Nearly two years ago, I wrote about how Obama ushered in the age of reality leadership. Reality leadership is accepting what is and then impressing upon people that it’s the best we can do. Sometimes it’s the “new normal.” Other times, it’s “sacrificing” or “considering others.”
Leftists were all impressed with Obama because he would “tell it like it is.” He wouldn’t sugar coat or talk about things that aren’t true. He would analyze the worst in every situation, tell us what was really going on, and then go on to accept it.
I thought of this post when I just saw an ad during one of the weekend’s NFL playoff games. It’s an ad from the partnership between the NFL and Per Scholas. In it, there are various black people talking about the inequality of it all.
They cut from one person to another as they talk about the state of the world. About :10 seconds in, it cuts to a kid who says this:
“When I get a job, I’ll make $10,000 less than white people with the same skills.”
What responsible adult would say this to an aspiring child, much less sit back and just let them believe it. It’s criminal.
First off, averages are just averages. I have no idea what study he’s referring to when he says this, but whatever the real averages, that does not dictate what job he gets or what he will earn. He needs to be taught to dream big, aim high, do the best he can, and see what happens.
I’ve been in the workforce long enough to know there are some incompetent people making some huge salaries, while there are some amazing people barely keeping it together.
Which brings me to the second part: there’s no such thing as “same skills.” The entire notion that there are two people with equal skills and experience shooting for the same job is ridiculous and unreal because there are no two people with equal skills and experience.
We all come from different backgrounds. Therefore, we all have different perspectives. When we’re learning, we all pick up on some lessons while losing various nuances along the way. I think it’s sinister when people set up their story problem by suggesting there are two people with the same anything.
When people get jobs, their salaries can be all over the map. Some people get hired in good economic times. Some in bad. Some get hired when the company is desperate, others when the needs aren’t so great. Some people get hired and negotiate well, while others just take the first offer they’re given. And on, and on, and on…
The kid in the Per Scholas commercial is already defeated before he begins. He already believes the deck is stacked against him and whatever he makes will be unfair. He already believes whatever he makes is $10,000 less than some fictional white person somewhere.
This is where reality leadership gets you. Complacency.
I also wrote a while ago that when Obama purchased that 30 minutes during the 2008 election to talk about how bad it is for everyone, he could have spent that time talking about how best to get a job in a bad economy and what people can do to help themselves.
Our leaders can either inspire us to do things we don’t thing we’re capable of doing, or they can give us excuses to sit back and lament.
Leftists seem to enjoy making excuses for why they can’t achieve or work hard, while conservatives believe everyone is capable of more than they know.
Yet, somehow, aspirational leadership is off-putting to many. Go figure.