American’s don’t believe in equality. They believe in meritocracy.
In the American mind, equality is something we’re all born with, but its not something anyone expects to maintain. Rather, the idea is that we all have equal opportunity to compete, and that some of us will excel while others won’t.
This is the foundation of the American concept of meritocracy, that if all have equal opportunity to compete, then those who win deserve to be rewarded, and those who lose do not.
The problem of course, is that we are not all born with equal opportunity to compete. In the real world, equality is not something you start with, its something that has to be worked for, and rigorously maintained.
If we really believed in equality in America, then we would work very hard to ensure that our children each receive equal access to excellent education. Instead, we prefer to practice a “my tribe first” approach, at the expense of those with fewer means. Even our method for funding public schools through property taxes is a clear indicator that meritocracy takes precedence over equality in the public mindset.
And this doesn’t just apply to education. It permeates every aspect of american culture. Instead of recognizing the inherent inequality of opportunity and working to close the gap over time, most Americans do the opposite. They pretend that we all start equal, and then spend the rest of their lives trying to become as unequal as possible.