One of the themes I’ve been using in speeches recently is the “culture of the participation trophy.” And as soon as I make that reference, the heads in the crowd nod and smiles appear as everyone knows about which I’m referring.
Once upon a time misguided adults who wanted to feel good about themselves came up with this most insidious idea. They believed it would be “fair” and engender self-esteem if all the kids on the athletic fields got a small plastic trinket — it became known as the “participation trophy.” There were even instances where adults lobbied to rule no scores should be kept.
What these adults failed to realize is that the kids always keep score. The kids know who put out the effort, who had “skin in the game” and who rode the bench. But now, this culture of the participation trophy and the sense of entitlement has become a cancerous agent within the millennial demographic. It’s now all about free stuff, social justice, and safe spaces. Don’t believe me? Well, here’s the latest example.
As reported by the Washington Times, “A group of Harvard Law School activists are demanding the graduate school do away with tuition fees, which they argue are “racially biased.”
Members of the group Reclaim Harvard Law School published an open letter Sunday addressed to Law School Dean Martha L. Minow and members of the Harvard Corporation — the University’s highest governing body — demanding an end to tuition costs that they argue impose an unfair financial burden on students of color, The Harvard Crimson reported.
Tuition at the law school will rise to $59,550 for the 2016-2017 academic year, and students are graduating with an average of $149,754 in debt, according to the law school’s website. Reclaim Harvard Law called the trend “outrageous” and asserted, “as a matter of justice, education should be free.”
“The effects of HLS’ astronomical tuition fees are racially biased,” the group wrote in their letter. “Due to the legacy of centuries of white supremacy and plunder, people of color are less likely to have amassed wealth in the United States. Therefore, these fees disproportionately burden students of color, not only by creating a barrier to attending HLS, but also by constraining the career choices of those who do attend by saddling them with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. How can Harvard Law graduates be expected to advance justice or the well-being of society when they are forced to make career decisions based on paying off this burdensome debt?”
The group did not provide any proposals on how Harvard Law School could feasibly do away with tuition, saying, “answering this is the very job we are paying extraordinary amounts of money for them to do.”
Ok, now that you’ve stopped shaking your head, pounding your fist, laughing your butt off, or spitting your coffee, let’s assess this. First of all, here are kids who’ve qualified to attend a prestigious institution but now say the fees are “racially biased.” Now of course, that is a load of bovine excrement because tuition and fees are not calculated based on race. So how is it that the tuition at Harvard Law School is “racially biased’?
Ah yes, it’s because of the “legacy of centuries of white supremacy and plunder.” Yep, you got it, it was the superior white man who kept these poor black kids and their families from amassing wealth. Yep, that ol’ Oprah Winfrey has really and truly been suppressed and kept from being able to amass wealth.
I have a question, if there’s a law school in America where the tuition is lower, and the black kids are able to afford the fees, is that because they didn’t suffer the “legacy of centuries” of white supremacy?
I truly have little sympathy for this “culture of the participation trophy” whining. My folks, Buck and Snooks West, were lower middle income. Dad didn’t have a college degree, but Mom did. For the first nine years of my education, I attended private Catholic schools — no loans, no vouchers — they saved and invested. I attended the University of Tennessee, paying out-of-state tuition, and did have some tuition assistance from the ROTC. But again, I graduated with no loans and no debt.
I have a Bachelors and two Masters degrees. My wife Angela has a dual-major Bachelors, an MBA, and a PhD. No loans, no debt. Our daughters attended private Catholic and Christian schools. Aubrey attended and graduated from a private college — no loans, no debt. Aubrey is now in a Masters program and our youngest daughter Austen is a freshman at a small private Christian college…no loans, no debt.
You see, the great thing about America is that families set goals and objectives for their kids and establish a plan. Today we have the tax-free College 529 savings plan, thanks to President George W. Bush. And of course it is President Barack Obama who wants to tax those family educational savings plans.
So I have a simple message for all these whining kids. The only folks who’ll be getting a “free” college education are the children I have — no one else’s. That, my dear little cherubs, is the true legacy of America. Each generation is committed to providing better for the subsequent generation. And that has nothing to do with some ludicrous excuse about white supremacy and plunder.
As for the high cost of Harvard Law School, well — you want quality, you pay for it. Perhaps we should have fewer amenities at these campuses and truly focus on education. I suggest these students ask for a cost value, itemized list of what they’re getting for $59,550 a year at Harvard. Anyway, you chose that institution, so deal with it. Ya know, it’s really simple. A Maserati, Jaguar, or Ferrari cost just a tad bit more than my Toyota Tacoma.
I’d look really dumb going out and getting a Maserati, even on lease, and then complaining that centuries of white supremacy precludes me from making the monthly payments. Anyway, the Toyota truck is way cool for me.
The real plunder that’s keeping these kids from amassing wealth comes at the hands of the abjectly failing progressive socialist tax policies of one Barack Obama. And to think, many of these kids want Bernie Sanders who will usurp even more tax resources. Why?
As for the post-law school debt, here’s my recommendation. Stop with these chuckleheaded “activist” campaigns. Instead study, make top grades, and get hired by a top-notch law firm — where you should also be seeking out paid internships during your summer. Effective policies don’t come from bumper stickers, and success follows hard work. If you’re in Harvard Law School, you’re not a victim of racial bias. Life isn’t about getting a participation trophy and nothing in life is free — earn it and find your own self-esteem. Stop blaming others, and I mean stuff from centuries ago.
And stop listening to the drivel of liberal progressives who tell you you’re a victim…be a victor!