Here’s a radical thought: What if learning history was fun? What if history could be a uniter rather than a divider?
I hated history until I had the right teacher. He approached history class as the time to tell tales and stories about how we got here and what happened along the way. History, the good and the bad, the triumphs and the terrible, has a lot to teach us. And it can be pretty funny along the way.
What if the history you learned was accurate, was color blind, and wasn’t distorted by modern-day radical revisionism and Marxist critical-race theory? What if it was just a great story told well? Welcome to White Guys Are Okay Too: Heroes Throughout History, the new book from author, talk radio host and Washington Times writer Tim Constantine.
Like most people, Constantine found the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd to be outrageous and terrible. Constantine sees their killings as an opportunity to unite people of all races against senseless violence. But some have opportunistically used the sickening deaths as a chance to ramp up divisive racial rhetoric and slam America.
Some who benefit from such division have declared the old white male is to blame for anything and everything bad, the scourge of the earth. Constantine disagrees. He makes the case that men and women of all races have shown the ability to change the world, for better and for worse.
In White Guys Are Okay Too: Heroes Throughout History Constantine blows holes in the modern myth that the old white man has been nothing but a bane to society, and he does so while simultaneously complimenting people of both genders and all races. It’s sly and brilliant, even radical.
The author opens White Guys Are Okay Too with a section on the historical importance of 20th-century legends Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Teresa (neither of whom were white men). Next, in the book’s introduction, Constantine lays the groundwork for why he wrote the book. He cites example after example from the last five years where the mainstream media and pop culture have insisted the white male is the source of all that’s wrong and evil in the world.
Constantine doesn’t buy it, instead pointing out that white guys have brought a variety of popular things into being, including penicillin, Coca-Cola, basketball, and air travel. He sums up his introduction by asking readers to focus only on one race: the human race. That’s radical thinking in 2020.
Then the real fun begins.
Chapter one explores music, respecting Aretha Franklin as the greatest voice in recorded musical history. Not white, not male. It delves into her impressive track record for hit singles and record sales. Constantine then reminds the reader there were some white guys who did well in music too, including Mozart, Aerosmith, and U2.
Chapter five looks at statesmen throughout history. It opens with a look at the life of Nelson Mandela, who sought to make South Africa a better place peacefully. The chapter also visits some other guys who were okay statesmen too, including Abraham Lincoln and Pope John Paul II.
All 180 pages are full of fun, fact-based reminders that all races have made meaningful contributions to history and that white guys aren’t so bad. There are chapters on basketball, movies, technology, space, business, and much more. Constantine’s trademark humor and easy-going nature make for a pleasant read. Toss in creative caricatures of some of history’s most important people and it’s a fun, light, yet serious book, perfect for late summer and for that person you know who may not be into history but who just loves a good story.
It’s not every book that can bring Joe Namath, Thomas Edison, and Spike Lee together in one place but Tim Constantine pulls it off. White Guys Are Okay Too: Heroes Throughout History offers a unique hodgepodge of knowledge and, more importantly, an essential lesson, using history to demonstrate that no race or gender has a monopoly on being good or bad.
We’re all in this together. Which, in 2020, is a downright radical notion.