High school students have ears, eyes, and television sets, so they know a lot about relative privilege in America. They measure their family’s social position against that of other families, and their communities position against other communities. Middle class students know little about how the American class structure works, however, and nothing about how it has changed over time. These students do not leave high school merely ignorant of the workings of class structure; they come out as terrible sociologists. “Why are people poor?” I have asked first-year college students. Or, if their own class position is one of relative privilege, “Why is your family well off?” The answers I’ve received are half informed and naive. These students blame the poor for not being successful. They have no understanding of the ways that opportunity is not equal in America and no notion that social structure pushes people around, influencing the ideas they hold and the lives they fashion.
James W. Loewen, “The Land of Opportunity” (via sissypunks)
lil’ ableist there in the outset, but…