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Spare us the Hubris, Mr. Friedman

NOTE: this is a reader reply to Thomas Friedman's ugly, hubris-filled column Average is Over. Actually, many of the reader comments are far better than the column. Admittedly, one doesn't have to be above average to be better than a Friedman column.

I just can't bring myself to paste in the column itself.

GailB Indiana
This is worse than Lake Wobegon: Mr. Friedman, it's impossible for all American people to be above average. I suggest you stop theorizing and spend some time--say, several weeks--with the "below average" students in an average (i.e. below average) American inner city high school. Spend time with the one-third of students who are having so much trouble with high school that they drop out.

What are they supposed to do--drop dead with embarrassment?

These kids have tons of potential but it's never never going to be the case that they get enough social and economic resources to overcome the hand they've been dealt. At least, not during my lifetime. These kids have no future, and no chance because they are born with few resources, and get even fewer to allow them to succeed by the time they get to high school.

And if you don't believe me, seriously, start mentoring a couple of low-performing students at one of America's thousands of low-performing high school. Get to know them, over the course of two or three years. You'll see.

The upshot of what you're arguing here, is that the lower half (below-average) group of American citizens have been simply abandoned by the decision makers and economic movers and shakers in our society. And this is sinful, and a shame.

— GailB Indiana
New York Times





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