Thursday, April 26

Classism?

I have a cousin who struggles with this issue. He seems to be confronted by people who actively and passively show contempt for him b/c he was raised in an upper middle class home, his mother is a professional and his father was management. He and I are third generation college graduates and in his case, 3rd generation post-grad, professional degree. We both went to private schools for most of our lives and we both have lived in integrated, even predominantly white, environments most of our lives. He finds that Blacks with less education (1st or 2nd generation college), who came from lower economic areas who now have more money and/or power than he does seem to be intimidated or even threatened by him. I have run into this but it never bothered me, I just saw that person as an ass and went on about my business. I have recognized the behavior as an aspect of someone protecting what they consciously or sub-consciously feel as a tenuous position or power...basically overcompensating for what they don't have or what they deeply want.

What brings this up is that I know a guy who has mentioned on more than one occasion that "these athletes" who are offered multi-million dollar contracts should take the money and run b/c what good is the degree gonna do. He is black w/o a college degree. I know his home is the urban northeast but I don't know much more than that. I can't say what his tax bracket was but I would guess, and it is a guess, that it was a mid-lower income bracket. His outlook on life is a strange mix of positive, friendly behavior combined with negative, conspiratorial ideas. He explains that these boys need money more than education and they can always go back for the degree. Which is true but my response is 1. the statistics don't bear that out - going back for the degree, 2. unless they play baseball the likelihood of them having a career is slim to none, 3. just cause they get the money doesn't mean they will keep it. I don't make anything close to millions and I have trouble keeping a budget.

Anyway, it's interesting to see different values.
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