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  • Dustin Lucas

Definitely Behind the Eight Ball

Hello Everyone! If there is one thing the modern-day invention called the internet has given us, it is certainly one thing; access. We as global citizens now more than any time have more access to information, instantaneous information than any time in human history. And from this, stems a feeding frenzy for a media in search of the biggest stories that grab the largest percentage of the populous’ attention at that given moment. Chances are if you are doing something grossly wrong…you are going to get caught.

This is evident in the Age of Trump and the now thousands of scandalous stories that have appeared involving the president, all of which seem to have truthful evidence in some way that demonstrate that at the very least, the Trump Organization was up to some shady doo-doo. Notice how there has not been one lawsuit siting liable. Which is why I was not shocked to see the story of powerful, rich, celebrities indicted on charges of bribing some of our country’s greatest education institutions as the scandal of the week. Rather, I was surprised that this was a story at all. Newsflash, the rich and powerful at best use their money and power to the maximum benefit of themselves, giving themselves a constant leg up in every facet of society. And at worst, they use these blessings immorally, harming others in the process. Most of the time, these individuals and families simply cannot help themselves. There is simply always a story of moral compromise amongst the human race.

While there is a lot to fathom and discuss concerning this situation, such as will any of these rich bozos spend any time in jail. Newsflash: probably not, unless any one was a person of color. No, the singular question is what can we, the public do about this? First, while it is frustrating to admit, we must admit there is simply nothing we can do about the people themselves. The rich will continue to get richer and do morally ambiguous things. This is how the rich stay rich. While we are thinking about how to avoid paying bank fees in this country, the rich are trying to figure out which over-seas bank account allows for the most financial and legal protection against the IRS and federal government. But, do not get dismayed. To me, this represents an opportunity to get motivated, as being more in the know about this issue, allows us to formulate a constructive plan of action to equalize the scales. Here are a few suggestions to combat the filthy rich and their attempt to control everything.

1. Be engaged, ALWAYS! Remember, you are behind the eight ball. The key to getting in front of the eight ball is to be educated, informed, prepared, and have an acumen to be effectively proactive and engaged in all of the rigors of life. Whether it is educational, civic, career, or life decisions, one must not take the hands off of the wheels and feel out of control at any moment. The key is being in the know, in control, and ahead when it comes to critically thinking and making important decisions about anything in life. Otherwise, you will find yourselves feeling lost or directionless or worse, not caring at all about these types of stories in the media. For the record, it absolutely affects you and you should.

2. Use the power of voting. While this seems like a cliché’, know that the power to vote, according to Civil Rights icon and Congressman John Lewis, is a sacred one, one that is consistently ignored or taken for granted by fifty percent of this country. It is a power that gives a voice to the public, holding our leaders accountable. While these rich celebrities are being held accountable for now, chances are they will escape serious punishment and do something like this again. But, what about the leaders of the institutions? Should they suffer as well? ABSOLUTELY. The idea that these institutions were completely duped is a joke, and frankly doesn’t lend itself very well to the idea that the finest of education, the best and brightest minds in the world were really naïve and dumb concerning bribery and their schools. Has this been happening for years at these institutions. Yes! The only thing that is different is the public now knows about these egregious acts. Therefore, use this new knowledge by demanding change at the institutional, community, state, and federal level. It is time to make changes to this system, and this is the kind of catalyst that is needed to make change.

3. Use everything to your advantage. Just as the rich and powerful use their stature to theirs, you should use every possible angle to get ahead of the curve. Finances, ethnicity, race, sexual identity, age, stature, and who you know should all be employed and used to get ahead in all areas of life. To not do so, is to give in to the rich and powerful. Newsflash: these people want to control everything, and will use any tactic to do so. Therefore, use everything you have at your disposal to balance the scales.

4. Make smart decisions and always obey the law. I know these concepts seem like no brainers but as they go hand in hand with each other, the consequences of not doing so is far different from wealthy people that also act stupidly and break the law. Meaning justice is not racially or financially colorblind or equal. Lying for white collar crime is not the same as lying for blue collar crime. Breaking the law as a white person is different than breaking the law as a person of color. The privileged receive the best defense and protection against societal attempts at being held accountable for wrong doing, while the poor receive Saul Goodman. And then there are educational, career, and life decisions that carry far differing weights of consequence when a bad choice or decision is made. You choose to be a history major; they choose to go into finance. You choose to not a have a career and work jobs. They choose to go all the way to CEO or beyond. You choose to get in loads of debt, live a poor lifestyle, and move to a rich city like New York. They choose to be a millionaire by 25, run the New York marathon, and live in the same middle class, 2000 square foot house in Omaha, Nebraska for fifty years. Even when the choices are identical, for example health choices amongst a person of privilege versus a person of lesser opportunity, the person of privilege has access to more options and resources while the person of lesser opportunity has limited to no options and resources to combat serious illness or injury.  This is the hard truth of life in this country today.  A truth that says that 400 Americans have more collective wealth than 150 million other people living across this nation.  So unfortunately, you HAVE to be smarter and wiser than they are, always living a good, decent and moral life, making smart, critically informed, soundly tested decisions. Otherwise, you will continually be behind the eight ball in the game of life, a game they are consistently winning. 

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