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White, straight men


#1

Can we have a convo about why it is starting to look like it is not okay to be white and straight? And by white, I mean white people as in Latinos and so on.

I just finished reading this and I thought, why? http://www.ew.com/article/2016/08/10/cbs-so-white

I mean, if you are the boss of some network you can put out whatever you want but after reading this article it seems that you’re now forced to do something just to…what?

I remember a very long time ago there was a show called 21 Jump Street. It was basically about a very racially diverse undercover police unit infiltrating high schools and stuff and doing what they do. Eventually, we got some episodes dealing with some racist whites vs. a young black woman. The episode was hard to watch but I can’t forget one scene where a white cop played by Johnny Depp accused another white cop of being proud to be white.

As a young Latino this confused me because I thought that the accusation was silly. I mean, everyone should be proud of who they are! But the scene made it seem like if you were white, you should be ashamed.

I would like to see comments on this and let’s just keep it respectful and talk about it.


#2

I think it’s perfectly ok to be white and straight. I think it’s perfectly ok for pretty much everyone. I think you’ve taken the wrong conclusion from that article. They’re not saying being white and straight is a problem, they’re saying that diverse leads in our entertainment is a good thing. Not just from a ‘this is what society looks like’ standpoint, but also from a business standpoint.

CBS not having any diversity in their lineup is odd. Only a quarter of the nation is white, straight male. To have six shows with that type as the lead in each has odds of 1 in 4000.

I wouldn’t let a single scene from a TV show from 20 years ago set any sort of reflection of a common thought process.


#3

I prefer “straight, white man” if you please. Let’s put the proper emphasis first.

Seriously, though, where did “white” come from? Where did brown come from, for that matter? What is brown? It’s not “light black” because that is gray. What the hell is brown exactly?

But I digress. The problem somewhat goes right back to the origins of racial identity which in terms of white, is not that long ago. Why am I a white guy? Not in terms of why do I choose to be a white guy, but why is there even an easily recognizable social category of “white guy”?

Really, I’m descended from the much maligned ethnic group of the Scotch Irish who were generally a big nuisance to Scotland and England and Ireland for their entire existence and then my ancestors all came to the New World to annoy the hell out of everyone over here. I’m obnoxious and proud! It’s my racial heritage.

So, like we can see in history, being white in a white continent like Europe didn’t matter. Just like skin color between Africans really doesn’t matter when it comes to civil conflicts.

So why, all of a sudden (centuries ago) did “white” become such an important defining characteristic?

Well - and I think this is obvious - it was only a defining characteristic when it became an important element of who had the power and who didn’t. Who had precedence over whom. It only became important in relationship to slavery, colonialization and the literal genocide of indigenous populations from America to Australia. And to the excessive and murderous oppression of immigrants like the Chinese - the “yellow” people even though honestly, there was and is very little difference in skin color between Asian and European (they just couldn’t be “white”) - who were allowed in for their labor and then decimated mercilessly when the railroads were completed.

I think that being “white” is significantly different than being Latino (Mexican and other native groups now accused of being illegal immigrants) or African American (brought here against their will, tortured in slave labor camps, and forced to relinquish any inheritance from the labor) or Chinese (as mentioned in regard to the railroads). I am content in who I am and I am proud of the specific family I descended from, but I am not proud of being white or of the unfair privilege that it bestowed me through no merit of my own and to the extreme detriment of those who were and still are excluded by not being white.

Being proud of who one is is different from being proud of a reward one didn’t earn except on the backs of others. But I don’t need to be proud. For the rest of my life, I will “enjoy” the privilege with little or no difference made to the social fabric it’s left us with for a few centuries now.


#4

Because hegemony.


#5

I should add – being a white straight male, of reputable intelligence and aesthetic, from an arguable well-off background and residing in a top 5 lifestyle country as determined by the Economist Intelligence Unit, with a multiplicity of accredit and currently attending one of the top 15 law schools in the world, with a possible career trajectory which may very well be sparkling, as determined, at least in part, by the connections made at said law school and those further made through familial channels, I cannot comprehend why people like me are looked on as unfairly having an advantage.

I mean, surely, I’m living proof that I’m just very very lucky, right? :confused:


#6

There is a lot of nuance to it that we whites only talk about among ourselves of course - usually in the clubhouse at the white only, men only, no Jews allowed golf courses.

It’s a lot like the Wonderful Wizard of Oz or Oz the Great and Terrible! Oz was a good man but a bad wizard. He was a humbug, but he was a terrific humbug, and by pretending so convincingly that he had magical powers, he built a great city and was a boon to his people. In the books, if you recall (surely every American read at least the first book when they were children - or had it read to them), the Emerald City of Oz was only “emerald” because everyone who lived in or visited the city was forced to wear green tinted goggles locked to their heads prior to entering the city. The excuse given was that the city was so filled with light that it would blind them were it not for the goggles.

So people were thoroughly impressed by the beautiful emerald city they perceived not realizing that it was all red brick and whatever other normal colors with no magic at all. It was only emerald because everyone consented to wearing the goggles.

In this sense, it is the same with being white. We all know that being white in itself has nothing innate to make one stand out. But at the same time, we keep electing straight white men to the majority of politically powerful positions, and more importantly, it is straight white men who are in charge of the most wealth that this country produces. It’s not just other white men putting them in this position either. Minorities and women do so as well in overwhelming numbers. I actually didn’t know that more white college educated women voted Republican in previous elections - that surprised me, and I thought I was up to date with political culture.

So, in a sense, we STRAIGHT (have I made that clear?), white, gentile males seem to be sorta stuck with the privilege. It’s expected that even if the President is a black man, he’s gonna go to a bunch of white guys whenever he wants to get anything done. White guys are gonna be a part of whatever decision gets made even though they’re just… guys. White doesn’t really do much.

It’s a Humbug.

But, like good old Oz, if we have no choice but to be a humbug. If we have no real magic, then we best be the best humbugs we can be - for the good of the people depending on those decisions we’ve been handed to make.


#7

Holy crap! Youre straight??

Are you sure??

This changes everything.


#8

To counter an existing inequality. Black people and Hispanics are still underrepresented in TV shows (as they are in leading positions and so on). People criticise this underrepresentation because sometimes, those white, straight men who are the heads of those TV networks otherwise might be just fine with it.

I don’t know, I don’t really see the problem there.

Nope. Nor should you be proud of your skin colour; like Jonny says, it’s ultimately a pretty random thing. But as a white person in our societies, you should be aware that you have been handed an advantage that other people don’t have, and help make things, ultimately, a little bit fairer for everyone.


#9

Rubbish.

Id be the same gorgeous success if I was born Egyptian, Somalian, or as one of those guys who like other guys bums.

There is no such thing as adversity, only awesomeness!


#10

Cajun…


#11

I’m not proud to be white. I was just born this way, I can’t take credit for it, so I can’t take pride in it. For the same reason, I’m not ashamed to be white. I just am what I am.

And for the same reason, I don’t think anybody should be proud or ashamed of their genetics. Be proud or ashamed of what you do, not what you look like.


#12

Y’know, just to add to what I posted before, it just seems like this “no straight white guys allowed” is everywhere. Movies, TV and unfortunately, comics as well. Recently, all hell broke loose because Matt Damon was in a Chinese movie. Chinese people were saying how Matt is not what Chinese heroes looked like and that Hollywood was racist and so on and so on. No one mentioned that Matt was cast by the director who is Chinese. It was more like, oh my God look, it’s a white guy! Racist!


#13

I think “no straight white guys allowed” is a funny way of putting it, given that straight white guys are the absolutely overwhelming majority in all of these products. Let’s remember you started this with an article about a network who were criticised for using exclusively straight white guys in all of their upcoming shows.

The Matt Damon thing is funny, though, I have to say, given that this is a Chinese-produced movie and they’re obviously including Matt Damon for diversity so they can sell the movie better in American and European markets as well as Chinese. So they’re basically being criticised for deliberate diversity casting.

There’s been some cases in which there’s been some controversy because the complaining seemed off the mark. Iron Fist and Doc Strange, for example. But in those cases, it didn’t seem like anybody much cared, anyway.


#14

Cajun is obviously the superior race.

EDIT: I hope people realise the levels of sarcasm I’m pitching in this thread…


#15

We got it, don’t worry. :wink:


#16

Straight white guys “were” the majority. Now it’s against the law.


#17

That statement doesn’t seem to reflect the reality when, again, what this thread starts with is a network being criticised for starring exclusively straight white men.


#18

What a load of nonsense.

Factually to begin with as straight white men have never been the majority in any country ever. There is a small bias to more females in a population and some of the men are gay.


#19

Anyways, the point is that the Networks shouldn’t get blasted for having straight white guys all over the place. When I want to see all black programing I tune into BET. If I want to see my people all over the place, I switch to Univision. What’s the big deal?


#20

When I want to see my people, I watch Supergirl.

Because of me secretly being a Kryptonian orphan and all.