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  1. Hi, Travis;

    What a fascinating comment! Thank you so much for replying to my posting. I’m not entirely sure where to start answering your questions, especially since this is a subject I’ve started delving into only relatively recently. I suppose the first thing I should note is that this particular posting is mostly a book review with a few of my passing thoughts tacked on. If this subject interests you — and from your strong but also thoughtful response I’m guessing it does — then I would encourage you to read the book yourself, so you aren’t seeing it through my personal lens, and can draw your own conclusions.

    To be honest, I am nowhere near the “lower levels” of the food chain; I am a very privileged individual in that I was raised upper-middle-class white, and I currently live in a very well-to-do household. I’ve also been fortunate enough to have access to extremely good educational opportunities and health care throughout almost my entire life. However, I’ve also lived in foreign countries, which I think made it easier to see my native culture as well as theirs a bit more objectively, and to thus be able to see the unfairness built into the system. Of course, that is a characteristic of all societies — not just here in the US.

    I quite agree with you that communities must be built on both labor as well as reciprocity, and if I gave any other impression then that is the fault of my (slightly rambling) writing, and as far as I can tell is certainly not the authors’ intent. I’m afraid I have to agree to disagree with your assessment that everyone has an equal shot, however. If we did, then surely the numbers of women and minorities in the halls of power would roughly equal their statistical percentage within the population, right? But they don’t.

    In California, as an example I’m familiar with due to living here, women are 50.4% of the population, while Latinos make up about a third of CA adults; there will be, of course, some overlap in those two categories. That would indicate that half of the legislature should be female, and a third should be Latino. However, women make up only 28.3% of the CA legislature. Further, we have 53 members of Congress, but only 8 of them are Latino. Governor Jerry Brown, and both of California’s senators, are all white men. Considering the passions excited in local politics that I’ve seen, this imbalance of numbers can’t all be due to, say, a lack of fieriness. ;)

    You ask me if I would “encourage minorities and women to acheive sucess without it being the white mans fault?” I’d love to; truthfully, I don’t think everything is a homogenous “white man’s fault.” It’s more that this system was originally put in place by wealthy white land-owning men, and consequently it is subtly prejudiced to continue benefiting them over everyone else. As an example, I know plenty of very nice white men who are dear friends of long standing, and also I know this system damages those in power as well as those who are in poverty and cannot escape it. I guess, if you’ll let me get all idealistic here for a moment, what I’d truly like is to awaken everyone in the US (not just women or minorities or white men) to what a rigged system we’re living in, so we could all change it together to something fairer and better — and that people in other countries could do the same for their homes, as necessary.

    I hope that answers your questions, but please feel free to ask again if I’ve missed anything. Thanks again for your interesting post!

  2. So i am the top of the chain in social inequality? It seems like you are lashing out from the “lower levels” of the food chain. People take postitions in society and everyone has an equal shot honestly.Our public school systems and government are set up to ram people through college with underwater basket weaving degrees. We need to be teaching shop class in high school. Community is also about work and labor as well. To bad about the idea of the society that will help each other and provide free services. Including healthcare. Somebody is always being paid. MAke sure of that. The best thing I do in society is be myself and take advantage of my freedoms that I was born with. I can do anything I need to do because I simply can. You should be encouraging people to come out from the lower ranks by reminding them of their freedoms and opportunities. Not set backs for their unfortunante circumstances or skin color. That can be a attribute now days anyhow. I think what America might need is a lot of fiery young men and women to promote economic independence, diversity, and competition. People, especially minorities, can now more than ever do whatever it is they please in life. Oh and when it comes to economics money is a represented piece of paper that represents thanks for services.Nothing is solid anymore.I like your article and Its no doubt you are amazing. But for once can you encourage minorities and women to acheive sucess without it being the white mans fault? That is a hugh generalization with an article so particular and well thought out. I love you.

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