Abe Lincoln knew this when he made the reference. A little geek digging will prove that. But who wants to dig when we KNOW that it’s a FINE and ADMIRABLE thing,
Pulling oneself up by one’s own bootstraps.
No, Lincoln says. You end up flat on your back an looking a fool. No one can do it. Problem is, we don’t have bootstraps anymore, so we’ve lost the meaning of the metaphor. Now we really think if we try hard, eat our wheaties, invest in the right dotcoms, at the right dottimes on the right dotchannels, we will raise ourselves up like those fine buildings Ayn Rand is so fond of.
How? By magic? No–magic does not defy the laws of reality. Only purblind witch-hunters believe that silliness. By your own damn power? Try. I dare you. Try without white privelege, oh, it’s there, even for the ones like me who don’t seek it… it’s there every time I walk into a store in tattered shorts and eyes lazily close pay no attention, give a faint smile, but my black neighbor walks into the same store in her Sunday best and every camera and security eye is wide awake upon her waiting for her to slip that lipstick into her bra.
Not fair. I don’t know how to change it. But the least I can do is acknowledge it.
I know what it’s like to have someone standing on your head, oppressing you, stopping you, making you despair from even trying. I know because that feeling is gone now, just now…just an hour or so ago,
and I noted a change. A sea change, I’ve felt coming on for a long time…months…when, Anna, WHEN are you going to change…when I’m ready. When I am ready.
When I am ready.