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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^^Pretty much this^^

I haven't seen much evidence in favor of a poor black person having more or less opportunity to a poor white person in the same neighborhood. Neither is there more evidence that rich white and rich black people have any substantially different opportunities apart from that granted the latter through affirmative action.

All it takes to increase social standing is 80-100 hours of hard labor each week until you are about 70. Especially between the ages of 10 and 30 to give a good educational foundation.


The fact that you haven't "seen much evidence" is hardly surprising.  Have you looked?  I have and I found that outcomes for black people in the UK and much of Europe (and I believe this is the case in the US) are much worse than for white people in terms of social mobility, economic status and health.

Your comparisons are bogus therefore: sure a rich black person may do very nicely.  But how easy is it for a black person to become rich?  Are there invisible barriers for them which do not exist for white people?  We have to assume so - why otherwise, do they have these worse outcomes?  The repeated mistake in yoyur argument (and I think Sassan's) is to feel that observing this ios to blame white people for creating those barriers.  This might be true in some cases.  In many it might not.  I really don't know.  But where they exist, for whatever reason, it would be great if we can find mechanisms to remove them.  that's likely to include helping young black people for eg to believe that there are strong alternatives to being poor, having dreadful health and education, and not working.

Do white people have different access to wealth? Yes. Do they have therefore different access to the benefits that wealth brings? Of course.  This is not a point about racism!  Why do you keep making it so?  It is a point about privilege - a completely different issue.

"Have you looked?"

Yes, mostly in magazines such as The Economist or Slate and within the confines of the study of IO Psychology.

"But how easy is it for a black person to become rich?  Are there invisible barriers for them which do not exist for white people?"

It's as difficult for a black person as a white person. Apparently not seeing as there is a black POTUS. Seems that the "glass ceiling" argument has been voided.

"We have to assume so - why otherwise, do they have these worse outcomes?"

Not if one accounts for background.

"to feel that observing this ios to blame white people for creating those barriers."

I have yet to deny that differences exists, and that a part of the issue is illegal discrimination. However, I do not see legal discrimination being the answer to illegal discrimination, especially in the long run. In addition, the major underlying factors are of socio-economic and cultural causes, not skin color. A successful black person can easily be as successful as a white person - NdGT being a prime example.

"I really don't know."


Arcus: are you being deliberately obtuse?  This is all about background!  Accounting for background is what this is about.  Privilege is all about background!  Skin colour is an indicator for background.  It isn't the problem in itself so much any more but if you are born with black skin, you are more likely to have a disadvantaged background!

This is just too much hard work...

Who suggested anywhere in this debate the legal discrimination is the answer to white male privilege?  It's got nothing to do with it!  I've made this point countless times but you just ignore it.  Straw is coming out in a massive flood again.

I totally refute that a black person can as easily become successsful as a white person.  The statistics do not support that conclusion: black people are under-represented, both in the US and Europe, in the professions, in the rich lists, in health outcomes.  This is not up for debate.  And just once again, quoting individuals does not change the overall trend.

So we agree differences exist (I think).  Why they exist is a matter for debate.  Should the beneficiaries of the causes of these differences do anything about addressing them?

"Privilege is all about background!"

Easily fixable with a 100% estate tax or communist takeover. Not quite sure that would solve anything though as few people's are as bigoted as the ones who grew up in communist regimes.

"Skin colour is an indicator for background."

So is education. There is a strong positive correlation between education through generations and social status. Much stronger positive correlation than skin color, national, ethnical or cultural background. The discrimination issue is fairly minor as opposed to education.

"I totally refute that a black person can as easily become successsful as a white person."

I totally refute success being easy for anyone. Apparently atheists have very little political success in the US, so a white atheist will therefore be "discriminated" against more than a black muslim.

"black people are under-represented, both in the US and Europe, in the professions, in the rich lists, in health outcomes."

Correlation does not immediately prove any causation, especially not for a single cause. It sure isn't white males responsibility to "better" anyone's lot in life, it's the responsibility of society as a whole and the individual.

Feeling any type of white man's burden is clearly racist as it entails a view that people of other skin colors are somehow less capable than whites.

OK - so definitely an entirely pointless discussion.  You are absolutely determined to misrepresent.


I'm done.

The good news, a black man has been elected the President. The bad news, racism is still prevalent. I live in Baltimore and if you go into many of the neighborhoods you will see exactly the disparity that many black people live with. Yes huge strides have been made, but that does not mean you issues of race should be forgotten. Inequality both racial and gender is rampant. But my point is not to say we should feel responsible for that, my point is that we should only recognize it. Deal with it as each of us, white men, sees fit to do so. Address it or don't. That's up to you. To me however, sticking up for someone who is an atheist who is discriminated against is the same as sticking up for people who are different than me.

Oh sure , If you're asking me to help address the issue , fine.  I can get on board with that.  


But I refuse to be told it's my problem and that I should feel responsible.  


And sir , I live 20 minutes from Baltimore.  The racism goes both ways ....... more than just socioeconomically even.  White people should not go into the inner cities of Baltimore.  There are some streets I've been told by black co workers to make sure I stay off of if I decide to venture in.  


The main reason the black person won't get hired is because they often times show up at an interview with baggy jeans , some sort of 'swagger' that makes them look just ridiculous and poor social skills paired with the inability to articulate.  I wouldn't hire ANYONE if they can't wear something nice and be able to communicate correctly and YES I have seen many white people do the same.  


The differences though in what I see between poor blacks , poor whites and poor hispanics is that the hispanics are always very polite . say thank you , say please , don't have that ridiculous swagger even though their dress attire is still that of a poor minority.  They can't communicate simply because they don't speak fluent english.  


It isn't about skin color.  It's about practicality in what managers are looking for.  It isn't because someone is black or white.  It isn't about socioeconomic standards.  It's about attitude, communication skills and the ability to show you have respect for job opportunities by wearing a decent set of clothes!  

Hoorah racism is alive and well at Think Atheist!

Sheesh, do you even listen to yourself???????????

The only racism is the accepted racims against the white man.

Guess what people? I am Iranian. I was born in Iran and came to the U.S. when I was 3. My father was born in Iran and came to the U.S. to attend high school by himself alone in the states when he was 16-years old (before the revolution) and later went back to Iran and met my mother (now divorced) and we left Iran when I was 3 during the Iran-Iraq war bombs. We lived in Turkey for 6-months and lived in a refugee camp in Belgium for under a year before settling in California. My father did not use excuses for being an immigrant from Iran - mind you an Iran in which an anti-American regime came to power with chants of "Death to America" and the burning of American flags, and American hostages being taken for 444 days. Do you think they disliked anyone at that moment in the United States more than Iranians??

Anyhow, my dad built a life for himself and became successful. No excuses. Guess what else? Iranians in the United States tend to be among the wealthiest minority groups in the United States. Why is this so? Because we have never used excuses, have a culture that values education, and work hard to be successful. Just think about that. We didn't allow a self-fulfilling prophecy and learned helplessness to be a part of who we are - so although I am technically "white" as Iranians are "aryan" - I am not considered white by any imagination by other Americans and my dad certainly was not - and Iranians are very respected members and fellow American citizens throughout the United States - particularly in Southern California.

Sassan I am not suggesting that you cannot be a success if you are an immigrant or person of color. Can you honestly tell me you have never lived a day in your life when you have been the brunt of a stereotype because of the color of your skin? Can you ask your dad is he has?


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