We are in a time where one, for many reasons, can be easily offended, angered, possibly even embarrassed. Some of those pointing at me-and I mean this institutionally, but not everyone will agree with that-have legitimate beefs and persuasive arguments; arguments I find compelling, and which I agree with.
I try not to be offended.
In a previous post I tried and I’m pretty sure I came off whiny.
That got me thinking: Is there any way I can respond to racism, misogyny and not come off whiny? I’m thinking no.
But I’m a nice guy. How do I know? My wife tells me.
Nice guy or not, as a middle-aged straight white guy, I have a lot to answer for. And though many other straight white guys, whether middle-aged or not, don’t like it, I’m more prone to accept that, yeah, argumentatively, it’s on me. And I’m aware that this is tricky ground, that a lot of people don’t think anything is wrong, that people are making trouble, and being accusatory, and judging me without knowing me, that this why we talk so little, in a substantive way, about racism and misogyny. But someone’s gotta own up.
I don’t particularly want to answer for all this, but it’s not the end of the world if white folks acknowledge that racism and misogyny have a long and rather pronounced-that means bad-history in this country and that we’ve benefited from it whether we like it or not. Isn’t that the first step, acknowledgement?
One would think, and I’m pretty sure I sound whiny already. I’m willing to accept that too.
I would like to be able to say that I, with a wave of my hand, can undo hundreds of years of terrible acts and that from this point on, everyone will be treated as equals in all ways by all institutions of power and authority. I’d like to say that, but it’s deeply hubristic and the people who actually control the world wouldn’t let me anyway. That doesn’t mean I have to like it or accept it.
But it does mean I should at least acknowledge it.
If we can’t start with the world as it is and how it came to be that way in any meaningful dialogue, then nothing’s going to change. And for the record, I’m not directing this at those who have a legitimate beef.
I know, sounds whiny.
©2019 David William Pearce