White Male Oppression: Hold Up
Ever since Donald Trump’s unexpected Presidential victory, many have attempted to shed their biases to push past the stale ideological talking points, expand our sense of empathy, and develop a greater nuance of the political, cultural, and economic narratives prevalent in today’s national discussion.
When it comes trying to comprehend to the notion of white male oppression, this is an exercise in futility, because this idea is a dangerous falsehood. The belief that there is an organized assault on white males only masks a hegemonic attitude immersed in hate that deserves zero earnest consideration.
There are indeed notable 21st Century strains on the lives of white males. This demographic has a shorter life expectancy, increased health challenges, and obstacles to succeed in the modern economy have become ever more daunting with rapid shifts in globalization and technology.
But to believe that recent financial obstacles are the causes of feeling marginalized is a chain of reasoning missing many links. For starters, the transition to a globally agnostic higher skilled workforce is an apolitical, gender and racially blind force that has presented monumental challenges for all Americans. National bureaucratic failures to help American adjust to the dynamics of white collar tilted markets have become an universal problem.
Therefore, it’s alarmingly suspicious that only XY chromosome Caucasians Americans “developed” racial anxiety as a side effect of economic displacement. As MIT Professor John Sterman points out, “there are no side effects — only effects.” Countless post-election examinations have found scant evidence of those propping up the notion of white male victimizations as actually experiencing any economic injustice. In reality, a long held antipathy of cultural and demographic shifts, from many white males, has been conveniently cloaked behind a tale of unbearable financial hardship.
Further, the uncomfortable truth is many who espouse the ethos of white male oppression disingenuously vocalize economic upheavals fully knowing their real problem is their inability to compete in a complex and multidimensional economy. They are fully aware this fact only means a sizeable mitigation of their long held political, economic, and societal advantages.
White male America has always known there have been winners and losers in a free market economy, but they’ve yet to be the losers until recently. The idea of individual responsibility, self-sufficiency, pick yourself up by your bootstraps has been a belief specifically vocalized by white male Americans indicating the understanding that many are left behind in a competitive market. With the precipitous decline of low education-high pay jobs (that have overwhelming gone to White males) many in this tribe have an unsubstantiated belief they are falling to the bottom of the financial pecking order.
Make no mistake, this is ultimately about power. As prominent and well regarded conservative Charles Krauthhammer explains, “The recent uproar among white men in America is about power. In 1995 when I surveyed white men I found no evidence for this to be the case. There was no anger, no distrust of government, no belief that American culture was eroding. But I’ve re-engaged with these groups, re-evaluated the recent data, and have to come to the understanding that those advancing the myth of white male suppression is solely about a group knowing they are losing power to another group more dynamic, flexible, and adaptable than they are.”
So, what level of attention does the thesis that “a coordinated assault on white males is taking place” in America deserve?
The country is changing and the rest of the nation is finally learning to adapt to compete by the standards white males have put in place — work hard, network, generate a marketable skill, speak up and make your voice heard.
Indulging or appeasing irrational beliefs rooted in hate only gives credibility to those ideas. It is still important for us to get a pulse on the justifiable economic anxiety Americans have. Shelfing that patriotic task to placate megalomaniac race-mongers’ stymies needed efforts to understand the struggles of our fellow citizens.
Finally, consider this — white men are 31% of America, yet hold 65% of public office, account for 72% of leadership at Fortune 500 companies, are the dominant demographic in music, art, and entertainment.
Additionally, in many parts of the South, Confederate flags are still visible, the roads that black people drive on are named for Confederate generals that fought to keep black people from being able to drive freely on those same roads.
Yet, this is a group that feels they’re losing their place in this country?
To that I say, hold up.