Of course, the one thing that keeps America’s poor from acting out in the manner of, say, the French Revolution, is the bang-up job that the American media has done of convincing every single citizen that he or she will, eventually, become rich.
Unlike pre-revolution France where there was a clear cut and preexisting nobility and peasant class systems already in place, in America, the illusion exists that there is no such thing.
So a big deal gets made and America pats itself on the back whenever some rapper or ballplayer from a single-parent household, strikes out and makes a name, becomes famous and subsequently almost wealthy.
What’s interesting is America does no back patting, only finger-pointing, when that same rapper or ballplayer loses it all and becomes broke.
Look at Jah Rule.
Look at Mike Tyson.
Look at Allen Iverson.
That’s not our fault, America seems to say. Them fools did it to themselves.
But did they?
Giving money to a man that’s never had it is like telling a person that’s never even ridden in an airplane to fly it.
Should you really be surprised when there’s a crash?
In reading Bob Herbert’s last column for the New York Times, I learned that the richest 10% of Americans received 100% of the average income growth between the years 2000 and 2007.
Now, if this were any other country, suburban mansions would already be in flames.
But, as I already wrote, the main reason we poor don’t burn those mansions is because we can’t shake the idea that one day, we’re all destined to live in them.
Racism’s been another great tool in keeping the poor separated.
Racism is so clever that it doesn’t even allow white people to be poor. If you’re white and you’re poor, the term they use for you is “middle class”.
“Poor” is a term exclusively used for Black people.
But what would happen if, one day, even white people stopped being so dumb as to imagine that there is anything separating the emptiness in their stomachs and pockets from the emptiness in ours?
What would happen then?
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