How To...Stick it to the Man
Here I am looking oh-so-smart.
You have probably assessed from this photo that I am a really smart cookie. I mean like, totally smart...Err. Well. Okay, I'm not super smart. But, once I did get invited to join the National Honor Society. What did I do? Like a good Norma Rae, I stuck it to the man. Here is the post on :
How to...Stick It To The Man
1. Identify 'the man'.
For me I was able to identify 'the man' one day at the beginning of my senior year in high school. I was invited to join the National Honor Society. It was probably a fluke clerical error. I'm not being modest, it was really most likely a clerical error. When I got the letter in the envelope I was beyond elated. This feeling of shock and awe was then preceded by the question every 17 year old asks themselves. "Does this in any way conflict with my convictions and values?"
2. Get way too worked up. Overreact!
It did not take me long to determine that the National Honor Society was in grave conflict with my beliefs. It was quite distressing actually. I knew that it is a good thing to have on my college application. I could apply for scholarships...but, no. Not I! I would be the one 17 year old high school student to throw my fist in the air and demand change. Stop the injustice that the Honors Society helps promote!
Rich kids don't have to work, they aren't responsible for feeding and putting to bed their younger siblings while their single mom works her night shift. Children from poor families have to work jobs after school and that takes away from their study time. Plus, they can't afford tutors and study aids like children from wealthy families.
This means that it is more likely a rich kid will be able to maintain higher grades and therefore be invited into the NHS. Any high school student knows that being a part of the NHS is a really big advantage for college applications and scholarships. We can then assume that the rich kid will have a leg up over the poor kid thanks to the NHS. They will be more likely to get accepted into college and receive financial assistance (really, do they need it?). This system clearly favors wealthy families over poor families! Then the rich college grad kid gets the better job and the poor kid works for him. Is this even America people?!?!!? Is the NHS Constitutional??? ( this is the overreacting part)
It still amazes me that the NAACP hasn't gotten into this issue...
3. Tell 'the man' to his face that he is evil.
Well, I promptly wrote a formal letter to the National Honor Society headquarters telling them that I could NOT accept their invitation. I informed them that I could not be party to an organization that discriminates based on socio-economic status and in turn adds fuel to the cycle of poverty. I have morals and I have values. I am sure that this profound and insightful letter sent the headquarters into a tail-spin. It's an amazement that they even recovered from it...
Next, I told the NHS sponsor teacher at my high school what I had decided about the organization as a whole and that I felt it was unethical for her to support such a group.
To top it off, I tried to convince the NHS chapter at Midway High School to band together as students in order to boycott the Society. Together our voices would be heard. Sure, we won't get college scholarships, but this is humanity we are fighting for! My insight into class struggle was lost on them as well...
For the record, I did in fact do all the things listed above. Mom, Dad...I'm not sure if I ever told you this...I doubt it will surprise you though. We can't fight ever battle in life. But, some days you need to write your congressman. And some days you need to Stick It To The Man.