I heard a female comedian the other day say one of the truest things I’ve ever heard:
Look, if you’re a white dude, and you’re failing in America, you’re really a failure! You’re like the definition of failure! You can’t be a white dude and complain about how hard life is. If you’re a white guy and you’re failing at life, you’re basically saying, “I can’t find a way to be successful in a society that was built for me.” That’s America.
Which is probably why Trump is trying to make it
white great again!
What this comedian was saying is no one wants to hear white dudes whine about stuff. “Oh, it’s so hard to find a job.” “Oh, I can’t afford a house in the richest part of town.” “Oh, I’m not going to be able to retire until I’m 62.” In comparison to real people problems in the world, it all sounds stupid.
Did you hear the whole Kelly and Michael drama that blew up this past week? All said and done, Kelly comes out and says, “My Dad, who drove a bus for thirty years, thinks we’re all crazy!” Privilege, at any level, isn’t supposed to whine about shit.
So, all that being said, here’s my privilege whine:
College Acceptance and Tuition Payment is completely broken!
My middle son is about to make his college choice. He’s got some great schools that have accepted him. He has some great ones that did not. His dream school was Duke. He also really liked Northwestern, Dartmouth, and UCLA. He has a 4.05 GPA on a 4.0 scale (honors classes give you additional GPA) and a 31 on his ACT (97th percentile of all kids taking this test). He had the grades and test scores to get into all of those schools.
What he didn’t have was something else.
What is the something else?
He didn’t come for a poor family. He didn’t come from a rich family. He wasn’t a minority. He doesn’t have some supernatural skill, like shooting a basketball. He isn’t in a wheelchair. He isn’t from another country.
He’s just this normal Midwestern kid from a middle-class family who is a super involved student-athlete, student government officer, award-winning chamber choir member, teaches swimming lessons to children, etc., etc., etc.
Basically, he falls into this no-man’s land of what colleges and universities don’t want these days. Male and White.
Can I keep whining? Whatever, it’s my blog – buckle up!
What is the other something else, from a financial perspective?
He got into Boston College, another dream school for him, and one that wanted him to come and continue his swim career at the Division 1 level. BC also costs $68,000 per year.
Colleges and U.S. Federal Government hate kids who come from families that do the right thing. What’s the “right thing”? He comes from a family that pays their mortgage, saved some money for his tuition and put money away for retirement.
Apparently, all those ‘positive’ things, like being financially responsible, are not liked by colleges and the federal government. Colleges and the U.S. Government would have preferred that I didn’t work, let my house go into foreclosure and was in debt up to my eyeballs. If that was the case, both the college and U.S. Federal Government would reward my bad decision making and pay for my son to go to school, fully!
Because he comes from a family that made good decisions, Boston College, and the Federal Government thought it was a good idea for him to pay $68,000 per year to attend their fine university.
My wife and I have spent our son’s entire lives saving for them for college. We sacraficed to basically give them a fund that would pay two full years of tuition and living at a normal state four-year college. The other two years are on their own. We feel they need to shoulder some of that cost to appreciate what it is they’re investing in.
I get it. No one wants to hear about how the middle-class kid can’t go to the super high-end school of his dreams because he can’t afford it.
I’m struggling with this. I’m no different than any other parent who tells their kid when they were little, work your butt off and one day you can go to Harvard! When I should have said, work your butt off, I’ll make awful financial decisions, and then you’ll be able to go to Harvard.
Here’s what I know, and it’s a hard pill to swallow, if my son did exactly what he did (grades, involvement, etc.) and he was Hispanic (or Black, or American Indian, or from a poor country) and I had no money, he would be getting ready to enroll into Duke. But he’s not.
What did he do wrong? He was born into a white family that worked their ass off to give him every advantage in life.
White privilege is a privilege until it’s not. Until a kid’s dream is broken for something he can’t wrap his brain around. Believe me, I understand this goes both ways. I understand there are black kids who don’t even get an interview for a job because some white kid’s Dad already got them the job ‘behind the scenes’. That isn’t right either! In my mind, I don’t see the difference between these two examples.
Rant over. Colleges are going the route of corporate America. White guys are bad, everyone else is desirable, do whatever it takes, at any cost, to make sure this happens. Well, unless, your old, corporate America doesn’t like older people either, no matter what color or gender you are – but that’s a rant for a different day!
Hit him in the comments and tell me how out of touch I am, then remember this is all about a 17-year-old boy with a dream. A dream he worked his ass off to achieve.