Thanks so much for sharing this. It must be extremely difficult and exhausting to deal with this every day, never mind rehash it all in a personal essay.
The Alger ‘Bootstrap’ myth is, unfortunately, still routinely deployed: its a favorite weapon of white supremacy. From a collective psychological standpoint, it’s projection: basically, dumping your own (white) issues on somebody else (POC, most often black.) Basically, white supremacy says to black people: we, white people, pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps; why do we have to help you? What’s wrong with you? — with the attendant implication that black people are less intrinsically capable.
There’s no acknowledgement of the historical fact of the TransAtlantic Slave Trade or the ongoing, active nature of white supremacy which operates at virulent levels even now, as I write this. As a somewhat objective observer (neither white nor black), my perception is that white perceptions often seem bizarre to the point of psychosis or hallucination.
At the risk of candor that may provoke defensiveness, I reveal that I think of white privilege as the boot AND the strap, and I’ve always wondered: if white people get the boot AND the strap, why are black people doing all the pulling up???