A group of my son's friends who are on a "road trip to nowhere in particular" visited briefly this afternoon to say "hi" -- and perhaps also knowing that by doing so they'd get a good meal and libations without having to "pony up" for a posh brunch LOL -- seeing as their travels were taking them past D.C. Part of our conversation involved the matter of the equality of opportunity among the citizenry of the U.S. That part of the conversation included the following soliloquy [summarized, of course, for I didn't record the conversation so I could quote it accurately]: The phenomenon is and isn't a matter of race. It isn't a matter of race to the extent that one observes in certain isolated communities that economic success -- reaching middle or upper middle wealth levels -- continues to escape people who have centuries long family histories of being poor, poorly educated and inaptly motivated re: innovativeness. It is a matter of race in that the U.S. has been a nation whereby because of their race, an entire segment of society was forced to be poor, poorly educated and, no matter their motivation and innovative will, denied the ability to act on it, instead having to consign themselves to innovating ways to merely not get killed, lynched or something similar. To the extent that women are disadvantaged, it's a matter of sex, which is something one can see from the quantity of women, which is something around 25 or so, who head Fortune 500 companies and in the lower pay given to women, yet women comprise about half of the population. If one wants to live what folks like you and I would call "a hard life," that's on them. If one doesn't want to live "a hard life" and one is forced -- by law and by the custom of the dominant segment of society -- to do so, that's not on them. Take you for example. Your ancestors came to this country with resources and parlayed them into thriving business. They used the income from that to educate their kids who in turn pursued successful business or professional careers. That cycle has continued unabated -- even after being on the losing side of the Civil War -- for over two hundred years. No, you're not living on a trust established some 200 or more years ago and even today provides for a very luxurious existence. You've still had to do something with yourself to be where you are, but you faced no limits on your doing something with yourself. But without the "leg up" you got from your ancestors, you'd have had a much harder way to go. Where would be your situation today were you descended from people who, until comparatively recently, were denied the opportunity to even own property, to learn to read let alone go to the best schools or even typical schools, and so on? Maybe you would be among the upper middle class or upper class, but most likely you would not. That didn't come from me, but it could have. That was one of my guests addressing another of them. Now, like the kid the woman address, I happen to have been, in a manner of speaking, "to the manor born." I'm not ashamed of that, and I'm also not in denial about the advantages that provided me. Naturally, not everyone was born with as much a "leg up" as I, but that's not the point. Everyone who was born with some "leg up" dissembles when they deny their advantages. The fact is that some of those advantages make a material difference and some of them don't. For instance, almost everyone who's achieved economic success (upper middle or higher wealth) did so from contemporary beginnings less well positioned. On the other hand, being born minority or female matters a lot and is essentially unalterable. and to think that was/is not a burden is to deny the reality of America. It's, IMO, reprehensible to decry efforts to correct the nature of the nation so that those two statuses are not, ASAP, no burden, no disadvantage, at all.