Splain it to Me Lucy

There are a couple of terms that I have run into lately that have left me cold.  The first term is the difference between Equal Opportunity and Equal Rights in all things.  The Government has the job of ensuring that under the constitution that all men are created equal not ensuring that everyone had the same outcome as they troop down the line of life.  In every job I have ever had, there were people that had basically the same job but didn't seem to show up as often and work as hard.  I took every opportunity to take on special projects that made my boss look good.  I was the "Big Bunny" (Person in Charge) of the Governor's Easter egg hunt a couple of years.  I was the head of security for the Governor's Inaugural twice and the overall OIC once.  I helped bring the 35th Division opening ceremony on line and don't have a clue how many times I supervised the salute battery for the Governor's Assumption of Command Ceremony.  I had a friend that once told me that he did all those extra assignments just well enough to not get fired and not so good that he was picked the next time. 

The second is White Privilege.  If you think that growing up poor somehow made me a better person, I sure as hell don't know how.  I will admit that now that I am no longer poor it feels pretty good, but it sure wasn't automatic or easy.  I think I have written many times that I grew up in a neighborhood of poor white people.  After the Military, we lived in an 8X38 foot mobile home that was almost 20 years old and I drove an old pickup truck and sacked groceries as I went to school.  We both finished our degrees without any student loan debts.  Our parents were getting by and we didn't rely on them for much of anything.  Later on in life we have helped them both get into retirement and live comfortably. 

I absolutely don't want anyone else to have things tough, it does anger me that there is any  idea that because I was born a white male I had some advantage and that I had some unequal opportunity to get to where I am. 

I once had a black employee (Miss X) tell me that I don't know how tough it was for her to grow up.  One of my other black employees told me that  Miss X's parents had a funeral home and she rode to school in a new Cadillac and her parents paid for her entire education.  Seems to me that I really did know poor and I was way better off making sure that all my employees had an equal opportunity to do the work and be recognized for that work. 

I guess I reached my adulthood through a good stint in the Military and nothing makes me more proud to know that we were pretty much fully integrated in the early 50's and many fine soldiers have been given a chance to succeed.  The military view is that all soldiers are green.  There just hasn't been the black vs white, pink purple or indifferent battle.  Just recently I think the barrier of same sex marriages has fallen.  Since Clinton there was a don't ask, don't tell Policy but there were no benefits available to same sex spouses until lately.


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