Amerikan Meritocracy

My neighborhood always has colorful people and just as colorful incidents. The cops like to swarm in here like we are some kind of war torn country. I don’t smoke in the house so I head out to my front porch to smoke. I come outside and yell conversations across the street to my neighbor Frank while the neighborhood kids play basketball in my front yard. I stepped outside to smoke as I saw three cops running from their car back behind the houses. One had a shotgun with a little orange flag on it. The other two pistols drawn. Oh boy I thought. They are after someone again. I always get nervous around cops. I get even more nervous when they are running with guns drawn. I went right back inside to hide and listen for gun shots.

As time progressed more showed up. One was running behind the cops with guns drawn carrying a medical kit. All I could think was ‘well if you don’t shoot anyone you might not have as much need for your medical kit’. The drama unfolded mostly out of my sight. I had no idea what was going on until the neighbor started talking to me after it all cleared. I found out that they were here for a suicidal man who was cutting himself. The absurdity of pulling all these guns and a shot gun on a suicidal man struck me as being possibly one of the worst ways to deal with the situation. But! They are cops and they are trained that pulling a gun and using aggressive force is the way to deal with any situation.

Stressed, broke living in poverty. Yeah the guy is suicidal. While the bourgeois sit in their suburban paradise the workers commute from slums to wealthy neighborhoods. We clean their houses, do their lawns, serve and prepare their food and work on their houses. All the while seeing the same people who own our houses, have control of the banks and flow of money as we do what we can to get a few table scraps thrown our way. Submit and play the game! Akerika is a meritocrcy. If you are rich you are better and more deserving of wealth. They won’t acknowledge the priveledge wrapped up in this. The priveledge of race is ignored and even denied. The priveledge of investment and control of the flow of wealth is also denied. We just keep on denying priveledge while compounding the pressure on the have not’s to pay the rent.

The power of investment is the most wonderful priveledge of the bourgeois. Those who have can invest in property and ventures that can accumulate wealth. Those who have not are stuck spending every last dime trying to get caught up on basic needs. We throw our money at the bourgeois just to keep a car or keep a house or feed our bellies. The generations of priveledge are sheltered from this. They have needs met so any money that is accumulated can be put towards further luxuries. It can be placed towards investments to claim ownership and property placing them in power over the have-nots. The ghetto is full of people just trying to scrape enough money together just to have a roof over their heads and a decent dinner.

The one thing that I’m completely fed up with is the meritocracy mindset of the middle class in the United States. This complacancy out of comfort and priveledge not ever leading to questioning the disparity that exists. It leads to justifying the inequality. They praise the property owner and defend the capitalist who claims the labor of the worker. They stand strong for their rulers and human poverty is not something that we have to deal with on a daily basis. They jump in their SUV and drive from their work to their suburban home with their central air barely ever worrying about how the other half lives.

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