November 26, 2007
Have You Bashed a White Male Today?By Kyle-Anne Shiver
While I was a teenager and still enthralled with my own generation, the Boomers, I truly believed that we were heralding a new and better human nature. We were going to stamp out prejudice, discrimination, and every other foul practice in the hemisphere. No more bashing folks of color. No more negative stereotyping for females. No more blonde jokes, fat jokes, handicap jokes, divorce jokes, gay jokes or Polish jokes. Human nature be damned. We could all be nice to each other if we tried hard enough, if we just had enough determination.
Here we are forty years later, and it seems to me that all we've really accomplished is an exchange of all of our old prejudices for a new one. The demographic group that now gets it full on the chin at every turn, in every public sphere, is the lone, white male. Christians, especially the Catholic Church, are also an approved target, but that topic is for another article.
So we haven't gotten any better as human beings. We simply changed targets. And almost the only ones among us left with bull's-eyes upon their heads are the white males.
I happen to have quite a fondness for these guys. My father and grandfathers were white males. I have a white male twin brother. I've been married to a white male for 37 years. I count a number of these guys as friends and neighbors. So, it just doesn't sit right with me when, almost everywhere I turn, I see the guys I love most getting their stuffings beaten out in jokes, television commercials, movies, books - heck, all over the place. It's so PC, you know.
Nowadays white males are stereotyped in movies and ads as either beer-guzzling, practically illiterate rednecks or as overly sensitized, emasculated wimps. One would be hard put to find a good, old-fashioned, John-Wayne type male anywhere but on Spike TV. My husband claims he needs to watch Spike occasionally just to remind himself that it's still somewhat okay to be masculine in public.
But I had better fess up myself a bit here, or that husband of mine will call me a "lying hypocrite" behind closed doors. I have, on a scant few occasions, used my protected status as a female to either pick fights with men or win them, especially when in the company of other females. Okay, it's been more than a few times, but far less than a thousand. And I plan to give it up this year for Lent. Really.
Bashing white males with impunity is every bit as un-Christian as all the other generalized bashing. Racism. Sexism. Homophobia. Etcetera, etcetera.
When it comes to the white guys, the one thing that seems to have escaped our notice, though, is that if not for all of our white-male ancestors, there wouldn't be much of a civilization here for the rest of us to climb aboard. These men get bashed up and down, day in and day out, for shutting out people of color and women, for not allowing them to take any of the leadership roles. But that's only one way of looking at it.
The other way would be to pat these guys heartily on the back, and give kudos where kudos are due.
The fact is that the world was quite different 2 and 3 centuries ago. Slavery was an institution that stretched back to Biblical times, without skipping a beat, and was rampant around the world. The British and the United States led the abolition movement for the rest of the western world, and is still on the front lines in the battle to eradicate the last vestiges of the dastardly evil. The truth is that white males did not invent the institution of slavery, but they were the first to abolish it. That ought to count for something.
Many American white men were willing to fight and die in a bloody civil war, fought largely over slavery. And many more gave up segregation without resorting to another all out war. Those things wouldn't be anything to brag about in a perfect world, but perfect this world has never been. And I think we ought to take at least some pride in seeing black men and white men, and black women and white women standing shoulder-to-shoulder in every profession. That's not a shabby accomplishment within a single generation.
Our men marched this country in a steadily advancing civilization, from an agrarian society, to an industrial one, to a high-tech one, in which the jobs requiring rigorous physical labors, to which men were far better suited, have become outnumbered by positions requiring more brains than brawn. Because of that, more than the feminist movement, women are able to participate much more fully in the workplace than ever before in history. If our civilization had not made that leap, and provided so many ingenious inventions that cut so much time and labor from homemaking chores, women would probably still be largely left out, simply because of our natural physical limits. I say we ought to celebrate our men for such a huge accomplishment. Certainly no other poeple in history have done as much.
Now before I get an inbox avalanche of complaints, let me state for the record that I understand as well as anyone that the white guys didn't just roll over and throw down the red carpet for all the people of color and us women to join in holding the reins of power in this country. There was quite a bit of nudging, some of it pretty forceful.
However, there was no outright war. And put into a historical perspective, American white guys stand heads and shoulders above their foreign counterparts and predecessors.
So, from now on, before you bash a white male, stop to think about the other side of the coin, and ask yourself this:
If not for all those white guys who conceived of this Nation, who built it, fought for it, protected it, developed all of those inventions that brought progress and a greater standard of living to more people than any civilization in history, where would the rest of us be? Perhaps not all that well off.
Instead of bashing the white guys, we all ought to be thanking them, and get on with making an even better America. So, I say, don't bash a white guy today. Buy that man a beer!
Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. She welcomes your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.