Leveling the Playing Field for All Children: The Importance of Using Our Privilege for Good
In today's society, we are often faced with the pressure to give our children every advantage possible. We want them to succeed, to be the best they can be, to rise to the top. But at what cost? Is it truly fair to prioritize our own children's success above others, perpetuating a system of inequality that only benefits those at the top?
This dilemma was recently discussed among a group of friends at a local bar. One man, a new father, expressed his desire to give his son the best possible education, to ensure his success in life. But another member of the group had a different perspective. "It's not just about the school you choose," he explained. "It's about the people your child will be surrounded by. If you want your son to have the best chance at success, you need to make sure he's rubbing elbows with the right crowd."
At first, this may seem like a harsh and exclusive mindset. But upon closer inspection, there is a kernel of truth to be found. In our society, success is often as much about who you know as what you know. And if we want to level the playing field for all children, we need to recognize and address this reality.
This is where a story from the Bible comes into play. In Genesis 8:18-27, we see the sons of Noah receiving blessings and curses that are passed down through the generations. This reminds us that our actions and decisions have consequences that can impact not just ourselves, but our children and their children as well.
Moving forward, we must use our privilege for good, to create a more just and equitable society. Only then can we truly give our children the best chance at success, not just for themselves, but for everyone around them.
The 1954 Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in Kansas was a turning point in the decline of Jim Crow laws. My visit to Monroe Elementary School in Topeka, Kansas, reinforced the importance of this national historic site. After my visit, I further studied how racial segregation was imposed according to the principle of "separate but equal," and how the court found it a violation of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees all citizens "equal protection of the laws."
However, it was not until I read "Having Our Say" that I delicately understood the struggle of black people's lives. While watching Martin Luther King deliver his astonishing speech of "I Have a Dream," I sensed the importance of black people's struggle in American identity politics.
I had previously believed that the end of the American Civil War signaled the end of the apartheid problem in America. However, it was just the beginning. The Jim Crow laws imposed racial segregation in Southern United States. Sadie and Bessie's recollections of their father's shouting at the end of the civil war, "Freedom! Freedom! I am free! I am free!" were not reflected in their daily lives. Instead, a long struggle awaited them. As Sadie said, "We knew we were already second-class citizens, but those Jim Crow laws set it in stone." The Jim Crow cars were just one example of the segregation and inequality that black people faced.
Through "Having Our Say," I learned about the sisters' remarkable lives and the challenges they faced as black women in America. Despite the odds against them, Sadie and Bessie proved that perseverance and determination can overcome even the most difficult obstacles.
As I ponder upon these stories, I am reminded of the utmost significance of acknowledging the trials and tribulations of our predecessors and utilizing our advantageous position to establish a society that is fair and impartial. It is our responsibility to refrain from regarding our liberties and prospects as a given, but rather to employ them as a pedestal to empower those who have been deprived of such privileges.