Entitlement Chickens Coming Home to Roost

Occasionally, something happens that causes outrage to those who seldom have reason to be angry. It’s the sort of outrage that Others (I do mean to have the word capitalized) feel on a regular basis.

Recently, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that one of the 181 private streets in San Francisco was sold, and the sale of that street has the residents of that enclave in an uproar. However, the uproar is a common occurrence when it happens to Others. I suspect it’s not felt often by the type of people who reside in exclusive enclaves of entitlement, but the reasons why are dissimilar.

Throughout American history, the opportunity for Others to be self-sufficient communities within the United States were denied, or retarded by laws specifically designed to maintain the order this country had since its inception. Redlining in northern cities, Jim Crow laws in the south, ordinances that prevented Chinese immigrants (willing or otherwise) who chose to stay after building the railroads out west from opening businesses, are examples of the American system hindering Others from enjoying the opportunities available to entitled, privileged people. It sadly continues to this day. This, understandably, causes outrage in many Others, and why collectively we should put an end to this inequity. But the reason why this case is causing such an angry response from the residents of this particular street is dripping with irony.

There are many Americans, most of them entitled and privileged, who feel Others bring burdens upon themselves because they fail to assimilate, don’t have a basic understanding of American rules, or are just plain lazy to take advantage of the opportunities available to them. The sale of this street came about because the homeowners association for this private enclave failed to pay a $14 per year tax bill for about thirty years. Since it went unpaid, the street went up for auction and an Other prevailed. The laws in place allowed this sale to occur, and the people who live there are angry about it.

In this instance, I’m pleased to see that entitled people get a sample of what it’s like to be an Other; that’s the empath in me. But I am savoring the schadenfreude of this event.


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