The Meritocracy of Race

Or being lucky to be white

2 min readMay 29, 2021


Allow me to point out or call out — because we must, one of those “false narratives” that culminates quite well into discrimination and thus racism.

Our society not only insists but indefatigably indoctinates us and the world into believing in the false and easily discredited notion of meritocracy. You will quickly see where I am going with this.

Not only must we conclude that those who have accumulated or inherited vast material wealth have either worked really hard or are simply deserving of what could only be summed up as — when taking on a broader and more holistic view — a string of fortuitous events beginning at birth and location in life.

Couple this with the pseudo identity of race and we have this meritocratic foundational layering that affords the white race in particular the privilege of obtaining a merited default status of their existential selves. One that a non-white person would have to psychologically hurdle over through life as a credit to his or her own race or a model (as in model minority) after the dominant one.

This notion ignores or diminishes the role that luck or randomness plays in all of this. I have often heard such dehumanizing statements that pivot minorities into believing “had they been born white” their condition and thus status in life would be quite different in terms of being relatively better off. This is just as absurd as a white man thinking had he been black he would have fared better in sports or in music. We know that this is not how this works. Genetic endowments are as random as they come. So is not suffering serious career ending sport’s injury. Or not having the right exposure to a highly fickle industry that is based on the right place at the right time phenomena. This is completely random and most importantly completely interdependent on external factors both seen and unseen.

While having such talents will not guarantee you success in life as many can easily attest, working very hard is also no guarantee either to future rewards or success. You can prematurely die or have been born and living in North Korea. Sidenote: I totally believe that everyone should definitely work hard at whatever it is that they do for self-fulfillment and to increase the llikelihood of success deriving from their labor.

Somehow meritocracy seeks to justify what is truly random and rig it into advantage of the Matthew Effect kind.

When we recount or reframe historical events that predispose merit to the founding of this nation we also leave out the fortutitous events that led to the founding of this nation. His — story becomes awash with the arduous effort of battles fought and won without considering how the role of diseases played very well into the hands of the oppressor, albeit unbeknownst, introduced their germs to the oppressed.

Just a thought that needed sharing.

  • this article is based on an ongoing dialogue on race and has been edited.




It appears the more that I write the better I perceive.