Did you know there’s something basically buoyant and charmed and perhaps even a little bit holy about being a non-white person these days? Did you know there’s something fundamentally corrupt, ass-draggy, wrong-minded, retrograde and dark-souled about being a white person, and particularly a white male? You didn’t? Well, then you need to pay attention because as perverse as this may sound, both generalizations are more or less true in our current conversations.
It’s certainly time for the 20th Century American white-guy dynasty to give way to multicultural plurality and a fairer, less elitist way of figuring out incomes and disparities — no one’s disputing that. But it’s also permissible, I think, for urbane, educated, well-dressed, high-information white guys to say, “Look, I am who I am…I was born like this and my family is my family and there are shards of honor in our history, and I’m not going to whine and whimper and apologize for being who and what I am.”
This is where we are, oh ye motherfuckers. This is what things have come to in this age of politically correct, finger-pointing, banshee-wailing stormtroopers kicking down doors at 4 am and dragging politically incorrect miscreants into the street and throwing them into the back of Army trucks. White guys have to stand up and plead for understanding…”We aren’t all bad, really…there are a few good things about being white, and we demand a certain measure of respect,” etc.
Last May I tapped out a resentful post about my basic whiteness, and why I think it’s okay to be who and what I am “if I fucking feel like it.” As long as that doesn’t involve cruelty or any kind of refusal to afford basic respect to others. A certain Brooklyn-residing scold re-posted my white-guy rant yesterday as evidence that I have certain cultural attitudes that need re-thinking or re-shuffling. I would respond that saying “I’m white and I’m not that ashamed” doesn’t make me Ted Nugent or Ted Cruz.
I’m not a staunch rural idiot. I’m a picky, erudite, X-factor Northeastern WASP with certain tastes and disdains, a certain level of education and decades of hard experience under my belt, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to be guilt-tripped and pushed around and unfairly labelled by Twitter militants.
The afore-mentioned scold can’t be expected to notice, but p.c. culture has been saying over and over again on a daily basis that there IS something vaguely if not explicitly wrong with being white (and particularly a white MALE) & that if you say “look, enough already…I’m a white guy and I am who I am” that this somehow makes you Lionel Barrymore‘s Mr. Potter in It’s A Wonderful Life.
Remember the whole girlyman thing of 10 or 15 years ago, which was brought about by women bemoaning the crude-hormonal-guy mentality — i.e., a lack of sensitivity and receptivity to gentler and more compassionate ways of thinking and feeling. This was absorbed at first, but then the girlyman thing began to seem excessive. This gradually resulted in a kind of pushback movement in which guys of character said “Look, I believe in sensitivity and gentleness and sipping tea in the mornings, but I also believe in my guyness…I’m not a p.c. girlyman but a dude, take it or leave it…I ride motorcycles and I own a tool box and I lift weights and I know how to make a good omelette.”
I’m saying the same thing as far as my whiteness is concerned. Being white obviously can mean you’re a relic of a bygone culture as well as narrow, stupid, racist, retrograde, gun-toting and all the rest. But it doesn’t have to mean that, especially if you’re an urbane educated guy from the Northeast who used to drop mescaline and has read several books and has been to Paris and Vietnam, etc.