Yesterday, I spent a rather lengthy time discussing the future of race relations in America. (Being a white male from one of the whitest states in the Union, I figured my contribution was what was most lacking in the matter.) I said that in order for there to be a truly just society, we need to put aside the past and focus on the future. That past grievances and offenses and sins need to be dropped and all our energy focused on making tomorrow better, not atoning for yesterday.
Well, that ain’t gonna happen, and before it does, I want to get a few things off my chest.
Kindly note this is not a call for reparations or a cry for sympathy or a plea for compassion. This is an old-fashioned venting, a purging of repressed resentment, a cathartic outburst to cleanse my soul. I’m not looking for anything but a few moments of your time, to at least pretend to listen and pay attention to me while I rant. (It is my understanding that this is what women say they want when they have their outbursts, and not an attempt to solve solutions, which is what us men — big ninnies that we are — instead try to do.)
What Being White And Male Means To This White Man
Being a white man has become, in many ways, a mark of shame today.
Finding a positive image of ourselves on TV is next to impossible. We tend to be villains or inept doofuses.
Message to white men: you’re not good for anything.
My employer recently sent out a memo saying that, in the interests of promoting and preserving diversity in our workforce, management must give an exit interview to all female and minority employees who quit.
Message to white men: We don’t care if you stay or go.
The famous University of Michigan affirmative action case involved giving “points” towards admission to minorities. Being black, Hispanic, or American Indian was worth more, on their scale, than a perfect score on the SATs.
Men tend to be more analytical, and see things in mathematical terms. Under the admission rules, anyone who scored 100 points on their admission test (which ran from 0 to 150) was guaranteed admission. A perfect SAT score was worth 12 points; being a member of the above mentioned groups was worth 20.
So, mathematically, what would be the net difference if instead the rules said “if you are not black, Hispanic, or American Indian, and rather are white or Asian or some other group, deduct 20 points” and the admission bar was lowered to 80 of a possible 130? Absolutely none. If every score — and the qualifying bar — was lowered 20 points across the board, the results would be exactly the same. The only difference would be perceptual — instead of giving some bonus points for their ethnicity, they would be left alone and everyone else would be penalized. As they say, “a difference without distinction” or “a difference that makes no difference is no difference.”
Message to white men: We don’t want you here.
(I’m stealing a bit from P. J. O’Rourke in this section.) Breast cancer is a huge cause these days. Pink ribbons are everywhere. Public service announcements saturate the airwaves. Tons of research (and research funding) is poured into fighting this scourge every year. (Not that I’m complaining.)
The result: breast cancer claimed about 40,000 women’s lives in 2005 — and it’s dropping.
On the other hand, let’s look at prostate cancer. In 2005, it claimed the lives of 30,000 men — and it’s rising. Where are our protests? Our fund-raisers? Our brown ribbons? Instead, the most common exam for prostate cancer is usually the “butt” of jokes.
Personally speaking, I had a colonoscopy once. I showed up with a button and offered the doctor a deal: he didn’t hurt me, he could have it. It said “Your proctologist called; they found your head.” He didn’t keep his end of the bargain, but I gave it to him anyway.
Message to men: We don’t care if you live or die.
But we’re men. We’re supposed to be tough and strong. It’s not manly to complain. We’re supposed to suck it up, take it like a man, shrug it off, don’t let it get us down, deal with it. We are expected to keep our negative feelings and anger and resentment and hurt bottled up and repressed and put on our brave faces to face the world.
Consequently, we have heart attacks and strokes and ulcers and all the other things that go with that kind of repression and suppression. And our life expectancy is, on average, about five years less than women’s.
Message to men: Go ahead and die already. Just do it quietly and don’t bother anyone.
It just isn’t in the entertainment business that men — especially white men — are the most common villains. The political correctness movement made an art out of blaming all of Western society’s woes on “dead white European males.” Whenever redress is being sought for past injustices, it’s most often on the behalf of the descendants of the oppressed. What is always implied — but rarely stated — is that those reparations are to come from the descendants of the oppressors. And those are most often white males. Even though today’s white males had, in almost every case, absolutely nothing to do with the original sins, they are expected to pay the price for choosing their ancestry so poorly.
Message to white men: We can’t go after the people who did the offense, so we’re going to punish you in their place because you look like them.
This is our lot in life. This is the hand life has dealt us. It’s all part of the male package (so to speak), and we deal with it.
About the only time we bring up our grievances is when we’ve heard the complaints of others to us, lamenting how terrible it is to not be white and male. The implication there is that simply being white and male is an automatic boost, a clear-cut advantage, a panacea to a host of ills and injustices, and we white males must somehow make concessions and forfeit some of our advantages in the name of “fairness” and “equality” and “justice.”
Oh, and don’t expect any thanks or other recognition for it. Rather, plan for mockery and derision and scorn either way.
We can live with that. We’ll just “act like we got a pair” and “man up” and “be men.”
(Anyone who starts singing “we’re men — manly men! — we’re men in tights!” will be beaten severely.)