It is both a blessing and a curse to live in times when one can simply glance down at their phone and learn what is occurring around the world in a matter of seconds. In an instant, we learned of the fate of one of the actors who had the financial means to send their child to a high-class university. Middle-class persons who have to scrimp and save in order to send their children to an ordinary public university may be somewhat jealous that certain people can simply walk into a school and write a check for that $60,000 a year tuition. Can you imagine being able to walk into the local Land Rover dealership and get every bell and whistle that the latest model SUV comes with and simply whip out one of your black cards? Me either.
For much of the lower and middle classes, there are the hopes and dreams of achieving the so-called American Dream of having more than one black card, always flying first class and no longer knowing what a car payment means.
The question I have is, is there a sense of entitlement on the rich’s part and does that entitlement seep into the psyche of the middle class. Do we as a society often overlook and tolerate the improprieties of the wealthy? When their kid is shoplifting or breaking some rule, are we fine with the slap on the wrist that they receive? And do judges and prosecutors share in the sweeping under the rug of crimes of the elite?
What am I saying? Of course, they do and we are. It’s ridiculous what we tolerate, laugh at, post about and tweet when the rich are caught with their hand in the cookie jar. The most recent case of Felicity Huffman exemplifies this perfectly. As a side note, I had no idea of who she was. I never heard of her before the college scandal. Unfortunately, many comparisons and memes were made to her bribery scandal and Tanya McDowell case. Remember Ms. McDowell was a single mother who “stole” an education for her son by enrolling him in a different school district. Huffman had the means to bribe her child’s way to a prestigious university, while McDowell, who was at one time homeless, had to resort to selling drugs in order to survive and provide. In the world of social media and this rush to be the first, we have lost focus on what really matters, the truth.
Yes, Ms. Huffman should be fined and receive some sort of punishment for bribery. If truth be told I actually have a problem with the charges against her. Doing what one can to make a way for their progeny is the American way. Now all of a sudden it’s a crime? Why? If it’s a crime to bribe and pay off people to make sure your child has access to the best, then why is it legal to pay for these testing services at all? Certainly, the ability to pay for test prep ensures that their privileged little angel will have a leg up of the lesser middle and lower-class competition. I mean if we’re talking about fairness and the ability to judge people by their inherent abilities and qualities, then shouldn’t we do away with test prep services for children. LOL. Of course, we aren’t talking about that. We aren’t talking about fairness at all. The rich and powerful will always need a lesser group in order to be just that, rich and powerful.
However, we must be careful when comparing Huffman to Tanya McDowell. As Snopes points out, McDowell was actually charged with additional drug charges. So the real reason that McDowell was sentenced to a longer sentence in comparison to Huffman’s was due to those additional charges.
But don’t go to sleep just yet, herein lies another problem which the poor face. One should ask, why did a single mom who was trying to send her child to a better school end up selling drugs? You guessed it. It was because she was poor and wanted to make a better life for her child. The reward of being able to provide for her son outweighed the risk of prison. Clearly, she saw the benefit in education, because she was willing to falsify records in order to make sure that her child had the academic means to do better in life than she did. And that’s what it’s all about. Having the means and methods and opportunity help to ensure that the struggles that one faced in their life will not be replicated in their children’s lives.
Let me leave you with some words of wisdom from some great poets:
Some got, hopes and dreams, we got, ways and means
The supreme dream team, always up with the schemes
From hubcaps to sellin raps, name your theme
My rise to the top, floatin on this cream…
We all have hopes and dreams, but without the ways and means, we will end of selling hubcaps on street corners or turning to more illicit methods to achieve those dreams.
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