The Burden of the White Male is the Responsiblity of the White Male

What made me think of this topic was another discussion that has been going on here about white males. 

 

Here's my opinion; We as white males, specifically who live in the United States, are in the highest position of power and more importantly comfort than any other group or demographic definitely in the country and arguably in the world. We rarely feel discomfort or to put it more succinctly, we rarely feel the discomfort of the "other". The discomfort of the woman or the person of color or the immigrant are three that stick out in my mind. I'm sure there are others.  We do not get looked at differently because of our skin or or body type or the way we dress. We are not judged because of these attributes or characteristics. We rarely feel the wrath of stereotyping we so often put on others. So when we hear anger from persons of color, immigrants or women, instead of reacting, we need to step back and listen. The burden is on us. Whether we like it or not, racism and misogyny is very much built into our society and we need to take the responsibility to deal with it more than any other group.

 

So for all white males out there, I challenge you, think before you react. Take the role of the other. Most importantnly, put yourself in situations of discomfort as much as possible. Attend an event that you are the minority, not the majority and see how you feel. This is our burden.

 

My question to you is; do you think this is our role to take? Do you think this is important? How do you, as a white male, see what your role or responsibility is in your society, United States or otherwise?

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Of course a white male atheist in the US or in most of the world should be able to relate to the feeling of being surrounded by a majority that sees them as "other"

Well not that we should be able to relate because we are not asked to do so, but rather we should want to be able to relate.

it saddens me to think that even in the year 2011, we still need to consider the color of our skin to find a place in society. and we wonder why we still fight wars and have to battle hate speech in every sector of society.

 

i have lived in a lot of places around the world, and by far the worst is the USA for sheer hatred and intolerance of differences be they skin tone or sexual preferences. I have been told that i am too white for jobs here in canada as well, but i don't see that too often up here.

 

my role in society has nothing to do with my skin color, but to love those in my life, and be the best me i can be at any given moment, helping those in need and sharing my life with those I come in contact with. i am not sure i can be expected to have more 'influence' than that in any sense of the word. IF everyone lived life with the goal of harming no one or anything, the world would be a much better place.

 

no, pigs can't fly and it may be a dream, but it really isn't that far-fetched to live life as if it was the most precious resource we have.

 

not sure that is the answer you were looking for, but that is how i live...

it saddens me to think that even in the year 2011, we still need to consider the color of our skin to find a place in society. and we wonder why we still fight wars and have to battle hate speech in every sector of society.

I agree James. Maybe in Canada it's different, but I feel my role in society has everything to do with my skin color. I don't know the demographics of Canada but in about 50 years, we will no longer be the majority so we better get our heads in the game.
there are parts of the usa right now where the white male is NOT even close to being in the majority! i know here in canada our power structures are changing. Calgary has elected a muslim mayor, it's a city of over 1 million and is the central location of our oil industry. we have elected openly gay mayors and our parliment <like congress> is no longer a white stronghold with many different colors representing our diversity. Perhaps the USA is the country I have lived in that holds so dearly to the white rule mentality, and the tea party shit scares me!
We are nowhere near as politically diverse as the USA. All over the USA there are people in positions of power, albeit probably more often municipally than state or federal. Canada is the land of white bread. Having a Muslim as mayor isn't going to help our secular cause much either. :(
i have never really felt that my whiteness has actually helped me at any point in my life. i guess being up here really is that different than living in the usa. what advantage does my whiteness give me? here in canada, the status indian has free medical, dental, pays no taxes while they live on the reserve, get money every month for just being alive, can go to university completely free. how is that an advantage to me as a white male?

the government of canada signed treaties with most of the bands in canada and these were some of the things given to them under the indian act enacted later by parliment to compensate for some of what was done to them. as a white man in canada, i have actually felt disadvantaged more often than i have felt entitled.. i guess the issue i see is why is this even an issue?

 

why can't we stop labeling people, period? where does our need to identify someone based on any feature come from and how can we stop doing that as it leads to division and hatred....

There are those who would argue that it's not possible for us NOT to label those we perceive to be different than ourselves. Be it skin color, ability, orientation, or otherwise.

The North American Indian went through a genocide the likes of which has never been seen in the history of the world. The people responsible for that were white males. I'm not suggesting you are responsible for that but you that but I think at the least, that much is owed to them. I think Canada has come to terms with that in a better way then here where American Indians live in the poorest conditions in the nation.

 

It's not just about your advantages though. You may not has any as you said, or at least none that you are directly aware of. But it's more than advantages, it's the way you are treated, talked to and judged. It's the assumptions made about you.

i guess i had better stay out of this one as my experiences here in canada have been so vastly different than those of you guys in america, we may be close in many aspects of life, but on this one, i am pretty confident that it is not an issue up here as it is down there...

 

Every nation has a dirty history. That's irrelevant in regards to modern times. I can play that game with ANY nation in the world.

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