Somewhere in the midst of all the recent news — Kanye may or may not be running for president; Chuck Woolery’s son actually contracted the hoax disease created to hinder President Donald Trump’s reelection; and the “stable genius” is able to distinguish an elephant from among a trio of pictures that includes a lion and a camel — you may have missed the greatest news of all: Ivanka Trump has given us the key to un- and underemployment: FindSomethingNew.org.
With, at last count, 18 million people out of work, another 1 million filing for unemployment insurance benefits each week and millions of others fearing the jobs they had before the novel coronavirus appeared may vanish, Trump daughter No. 1 advises us to pick up a new skill and move on.
Forget that 32%, about 4 million people, didn’t make a mortgage or rent payment in July and in North Carolina alone, 1 million people haven’t paid a combined total of $218 million in electric or water bills since April. You can just find something new.
Just like her husband, Jared Kushner, who has solved the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; her stepmother, who stopped online bullying by saying “Be Best;” and her father, who we all know is “cognitively there” and has single-handedly made America great again, Ivanka has given us career nirvana.
She and Wilbur Ross, both millionaires and co-chairs of the American Policy Workforce Advisory Board, have developed the magic elixir: a website, designed by the people who created “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk,” based on the premise that we don’t all need two- or four-year degrees to find a well-paying job. Duh.
FindSomethingNew.org lists emerging careers, shares links to schools and programs that provide training and certification, and showcases testimonials from people who have moved ahead after participating in apprenticeships, online learning, vocational training or associate degree programs. In essence, the website illustrates that the process for moving forward takes time, talent and money.
But I thought the beauty of FindSomethingNew.org was that you wouldn’t need a two- or four-year degree and that it really is as easy as moving on. Doing the new new. Leaving the old behind.
So, what’s the value of Find SomethingNew.org?
Solving unemployment isn’t easy, is it Ivanka?
It’s a lot harder than just holding up a can of beans or using Daddy’s influence to get patents to continue making your bags and shoes in China (make that ... Ch-eye-na).
Ivanka thinking she can erase unemployment by flippantly urging us to find something new is symptomatic of a plague that has blanketed the country.
With the “speed of lightning and roar of thunder,” we Underdogs are experts in all things. No training, expertise or knowledge needed. With a turn of a phrase and mother wit, we are solving issues, great and small. Never, outside of a Black beauty or barber shop, have I seen this many quasi-experts, who, if given a few seconds and a platform, would solve all of the world’s problems fast, quick and in a hurry.
Police killing Black men? Just comply.
Immigration? Build a wall.
Sexual harassment? Women are too sensitive.
Peaceful protests? Send in military-garbed goons with face masks to beat a few into submission.
School shootings? Recite the phrase, “Guns don’t kill people, people do.”
Police problems? Defund them. That will show ’em.
Lack of diversity? Hire a few Black faces in key places.
Confederate statues? Take them down. Out of sight, out of mind.
Perplexed by the coronavirus? Call it the “Chinese virus,” “kung flu” or “Wuhan flu” and it seems less our onus.
As the character Dap yelled at the end of Spike Lee’s film “School Daze,” “Wake up.”
While we might be able to remember a string of words — you know, “person, woman, man, camera ,TV” — that doesn’t mean we are equipped to tackle more complex quandaries. Let’s face it, we took the words, “Anybody can grow up to be president,” to the extreme.
Some things are hard. Some things require time and energy to resolve. Some things are best left to the experts.
We don’t have the answers. You might have a talent, but you aren’t gifted in all areas. You might even have a good suggestion or a novel idea, but solving complex issues isn’t that simple. And throwing around catchy phrases doesn’t exempt us from dealing with the pressing issues before us: systematic racism, a health and economic crisis, a warming climate, immigration, election security, affordable housing and health care and even unemployment, to name a few.
In the words of a dear friend, we are trying to use a hammer when a screwdriver is needed. Let’s face it, we don’t know the answer and it will take someone smarter than us to figure it out.
Wilbur, Ivanka, let the experts do the work and the two of you can just find something new.