News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Mar. 22, 2019: Anyone who does not understand the real purpose of our college “system,” why it is structured the way it is, deserves an Idiot Award. Want to win?
Do you deserve an Idiot Award? I don’t know but …
You will know by the end of this week’s episode.
American colleges – specific to this episode – provide two essential functions: 1) education, and 2) privilege. A far better educational system relevant to the 21st century would benefit both individual Americans and as much our nation and society now and for the future, far more than it does.
The PROBLEM is that such an improvement would undermine its other core “equally” (sic) important purpose – protecting the American elites – meaning the rich and/or powerful. The American educational system, and most of all our colleges and universities, are carefully structured to maintain the Status Quo.
This is a fundamental issue but has been highlighted in recent days by just how excessive and extreme and CORRUPT privilege generally is and so, so well identified and practiced by our colleges and universities.
You might have expected the candidates, specifically all the Democratic candidates for President, to be all over the recent college admissions scandal. I don’t because I am not Stupid. I hope my readers are not. Please!
The lack of outrage among the candidates is based on two factors. Most of them, their children, and friends and colleagues are all beneficiaries of the higher education system that rewards and reinforces privilege. You don’t expect them to expose themselves as members of the Elites do you?
Just as important for them in not speaking out forcefully about this scandal is how much of their support is dependent on those who benefit the most from a higher education system based on privilege. So hey, don’t knock it.
Everyone needs to play the delusion game that they and their children, and colleagues and friends, all attended and graduated from the best colleges and universities because they are simply smarter and better than others.
Another essential part of the “system” is that all colleges and universities are ranked from the best and down from there. Status and privilege, must be highly structured in ways that are readily acknowledged, understood and accepted by mostly everyone, including its many victims.
This of course brings me to the best of the best, known collectively as the Ivy League Colleges, with Harvard, Yale and Princeton at the absolute pinnacle. Degrees from these universities are considered priceless and logically (sic) why they cost so much to attend. They separate the richest and most powerful from most of the rest of us. Yes, they admit a few of us for Good PR.
So Harvard, Yale and Princeton are at the very top of the American education pyramid but it is highly structured all the way from top to bottom. Just below the Ivys, for example, are the likes of Duke and Notre Dame, to just mention two. They get you or your children’s ticket PUNCHED even if not quite as well as Harvard, Yale or Princeton, and so it goes level after level until you reach the bottom with the likes of the College of Youngstown, Ohio or the University of Scranton and others even more invisible.
SORRY – your ticket does not get punched. Go to the back of the line.
What??? Am I implying students don’t get a better education at Harvard than at the University of Scranton? That they are just there to get their ticket to the elite few of privilege PUNCHED. NO I am not …
Yes, indeed the most brilliant minds in every field of human endeavor are to be found at Harvard, Princeton and Yale. All the best facilities and equipment and anything else money can buy. Their students get a stellar education those who care enough and don’t just want their ticket punched.
What this is, is just one more sinister part of the process. The rich and/or powerful give their offspring the best education on Earth which further separates the elites from the struggling masses who get lesser educations.
Yes, most Americans struggle all their life who are not rich and/or powerful.
I know so far I have not spent any time on the admissions scandal at all. Hello! That is because it is not the real issue. It is just a convenient reason for me to use this episode to explore the purpose and failures of education.
Of course, the United States benefits from our educational system. In some ways the best in the world still but that in no way negates how much better it should be or its sinister parallel purpose to promote inequality and privilege.
As with so many other key issues within our society there will never be a perfect solution. Inherent in human existence will always be those who have more than others. Those who benefit more than others. But the real issue for all of us certainly the rest of us is just how unfair the system is and is it getter better or worse. And what can we do to improve the lot of the many.
What these so -alled movie stars, major corporate types, college officials and all the many others involved in this recent criminal conspiracy to get their children and those of others into the best colleges not only by employing the privilege they and their children already have that gives them a very big advantage. That was not good enough they wanted absolute certainty. And the system is so corrupt they could buy their children admission into many elite colleges simply by writing a big enough check.
Keep in mind it was only an unexpected coincidence that uncovered this ring of college thievery which had been operating for years. Otherwise it might have gone on for many years more and grown even much larger.
By the way does anyone believe or is anyone so naive – I hope not my readers – to believe this is an isolated matter that other comparable schemes are not always flourishing. This is just the tip of very dirty iceberg.
Many other practices are not as blatantly criminally illegal but just as unethical in their purpose. My favorite is blatantly UN-Constitutional but the Courts look away because judges and their children benefit enormously from the alumni “advantage.”
They are called “legacy” applicants. A term to white wash and I do mean WHITE wash what should be called PRIVILEGED applicants.
The well-known institutionalized practice of children and grandchildren and other close relatives of past graduates of a college especially the Elite Colleges given extra “points” on their college application for the privilege of being born to a graduate. Even many more points if born to a very rich “generous” graduate. This practice is not part of the criminal conspiracy.
SURPRISE did you know in recent years that 34% “legacy” applicants were admitted to Harvard. And that about 1% of all other applicants got admitted. Do you think these “legacy” students were better qualified as if by magic than all the other brilliant teenagers from everywhere who apply to Harvard.
Let me also give Yale a shout out. Twice as many Yale students come from the 5% richest American families that the less rich 50% of Americans.
If you are surprised so far congratulations, you just won The Idiot Award.
So what is the alternative? Americans are clamoring to know …
That is why I am here to tell you. Begin by admitting how much an unfair society and educational system we have. OURS screws the vast majority of Americans. Stop kneeling to privilege. Demand government’s number one priority must be reducing inequality and privilege in every decision it makes.
Understand America’s future, our future, depends on a better America.
(This series dedicated in honor of the late Liu Xiaobo & Jamal Khashoggi)