The New York Times

Stop Apologizing for Being Elite

THE ENERGY THAT ELITES SPEND BEING ASHAMED OF THEIR ADVANTAGES WOULD BE BETTER SPENT SHARING THE FRUITS OF THOSE ADVANTAGES.

A framed eighth-grade diploma, dated June 19, 1913, hangs on the wall opposite my computer. It belonged to my grandmother, Minnie Rothenhoefer, one of eight children in a German immigrant family, who was forced to quit school at age 14 after her alcoholic father abandoned his family. Her first job was picking onions and her greatest regret — she lived to age 99 — was that she never attended high school. “But there’s no excuse for ignorance when you can go right down to the public library,” she often said.

Gran has been in my thoughts even more than usual this year, because

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