and most white
women you passed on the street gave you a second glance in case you were
going to try something. What kind of long term effect would that have on
your self esteem??
(The forwarded letter is below if you would like to read that before going further.)
Pretend that you are a woman trying to climb the corporate ladder and
are passed over for a job promotion, because you might be taking Maternity
leave in the next 5 years. Now pretend you are a black woman. How many
black women do you know that are able to make $40,000 a year?? Is it
because they just didn't try, or just didn't have the dedication? Nope,
it's because we are all judged on outward characteristics that we have no
ability to change.
As a white woman, I know that I am judged depending on the clothes a
wear, depending if I put on makeup on or not. I also know what it's like
to be treated by certain men who size up my abilities before even talking
to me. We all make judgements and we all are judged. White men are
less able to understand the differences that judgements may make
in the advancement in society, because they generally wear the same
thing everyday, and rarely change how they look. They were born at
the top of the "first impression feeding chain," if you will. Until you have
walked in a Blackman's shoes, you don't know what it's like to start at
the bottom, and occasionally be pushed back down, due to the
characteristics you were born with.
As with all things, we can't make large generalizations about everyone.
A black man that learns to ignore negative attitudes, and works as hard
may get as far in life as a white man, but the odds are stacked
against him. I feel that society does have a responsibility to attempt to
even the playing field. As with most questions, the answers lies not at
one extreme or another, but somewhere in between.
On Thu, 20 Apr 2006, Mary wrote:
> A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many
> others her age, she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat, and
> was very much in favor of the distribution of wealth. She was deeply
> ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican, a feeling she
> openly based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the
> occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years
> harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.
> One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes
> for the rich and the addition of more government welfare programs. The
> self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her
> professors had to be the truth
> and she indicated so to her father.
> He responded by asking how she was doing in school. Taken aback, she
> answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0GPA, and let him know that it
> was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult
> course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out
> and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a
> boyfriend, and didn't really have many college friends because she spent
> all her time studying.
> Her father listened and then asked, "How is you friend Audrey doing?"
> She replied, "Audrey is barely getting by, college for her is a blast. All
> she takes are easy classes, she never studies, and she barely has a 2.0
> GPA. She is so popular on campus, she's always invited to all the parties,
> and lots of times she doesn't even show up for classes because she's too
> hung over."
> Her wise father asked his daughter, "Why don't you go to the Dean's office
> and ask him to deduct 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only
> has a 2.0. That way you will both have 3.0 GPAs, and certainly
> that would
> be a fair and equal distribution of GPAs."
> The daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired
> back, "That wouldn't be fair! I have worked really hard for my grades!
> I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next
> to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my butt off!"
> The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, "Welcome to the
> Republican Party."