Talk of white Entitlement is just another form of racism as it lumps all whites together. It also trivializes many years of effort. If I started a sentence off “all blacks are…” every alarm bell should go off in your head. Talk of “Entitlement” is no different.
The circumstances of my youth were such that my expectations were limited. College was not a subject discussed because, no one went to college. There was no money for college or much of anything else. I remember once seeing $20,000 worth of my mother’s medical bills on top of the refrigerator. Divorced and flying alone to Ohio in the early days of bypass surgery was unfathomable to me. $20k we were lucky when we had $20. It was a stressful time for my mother, and she telegraphed that stress. I can tell you a full belly or a warm house was never taken for granted. There was worse but even after all these years it is best left unspoken and to the past. There is a truism “You don’t miss what you never had”
I am told because I am white, I am entitled, Funny but I never felt entitled? If you look up the term you get “believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.“ if there is one thing I am absolutely sure of is I expected or felt I deserved nothing.
Everything we have we struggled to get. At the time Community College cost $230 a semester and I did not even have that, so I borrowed it. The jobs I had went to clothes, kicking in at home, gas, and spending money. I made through there and then a state school on a wing a prayer and loans. Loans that I paid every penny off over too many years. I had many white friends from similarly humble circumstances. The truth is many skimped by on “franks and beans”. I remember one fellow who as fulltime student worked 40 hours a week in a factory. That is dedication – entitlement not so much.
At some point I came to the realization that education could take me to a better place. So, a few years after I graduated, I did a couple graduate degrees at night.
· Entitlement did not drive me to class after working a full day and stay there until 10PM and spend my weekends doing homework hitting the books. A desire for a better life did.
· Entitlement did not pick up the coding books, strengthen my skills. My desire to keep being employed did.
· Entitlement did not teach me thrift, saving, investing and DIY. Trial and error, a personal finance course in college and the Mrs. did.
· Entitlement did not teach daughter math at the kitchen table for hour after hour the Mrs. dedication did. She now has a degree in applied mathematics (Cum Laude) and a great job.
You know, looking back we were not entitled! But we did have the choice to work hard and smart. When I hear that entitlement talk being spewed, I just shake my head. There are those who do not want to admit success is the result of many years of discipline and hard work.
Booker T Washington said, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” He was so right I am proud of what I have accomplished and I have had many successful colleagues and friends of color and they worked hard and smart too.
Entitlement a.ka. “privilege” is offensive, presumptious and frankly ignorant. Having said that racism and being on the lower economic scale are formidable hills to climb. I believe, unlike some, you can “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.”