By: Nicholas Kristof
In the article Nicholas Kristof argues that America is no longer the "land of opportunity;" where any amount of hard work can create a decent life. He states that children are no longer growing up with an equal chance but in, "the kind of society in which your outcome is largely determined by your beginning" (Kristof). Throughout the article he gives examples of how under advantaged children no longer have the means to get ahead; but not primarily finically. Kristof says the system is now rigged so that anyone born into prosperity will have very little issue making their way in the world. However, those children who come from families with drug or alcohol problems tend to stay in that kind of environment through adulthood. These children could be extraordinarily bright; but they are given a much harder time when trying to move forward. Nicholas Kristof argues that people no longer are given equal chance at success.
Kristof's article can also be related back to "The Silenced Dialogue" by Lisa Delpit. Near the beginning of the reading Delpit outlines five rules that outline the "culture of power." One is particular is, "the rules of the culture of power are a reflection of the rules of the culture of those who have power." She is explaining that the social norms of a society are outlined by the people who have the most power. Kristof also touches upon this idea of people in power having more pull over those who don't. One man that the author interviewed named Professor Reardon states, "rich kids make a lot of poor choices...they just don't come with the same sort of consequences." This statement brings us back to Delpits rules by the idea that the people in power are held to a different standard because they create the rules of the culture.
|Lisa Delpit's rule number five:|
"Those with power are frequently least aware of- or least willing to acknowledge- its existence.
Those with less power are often most aware of its existence."
Questions-Comments-Points to share:
I agree with Nicholas Kristof's claims he is making in the article. I feel like a lot of people fall into the same boat as Rick Goff, a friend of Kristof's. Since he did not come from a privileged life he had trouble completing school. The teachers didn't recognize that he just and trouble focusing and I think it may have a lot to do with him not being of the powered culture. Although Goff had two children and managed a life into adulthood, "U.S.A., Land of Limitations," touches upon the idea that he stayed in the same conditions. Goff was raised by his grandmother after losing his mother and his father walking out; and when he grew older he had two children and raised them as a single father after having two divorces.