There’s something that’s been on my mind lately. It’s difficult figuring out how to properly put it into words. I’ll start with this:
I am a white male.
Figuring out how to proceed from here has proven to be somewhat difficult. I’m told by some that being white and male gives me “privilege,” and I don’t disagree. It is indisputable that in the current state of the world, being white and male certainly gives you a leg up on a lot of people who are not one or both of those things. It’s not hard to spot, but that isn’t the issue here.
I am told by the same and others that my opinion, in essence, doesn’t matter. Whatever it is that I have to say is just a result of the privilege I have to say it based on the fact that I’m a white male. There is a good argument to say that that is true. As a white male, where do I go from here? If it’s true that my opinion doesn’t matter because of the color of my skin and my gender, then aren’t these people missing the point?
Every human shares some fundamental things in common. We’re all born into this world without a choice, and we’re all born what we are. I was born a white male, I didn’t choose to be this just like everyone else. One can’t be accurately described as a person based solely on what they look like on the outside. It would be useful if someone were trying to identify them to use descriptors of their appearance, but what they look like has little to do with who they are, or at least that’s how it should be.
Each of us is influenced by the color of our skin. Some people treat others differently based on external appearance. Some groups are more discriminated against than others. Shouldn’t the idea be to eliminate that phenomenon entirely? When I have a conversation with someone I’m not thinking about the color of their skin. A good conversationalist is someone who doesn’t care about external appearances, they care about who the person is and what they are saying.
I have had my opinion dismissed entirely based on the color of my skin. I have had conversations with people who won’t listen to a word I say because they assume I’m a certain way by virtue of my skin color and gender. I find it dreadfully ironic that the whole idea of “standing up to white privilege” is to combat racism by assuming that all white males are a certain way based on the color of their skin and gender. The hypocrisy is mindblowing.
The fact is: no one should be judged or discriminated against based on the color of their skin or their gender. They should be judged based on the quality of their character. I find it frustrating to be told that I am a certain way because I’m a white male…and I have it pretty easy. I don’t deny that racism doesn’t affect me 99% of the time. The 1% of the time it does affect me is when I’m trying to have a conversation with someone who virtue signals being a champion of racism by being rude, obnoxious, and dismissive of me because of my skin color and my gender.
The color of someone’s skin shouldn’t determine how you treat them. Who they are should determine how you treat them, period. If someone is deserving of trust, give them trust. If someone has committed a crime, punish them for their crime. DO NOT make judgments about a person until you know what kind of person they are.
These virtue signaling “champions” are the type of people to read this and say “oh boo hoo, Mr. White Male over here is upset that people were mean to him.” I say that these people are missing the point entirely. They think I’m upset because I have an opinion. The two things are not inextricably linked by any stretch of the imagination.
The point is this: If you want to fight racism, at its real ugly roots, you have to start treating people with respect. Don’t dismiss someone because of the color of their skin. Don’t mistreat them, because the point is to kill this monster called racism, not to paint its face and point it in someone else’s direction. Progress is made when the day to day interactions between people are made better. This is done by listening to people when they try to explain their thoughts to you and understanding that on the inside we’re all just people who are trying to figure it out as we go. We are made stronger and better by working together and treating each other with respect.
No one; black, white, or purple needs to have their day interrupted by some ignorant racist treating them differently because of their skin. Especially when that ignorant racist asshole is doing it under the guise of fighting for the underprivileged and oppressed. There is a special place in hell for those people.