Is White Privilege more of a problem for Privileged Children than minorities?

If you were born with average intelligence and ability, would you prefer to be part of an affluent family with access to infinite resources, or one in which you had to fight and struggle for access to just about everything?

Simply Malow’s type thinking is that those born with a silver spoon up their butts are far more likely to succeed than those that are born on the wrong side of the tracks.

I fear folks do overlook one critical dimension that inherently comes with the status that you are born into – expectations.

Mike Rowe might suggest that there are ten million artisan jobs in the USA waiting to be filled. If you father was an artisan himself, or your parents had never attended university or even completed school, these jobs would be seen as a significant step-up in your community. Your parents and community would be proud. But what if your parents are doctors or lawyers?

Is this perhaps where the seeds of destruction are usually found in an established community, and not in fact instigated by the really poor?

In the past the nobility passed on the Estate to the first born or most competent of their offspring. What happened to the others that did not inherit the kingdom?

What happens to Prince Andrew or Prince Harry who start off as 2nd in line to inherit the kingdom, and then progressively move further and further down the food chain?

Is the most destructive environment one in which those with ability are frustrated by the resource limitations, or those that have access to amazing privilege but with unrealistic expectations?

Is it therefore possible that White Privilege is seen as a bigger problem for the children of White Liberals than it does for children of ethnic minorities?

To whom much is given, much will be expected. Isn’t that actually a bible line? So I don’t doubt there would be a weight of expectation. It’s “pressure”, but of a different sort than worrying about where your next meal is coming from.

I also don’t know that the weight of privilege would be carried differently among children of white liberals, vs children of successful ethnic minorities.

There’s also the Chinese idiom of “wealth does not persist beyond 3 generations”. This assumes there is no structural way of keeping it in the family, like royalty. Not sure if it’s directly related, but this topic made that phrase pop into mind.

It does seem to hold within our communities as well. The 3rd generation is inevitably a disappointment.
People don’t seem to commit suicide when they are worrying about where their next meal is coming from, but do so in increasing numbers in communities in which they feel that they are a disappointment to everyone around them.

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I think there are probably at least two or three different factors going on here, and that the author’s take is rather superficial, never even trying to define ‘affluent.’ Certainly you are correct, @ThePragmatist , that there are millions of ‘artisan’ jobs waiting to be filled in industries and fields which Ivy League kids would never consider. At the same time we do see some number of children of the elites trying to make it in more glamorous industries, some succeeding, some failing. I had a cousin who worked for the Metropolitan Opera for several decades, in props. It was exciting, high pressure. And then she snapped. Had, as they used to call it, a nervous breakdown. Her family wasn’t really ‘affluent’; he father was an army colonel who had been brilliant as a young officer, and eas expected to make general. Never did, though, as alcohol go thte better of him. But in the meantime he had sent all of his kids to private schools, and high priced colleges, so they were expected to succeed. Two out of four failed badly.

What we do see, then, is that often times the personality traits, the kinds of drives, which lead to success, carry with them dark sides, and the dark sides are passed down from generation to generation even more consistently then the characteristics which being success. Shall we talk about the Kennedys perhaps? But on the whole, growing up poor with a drunk, absentee father leads to fewer good outcomes than growing up rich, with unbalanced, often-absent parents.


Is that true? As far as I can determine it appears that happiness does correlate better with wealth as you would suggest, but not suicide rate. It would appear that if anything it is inversely correlated? Perhaps a better claim is that if you are failing in a community in which others appear to be succeeding, then suicide rates go up. For that to happen, you have to be in a community with the appearance of some level of success.

Misery has one thing going for it - company.

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Or maybe not. We had a niece who hanged herself from a tree outside her parents’ bedroom window. About age 21. My Brother-in-law is an independent businessman, in a semi-rural county, respected enough within his community. Rather than sign up for an ‘exchange plan’ under Affordable Care act, he had paid whatever penalty there might be, and barters in various forms over medical expenses. But the daughter had ‘low self esteemed’, and was ‘bullied’ on social media (let’s not go down that rabbit hole as a possible complicating factor) and perhaps elsewhere. Leaving a bad relationship, her father brought her home from where she had been living, but two nights later she was dead. Bottom line is she would not have had a lot of access to ‘counselors.’ Children of the wealthy burn a lot of dollars on counseling, and they are newsworthy when they kill themselves. A high school classmate of one my my children, maybe in his third year in college, his family conservative in their religious orientation, he a short-statured but very nice kid. drove his car to a bridge over a big valley, and jumped off. These cases don’t make the news, beyond the local community.

ANd back to your suggest, ‘misery loves company’, that is certainly true of a lot of kinds of misery and a lot of companies. But the suicide often occurs when the belief is that there is no company left.

I think we are on the same page. Perhaps I should have rephrased my comment. Misery has to have company, otherwise one tends not to survive. Social media as you suggest aggravates the concept that others are doing much better than you are, and further isolates you. Hence my contention, is that folks who perceive themselves in a community where everyone appears to be doing better than them, is the problem.