Freedom for All Fridays on the New Year, and opportunity for all?

Well, opportunity if you were born in the upper working to middle classes, anyway…

Notice who had the BMW (Bike/Metro/Walk) vs. whose access to folks with wheels got those resource advantages moving, wittingly or unwittingly…

I’ve been mulling over some conversations with a person, white, grew up with a housekeeper, left home at 16 to work 3 p/t jobs to finish the last year of high school to avoid physical abuse at home.   But who had rides to and from each of those jobs, and an apartment whose deposit was paid by the school principal. What a pal.  And in a Sundown Town.  So this is a bootstraps story?  Ok, those are pretty strong bootstraps.

But this is not an up from the Projects story, growing up with all sorts of violence and CSA, where physical abuse was the norm, and dodging drug dealers was also the norm.  Getting a job at 16 was not possible in 1984 DC for someone living in Anacostia, and getting an apartment at all, let alone rides to and from school or work, was out of the question.  For the kid from the Sundown Town, getting out was difficult, but for the kid from projects, getting out was a minor miracle.

Yet, “if one person can do it, so can anyone else.”

One of these things is not like the other, right?


Racism, especially the currently ingrained systemic racism of the US, is entirely based on the teachings of slavery, which most in this country still receive in the home and in the media, wittingly or not.
Meditating on an issue of unack’d or self-hidden racism/prejudice: And maybe it’s that this landlord grew up and lived most of his 70 years in a Sundown Town in Southern CA, but he refuses to see the lack of opportunity for most … not only Black folks, but even for most working class white folks. He insists that “if even one person did it, then anyone can do it” as if he, a financial coach, has never heard of an outlier… (especially when he uses me as an example of escaping poverty, and I really feel used, having gotten DC’s appointment to Annapolis before our only Rep. even had a vote in The House…).
He has no clue what it’s like to be called “part of the Talented Tenth,” and the weight of expectation that carries, nor that only 1/10 make it out of the projects after surviving certain childhood traumas.

So, it turns out that 1.) transportation (and affordable and safe mass transit, at that) makes a huge difference, and 2.) our received ideas are harder to draw out than I’d hoped.  More on my continuing striving with hidden racism next week, friends:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of freedom for all that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different sources to translate the word “racial justice” into your favorite language.

2.) Share your thoughts on #1 with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Write a blog post or tweet that discusses racism, tells a good story, or just makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!


2021 CE, which is 12021 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Published by EmpathyCriticalThinking

A fictional ranger reporting on Babylon 5 history during the human Holocene Era... (for further information, please see )

13 thoughts on “Freedom for All Fridays on the New Year, and opportunity for all?

      1. Well, I guess that as we do our work here, hoping to educate and inform, we will continue to think of new ways to help.
        Have a good weekend, Ashley, and thank you for being here.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. The combination of racism and toxic individualism, the idea that each person needs to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, or some such nonsense, has had an absolutely devastating effect on this country over the decades.

    (And it still absolutely astonishes me how many working-class Trump supporters genuinely believe he is a self-made man who made his fortune through his genius for business, rather than a spoiled trust fund kid who inherited all his money from his slumlord father, blew through his inheritance in a series of disastrous businesses, and had to be bailed out by foreign banks & the Russian mafia.)

    Both racism and individualism have especially been pushed hard by the Republicans from Reagan onward in order to destroy labor unions and to pit poor Christian conservative whites against other ethnicities, nationalities & religions, and to make it much, much easier for corporations to rob the country blind.

    Lyndon Johnson explained it perfectly:

    “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are absolutely right, Ben: I still remember Reagan firing the air traffic controllers, and my father’s prediction that the de-institutionalizing of mental patients was going to dramatically increase homelessness. These were clear knock-on effects, yet as you point out, pitting one against the other, or divide and rule, has long been an effective policy for robber barons.
      So the question remains:
      how do we help solve this problem?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Education would be an effective tool. Democracy depends on an informed, educated populace. That’s why the GOP has spent decades attacking schools and demonizing higher learning. Providing adequate funding, training and resources to teachers would be a step in the right direction. Free college would be another. But first we need to elect representatives who will actually enact these policies. And it’s made much more complex by the country being made up of 50 different states, each with its own individual standards & goals. It’s definitely a very formidable task.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Indeed, it is a formidable task, Ben. It almost feels like a chicken and egg problem, so that one doesn’t know where to start.
        It seems that we need to be working on multiple tasks at once, headed toward the same goal, yet, with no over-arching vision that we can all agree on, that task is made more difficult, I feel.
        So how do we build a consensus around a shared vision, and build the empathy necessary to do that consensus-building (I suspect that the empathy-building may be the most important part of all of these sub-tasks…)?

        Liked by 2 people

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