You’re a White Male; He’s a White Male; Everyone’s a White Male—But Me
When 40%, not 97%, Is Illiberal
One of the legacies of the Obama presidency is that “white male” as a term of embarrassment has now transcended the hothouse of the campus and gone mainstream. We are lectured by media figures, celebrities, and politicians ad nauseam that the November election is really about a new America of diverse minority groups, gays, feminists, and green pitted against a dying and shrinking number of old white guys. Sometimes that narrative requires absurd assumptions.
If blacks vote this election in ratios of 97% for Obama, it is not really proof of racial solidarity, but because Romney somehow is a racist. In this regard, consult the wisdom of Louise Lucas, a Virginia state senator, who is part of something called the Obama “Truth Team": “What I am saying to you is Mitt Romney, he’s speaking to a segment of the population, who does not like to see people other than a white man in a White House or any other elected position.” Note that Lucas adduces no evidence to back up her slander.
In turn, Romney supporters allegedly have employed racial “dog whistles” -- coded language like “golf,” “welfare,” or “cool” -- intended to call out white racist males who favor Romney by supposed margins of 40% to 60%. Again, examine the logic -- when various minorities prefer Obama by margins of 70% to 97%, we are to assume that they are both enlightened and that Romney is a racist; when white males vote in far greater percentages for Obama than do minorities for Romney, we assume they are racist and illiberal. That white males usually vote for the more conservative candidate, regardless of race (ask John Kerry), is ignored.
You’re Pale, Not Me
Harry Reid, the rather old, white, wealthy, and grumpy Senate majority leader, recently remarked that “the day after the election 17 angry old white men will wake up and realize they just bought the country.” I am not as angry, old, white, or wealthy as Harry Reid, so I assume he has better claims on membership in that guild than I -- and millions of white male others.
Radio host Richard Fowler joked to rather pale, unexciting, and male Bill Press on the latter’s TV show that the Republican National Convention was “pale, stale, and male.” Giddy on hearing the glib stereotype, and apparently assured that his own liberalism meant that he was not included in it, Press chimed up that they were “old farts.”
Not long ago, an upscale, well-paid host on MSNBC by the name of Melissa Harris-Perry attacked Paul Ryan as a “wealthy white man.” Ryan, of course, makes a lot less than does Harris-Perry. A bit earlier, the rather boring and very white NBC host Brian Williams asked Mitt Romney whether he would pick as his VP candidate another “incredibly boring white guy.” These examples of the new racial polarization could be multiplied, from the idiot rantings of a quarter-educated Cher to supposedly serious entertainers like James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman, and Chris Rock (the 4th of July is now “white people's independence day”) to the ranting of the Congressional Black Caucus to “put y’all back in chains” Joe Biden.