August 17, 2017, Category: Blogs, Musings

As a white male, I am beyond clueless as to how oppression feels. I can only imagine the shackles of racism and misogyny because I have never, nor will ever, experience them. I watch movies, read stories, and sympathize, but I can never really know the fear, harassment, or injustices experienced by those living every day in a nation that promises equality, yet delivers prejudice.

White Men, Unite (against racism)

Freedom is our foundation. The USA is “the home of the free and the land of the brave.” Free to act, speak, and judge. Free to criticize others for not standing during the anthem. Free to sit during the national anthem.

I stand for our anthem and wish all American’s felt our country was worthy of that same honor. Those choosing to sit exercise freedom, and nobody forces their hand. But a truly great country goes beyond a tolerance for the free acts of others—especially ones related to civil liberties. A great country strives to understand. And in a melting pot of cultures, it is the only way we can survive.

As a white male, I am beyond clueless as to how oppression feels. I can only imagine the shackles of racism and misogyny because I have never, nor will ever, experience them. I watch movies, read stories, and sympathize, but I can never really know the fear, harassment, or injustices experienced by those living every day in a nation that promises equality, yet delivers prejudice.

White males who cry oppression, or attempt to silence those pushing for equality, are scared of losing a power that has been unfairly divided for millennia. Perhaps humans needed this to survive and evolve. Whatever the case, it happened. Now it must change. Not only is it unjust, it is not working.

Change is scary—especially for those that must relinquish an imbalance in power and wealth. Fear, however, is no excuse for bigotry. I can imagine slave owners were horrified at losing their estates without cheap labor to sustain them. But when something is wrong, it is wrong. There is no excuse.

The American way—freedom and bravery—will lift us higher. NFL players are exercising freedom and bravely facing potential consequences to their lucrative careers. When I read Michael Bennett’s reasons for sitting while those around him honor the US flag, I see a man who loves his country but feels promises made to him by that same country have not been kept. Tell a white male all men and women are created equal and he probably agrees with you. Tell any woman or non-white the same thing, and suddenly the story changes.

Who can blame these men and women for sitting or kneeling during the anthem? They are told to honor a country that has not kept promises. A country that has not honored them.

White men have an opportunity, even duty, to show true American courage by acknowledging the unfairness of the past and relinquishing the privileges these inequalities afforded. If the USA is what we all hope and claim, we must listen to these cries of injustice. We must ask how we can collaborate to make this country one where all of us stand willing, and honorably, together. We are a great nation and have overcome many obstacles—we will conquer this. Until then, maybe we should all be sitting during the national anthem.

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One thought on “White Men, Unite (against racism)

  • By Warren - Reply

    I knew I’d get negative feedback on my recent post against racism and misogyny, but the extend of it surprising. My Facebook post is full of comments from men who are threatened, scared, and defensive. In general, these men don’t seem to understand that striving for equality does not suggest we all haven’t suffered. Life is tough. Yes, even white men have had difficulties–some much more than others. And yes, you can find some white men who have less opportunity and privilege than some black women. But those situations are, by far, the exception and not the rule. Take any white man and change his race and/or gender, and his overall struggles will, almost always, increase drastically. Because of prejudice and inequality.

    White men: the message of equality isn’t that a white man has it “easy.” The message isn’t that all white men are villains and criminals. The message is that the system is imbalanced and needs modified. White men who complain and push against even a suggestion of equal rights are merely demonstrating a fear of relinquishing unbalanced privilege. It takes courage to consider where equality is failing when it means giving up power, and many men are not able to rise to this level.

    If you find yourself triggered at statements like “black lives matter,” or “Equal rights for women,” stop and consider why you are so afraid. Or, as many have done, don’t–and rant about your own difficult life to further prove the serious problems we have with race and gender oppression.

    Is it that difficult to say, “black lives matter” (and for bonus points, do it without throwing in a “So do white lives”)? Where is the harm in saying, “Yes, women should have equal rights”? Both statements are not only completely in line with our core values in the USA, but are common sense for anyone in touch with the value of a human life.

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