I’M JUST CURIOUS: The $100 race

by Debbie Walker

My son-in-law shared a four-minute video with me this past week. The title of it is Life of Privilege Explained in a $100.00 Race. In fact, if you would like to view it on computer just type in the title in your search bar.

The premise behind this race appears to be someone invites (?) these college students to run a race for $100. There is a coach/facilitator who first has a few questions about their background. Before the actual race begins, he has them take a step or two forward depending on the answer about their backgrounds.

There are some who appear to get quite far ahead by stepping to: Take two steps forward if you grew up with both parents in the home. Take two steps if you didn’t get help getting financing school on a sport scholarship. As more questions are asked some stay where they are, and some get quite a head start. At the end of his questions he had the front runner participants turn around to view where the others are behind them. I quote the facilitator here: “We don’t want to recognize that we have….It’s only because you have this big of a head start that you’re possibly going to win this race called ‘Life’.”

As I am watching the video, I am thinking about my first impressions. The facilitator is asking question after question, the people who had what could also be called “advantages” are taking all the steps.

When he had the ‘forward’ steppers turn to look behind them, he also pointed out that the results at this point are only due to what their parents have been able to accomplish, nothing due to themselves.

He also made the comment that if this was a real foot race he believed,”some of those black guys in the back line could have still smoked you.” Also, the reference to a sports scholarship, I wasn’t crazy about either comment. I am not convinced it was necessary.

Giving credit to a past instructor I had in what was a class on critical thinking, there are a few questions I would have to ask. I would want to know who sponsored the race? How were the participants chosen? What were the ages and health of those that were chosen? I am not sure what was the reason for the ‘race’. I’m not nosey. I am just curious.

The short little video’s meaning can be just to point out the differences in students in a college program, to help them understand they are not there due to their own work of bringing in the grades needed to progress or to support some of the contestants in discovering their lack of parental support. I really don’t know for sure, but I know it certainly gave me things to think about and more questions.

Just because I like to point out that not all students are going to benefit in a college degree, I am adding this info that follows: Many people have begun to realize college isn’t for everyone. There are many careers that don’t require college but vocational school certificate. I believe there are still some careers that require apprenticeship training. Just saying….

I am just curious what your opinion of the video would be. Let me know. Contact me at DebbieWalker@townline.org with your comments. Thanks for reading.


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