Seven years ago at the White House, Lin-Manuel performed what would become the first song of Hamilton, later to win 11 Tony awards.
The crowd thought a musical about Alexander Hamilton was a joke, writes Andy Smarick on The 74. Miranda, the son of Puerto Rican immigrants, persisted with “Hamilton-esque doggedness.”
Traditionally, struggle and success have been paired, writes Smarick.
Whether the American Dream, bootstrapping, Horatio Alger-ism, or Frederick Jackson Turner’s “frontier thesis,” our story was that anyone willing to tirelessly strive had access to endless possibilities.
I believe the “privilege” lens can be like a candle used for illumination: It reveals dark corners, helping us see the meaningful advantages and disadvantages people possess through no credit or fault of their own. But the privilege candle can also be used for arson, to burn down what others have built through labor. By attributing too much of one’s success to luck, it can diminish her effort and sacrifice. Worse, it can undermine our collective interest in inculcating in our students values (like conscientiousness, verve, and determination) that lead to individual, community, and national flourishing.
If kids are taught they’re victims, they won’t try very hard — what’s the point? — or go very far.