Beverly: "No. I'm just saying it's quite clear to the rest of us which kind of person you are when you try. In ways you probably wouldn't be able to recognize if we made an actual chart. It's not your fault, but it isn't your problem, either."
Robert: "This hurts my feelings."
Beverly: "Seriously, don't even. It's not about you, it's a design flaw in the system. Talking about it isn't being mean, it's being accurate. If you could stop being offended for a second you'd realize it's about being aware, not being ashamed. It's not your fault you were born white and rich, any more than I did something wrong to be born black and female. But by the same token, it's not your accomplishment. When we compare notes, you're going to see how hard you worked to get where you are, because that is what every person on earth does. And then to acknowledge your institutional advantages would make it seem like you worked less or earned less of what you have, which then mutates into me seeming to accuse you of those things just by existing, which is awful for us both. So it's mentally easier to just zero out the columns and say we both started from the same place. Even though there's no shame in admitting that we didn't."
Robert: "Why don't we talk about this stuff on this show? I mean it's like this show was consciously formulated in order for these issues to be aired."
Beverly: "Yeah. You'd think. And then you look at the credits and it makes sense."
I think all the problems of our country right now could be solved, I honestly do, if there were a way to talk about this stuff without people feeling like they're being called assholes. But there kind of isn't. The concept of privilege, used correctly, does that -- but the Internet is full of people who either don't understand it or use it incorrectly to call people racist or misogynist without technically doing so. So how about this.
You take a class of ten fourth-graders and give them all envelopes. In nine of them is a dollar bill. In the other one is 91 bucks. Before they open them -- and this is key -- you look those kids in the eye and tell them that their entire worth on this planet, their self-image, their desires and their triumphs, are based entirely on what's in the envelope. Open 'em up and start a lemonade stand. Guess which one's going to make money, even if they all work exactly the same amount of overtime? And maybe there's one Dollar Kid who works one hundred times harder than everybody else including Topside Kid or maybe there's one kid who just plain gets lucky, and the Topside Kid can point to that guy and say, "We all have the chance to make it and that is America."