The Rich Man's Burden (satire)

Posted by Donovan B. Michigan
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My piece is a satire that details the inequity in educational opportunity in America.

Hello, my name is William Lawrence, I am a 16 year old from Grand Hills Village and go to Ligma High School. I live with both my parents in a decent sized house, looking out at Lake Serenity. I’d love to tell you all about myself, and everything I have, but to really get to know me, you have to let me take you through my daily routine. I wake up and roll out of bed. I need a new mattress, the mattress I have has a tendency to slide around on my platform bed. I think I’ll go with tempurpedic, my chiropractor says it’ll be better for my back. I’m not sure, after all, they are just quacks who overcharge for cracking bones. Then I get in the shower, the shower is always so sensitive and is usually way too hot when I first step in, I guess that's what we get for having two water heaters. Then I soap up and rinse off. My mom got me this new shampoo it's a premier Swiss brand. It is all natural and organic, but I don't really like it. The scent is not to my tastes, and has been bugging me for a couple weeks. I wish she would just buy me some normal shampoo that smells better. Then I dry off, but sometimes, more often than not, the towels are too fluffy from the dryer and I get lint on me, forcing me to tediously pick the lint off of my body. Then I go downstairs and my mom makes me breakfast. My mom wants me to eat healthy so she makes me eggs and toast. The toast is always all organic 7 grain bread, I hate the bread it's too grainy and tasteless, and the seeds get stuck in my braces. God don’t get me started on my braces. I hate my braces, 3,000 measly dollars to fix an overbite. Then I hop in my car, pick up a coffee from Starbucks, and go to University of Ligma, a private school in Grand Hills Village.

I get to school, I park in the corner of the parking lot I don’t want any of those junker 2010 fords to get too close to my Audi S5, they might scratch it, or even breathe on it and smudge the glass. On Wednesdays I park away from the grass so the stupid gardeners don't scratch my car. I bet those guys wish they got a decent education, and went to college instead of being lazy, and wasting their lives doing crummy looking yard work. It's really not that hard to try in school, and if you don’t have the money for college, get a loan. If you are somewhat competent you can pay it off.

People say that education is fair, and they are correct. That's what the founding fathers had in mind when they created this country. It’s in the Declaration of Independence. Every kid in every school in America has books, so what is stopping them from being as intelligent as I. We all have the same opportunities. Before anyone says anything discrediting me for my private school attendance, my private school doesn't get billions of tax dollars from state and federal funding. My parents pay for my education because they care, and prefer I go to private school, there are no advantages in fact there are only disadvantages due to the absence of federal funding from which public schools benefit.

Of course people can say just a few miles away there are underfunded schools with horrible resources, bad teaching, poverty and, gang activity. So what? If I had a cracked out mom on the couch, and no father I wouldn’t sit around waiting for government handouts. I would go out and learn, so I could go to college and leave. I would get off my rear end and go to the library, and If I could get shot on my way to the library I’d wear a bulletproof vest. That's why they were invented. Furthermore the schools still have books, and they still have computers, so what is stopping those kids from being successful? They have virtually the same opportunity that I have. I would even say they arguably have more opportunity because they have the drive and motivation to get out of that situation, that people from more fortunate beginnings don’t have. There are plenty of students in my school that don’t do well because they have everything given to them and have no drive. That’s the real trap holding students back, not drugs, not poverty, not gangs and definitely not underfunding.

To add the idiocy of the idea that not everyone has equal education opportunity, the notion that gangs, and gang violence inhibits less fortunate students in bad situations is blatantly false. Take the movie “Freedom Writers” for example, sure the kids had horrible lives, and wherever they went gang violence followed, but all it takes for them to get out of that situation is some motivation from one really good, one of a kind teacher, willing to devote their lives to these unfortunate students, and of course hard work. Also isn’t it easier just to not join a gang. I understand the pressure, and the protection if offers, and even the choice of joining or getting beaten to a bloody pulp, but wouldn’t it be a better idea to just ignore all of these pressures, and alert the authorities so they can properly deal with the issues. The authorities are trained for situations involving gangs, so they are the most qualified people to deal with the issue and will have solutions to the problems. The police’s effectiveness in preventing gang activity is shown by Lyndon B Johnson’s war on crime. The authorities now have powerful weapons like M4 carbines to fight gang members and gang activity. This is all due to the Enforcement Assistance act presented to congress March 8, 1965. We should all be grateful that our government is willing to suppress gang violence like this and thanks to the War on Crime and the War on Drugs our country is much safer that it would be without these. The safety provided by these programs enables all students to focus on their studies without interference from gangs. Making the notion of gang activity as an inhibitor ridiculous.

After my typical school day I drive through the slums on my way home. Everytime I pass a homeless person or a broken down home I can’t help but think “you had the same educational opportunity I have, so why aren’t you in this Audi S5?” All I can say is, it is completely their faults for ending up the way they did. They had every opportunity and every choice but, they chose to be homeless, or chose to be poor, or chose to be a drug addict. There are no disparities when it comes to educational opportunity. Everyone can make money you just have to work and overcome the minor issues facing you. Then you can look back and be grateful for the opportunity given to you by this great country.   

Published on Jun 10, 2018
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