Opinion: The White Male Era is Over, and I Won't Miss it

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 12:17 PM

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

As Bill O'Reilly observed on Fox news and Stephen Colbert hilariously amplified, this election may have witnessed the passing of the hegemony of the White Male. O'Reilly may say it with concern. Colbert with humor. But how should I, a White Male, hear the news?

Was I upset that my time had passed before I fully enjoyed it? That I'm now a relic of a bygone era? Was I relieved not to have the burden of mastering the universe? Did I feel competitive with the emerging non-White-Male powerhouse?

Actually, I felt pretty unsurprised. As far as I knew, I never lived in the Land of White Males.

Growing up, a majority of my school teachers were not White Males. Most years, at least half my classmates weren't White Males either. At home, White Males were a distinct minority. With grandmothers who outlived their partners, an abundance of female cousins and a Big Sister, most of my relatives were not White Males.

When I cheer for the New York Yankees, most of the players I loudly applaud are not White Males. When I listen to music on the radio, less than 50 percent of air time is filled by White Males (and White Males probably sing a disproportionately high number of songs I'd turn the tuner past them). When I think about going out for dinner, I wouldn't bet that I'm looking for food prepared by White Males.

It's not just me. Today's teenagers don't remember America having a Secretary of State who has been a White Male.

If I were looking for reinforcements, my personal life wouldn't help. My wife's not a White Male. Our newest addition, our daughter: Also not a White Male. The professionals who attended her birth: None of them White Males.

So I already live in a world in which people other than White Males raised me and educated me, entertained me and supported me, loved me and made me a father. I live in a world made more exciting, creative, delicious, secure and enjoyable because so many non-White-Males have been around. I don't miss the White Male Era - because I never felt it was my era.

Unfortunately, it tends to be White Males who sit at the heads of the financial casino that brought our economy to the brink. It's a majority -though not exclusively - of White Males who led us into the folly in Iraq and extended our quagmire in Afghanistan.

And if White Males were the only ones voting, Upworthy has a great visualization about how our Electoral College would look (hint, it's a very very red electoral map.)

In other words, the faster that our political and governmental leadership can start looking like the leaders in our schools, families, small businesses and communities , the better of all of us - even White Males like me - will be.

The good news is that it's already begun. The first American President my daughter ever sees will not be a White Male. And depending what our current Secretary of State decides, our next American President may not be either.


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Comments [4]


In the new Post-White Male world, there will be an interesting social twist. It will become increasingly acceptable to attack and denigrate women and racial minorities. More particularly, it will become perfectly acceptable to attack women and racial minorities who happen to be conservatives and Republicans. Indeed, women and minorities who choose to be Republicans will be (and already are) subject to especially virulent forms of attack.

Jun. 16 2013 09:30 PM

Hmmm. It seems to me I certainly grew up in the "Land of White Males" ... and continue to live there. A bounty of films, tv programs, ads, websites, books, and ideas architected by White Males in America have dominated and silenced women even more than the absence of women in government. I agree that women are and have been "leaders in our schools, families, small businesses and communities" for decades, perhaps centuries, but political leadership is not the only place they have been missing. I agree it's a place to start. Wish it was enough.

Nov. 27 2012 10:54 PM

Interesting how few are against the era continuing for white/male progressive political commentators who do not seem to be keen about giving up their place for others to showcase their skin color and gender which apparently for some is more important than their ideas.

Strange how Democrats today are just as obsessed with race and gender and how to use it for political advantage as Democrats in the South were a century ago.
The more things change the more they stay the same.

Nov. 14 2012 11:48 PM
Michael I.

Interesting take, Justin.

Nov. 14 2012 03:38 PM

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