What are we really rewarding?
If you have a “good accent” you will succeed here
If your parents had money, you can stick around
If you don’t call us out on our systemic biases then you’re well-balanced
If you want to be more like us then you’re brilliant
If you’re not too rooted in a “backward” culture then you’re progressive
If you can sit and smile when you’re in pain then you’re tolerant
And if we can beat you up and you keep coming back for more we figure that you like it.
From our schools to our workplaces, we are rewarding people for things they had so little to do with – the color of their skin, the schools they got into, their acccents.
It’s a self fulfilling prophecy, the same kinds of people will win every time, and the same kinds will lose – and it’s not because they didn’t want to do what it takes to succeed.
It’s because when uneven playing fields aren’t leveled, we may call it a “fair game” but the scales will always be tipped in the privileged ones’ favor and only the exceptional underdog will ever make it.