This is what entitlement looks like. Let’s look up the definition: the state or condition of being entitled to benefits. Oftentimes, those who live in the upper class don’t want to acknowledge the monetary gap and call those who are poor entitled because they want access to food stamps and free healthcare. They feel they can espouse these ‘truths’ because they THINK they have worked hard to reach where they are and don’t understand how others can’t reach their same level, even if they never spent a day working and were born into their riches. This man is actually a slumlord and lied to get a 45 million-dollar loan. He then passes this sense of entitlement on to his son, who goes on to berate an Uber driver based on the fact that he is rich and the driver is not. Why? Because it fosters their beliefs that they are entitled to their monetary gains and social status. Because of their social status, they are granted entry into prestigious institutions and private clubs. Because they are granted entry, they then feel a certain elitism and deride the poor for being poor.
This provides for class warfare, where the poor are made to believe they just need to work harder to achieve the status of their compatriots, never realizing these very people were given breaks to reach where they are. In this case, this man completely fabricated his earnings to receive benefits he wasn’t entitled to, and yet a blue-collar worker is told to ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps.’ This is a double trap for poverty-stricken minorities, because they then are questioned as to why they can’t overcome being poor and being a minority to reach the status of the elite. It divides the class war into a race war and those who are entitled to white privileges do not understand what privileges they live with everyday to maintain their status.
What is white privilege? You can see the divide between the classes, but some who are white cannot see their privilege. This is because they are already benefiting from them and take it for granted. If they were to see it from a minority point of view, they will see that they are not the norm. When you are the minority, people question if you are really American, if you speak English, and why you are at a predominantly white establishment. You get stares and questions that constantly remind you that you do not belong. Band-Aids are skin-colored, but are they made for Black people? If you are white, you probably never had to think about that because they were simply Band-Aids. And you might think that these are minor points, but soon enough, all these minor points add up and it becomes major issues that bar minorities from higher education and possible careers.
How do you fix such a system? We can start by acknowledging that such a system exists and can be fixed. Those who hold money and power will continue to feed lies to the lower classes to have them believe they need to work harder so they won’t revolt and begrudge them their riches. They will also divide the lower classes into races so they will fight among themselves. When the poorest of the poor are denied access to basic necessities, none of us prosper. When we learn that we can only benefit from helping the neediest of our society, will we grow as a people. If everyone is given access and education, they will find cures that we never thought of because their potentials will finally be released. There is a revolution coming and those who fear it will do anything to stop change, but change is about ideas and not about tearing down physical walls. When you tear down mental barriers, everything else will come crashing down.