Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Who Gets Second Chances in the US

Eliot Spitzer, once shamed into retiring from his position as Governor of New York due to a prostitution scandal, is valiantly returning to co-host a primetime CNN program with Kathleen Parker. I am a fan of giving people second (and third and fourth. . .) chances. Nonetheless, I am always struck by the way in which our society distributes second chances and how social privileges allow people to land well after a fall. I wonder where the "prostitute" is today.


Jim said...

She's writing an occasional advice column for the NY Post:

She also is running some sort of lifestyle blog with a friend, which I can't find a link to at the moment.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Jim: A friend pointed that out to me. I guess having slept with a famous person provides the opportunity to blog!

Aspasia said...

The only reason she was given that chance is because she was "repentant". If she wasn't, and if she showed pride in being an escort? Yeah, she wouldn't be given a column even if it is in a shitty rag like the NY Post.

Hippi Chicki Niki said...

Even where she is today is much more forgiving than the lack of second chances others are given. For example, an ex-con wrongly convicted who, regardless of intelligence, moral character and other positive characteristics will always be struggling for employment and a second chance. There are even worse examples like my in-laws who were financially secure and both had graduate degrees prior to the war in Yugoslavia. They came here and were faced with frequent rejection for employment because of their accents.

Honestly, the treatment thy got is better than what we give some of our own citizens. Just look up the research published by University of Chicago & Boston University professors in 2003 on the disparity between how employers respond to resumes with Black-sounding names and those with traditional English-American-sounding names. That's not even giving a first chance because of something done by your parents before you could even make decisions.

I believe posts like this one and the issue last year with the Harvard professor being arrested are teachable moments we should use to go against the taboo on discussing race and race-related issues. Our failure to discuss how both sides see things and the differences in experiences serve to only further misunderstandings and stereotypes. The only effective thing to get rid of stereotypes is accurate information.

Sorry, going to retire my soapbox for the night and find something non-preachy to do. : /

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