My 2017 Resolutions for Minorities and Women
MTV has raised hackles across America with its new video that features Millennials engaged in social justice shaming of men whose ancestors came from Europe. Here’s that network’s contribution to the culture: 2017 Resolutions for White Guys.
In the spirit of the season, I’d like to offer my own proposed resolutions, aimed at Black Guys, Asian Women, Latino Teens, and Jewish Seniors. Oh yeah, and Native American Transsexuals (can’t leave them out). Because, as MTV’s video points out, “there’s a few things [I] think you could do a little bit better in 2017.” In fact, I have taken extensive notes on how each of these groups could improve their collective behavior and make America a nicer place to live, so here goes. …
Shut up. What are you, crazy?
Oh wait. Something tells me I won’t get away with that. But why not, exactly? Are we saying that all of the people in each of those groups I mentioned are perfect? That they couldn’t do just a little bit better, if they tried? Particularly when it comes to —
If you had one of those things (think of it as a mental measuring tape) then you could then make decisions about how to treat people.
No wait, I can’t even say that. Which is really weird, I think. Because it’s perfectly acceptable for members of other groups to go off on what’s wrong with my group of people — not that I really think of myself first as a white man, come to think of it. But if they insist, I guess I could go ahead and do that. I could find a group of other white men, and together we could celebrate the whiteness and maleness of our culture, and insist that white male interests be respected and celebrated. …
No, on second thought, such a group wouldn’t be tolerated. It would end up on watchlists and get banned from college campuses, probably ruin my career if I got outed. In fact, I’ve learned that important authors such as Shakespeare — a white guy, by the way — are getting their pictures torn down at colleges, just because of their sex and the color of their skin. Again, that’s really odd to me, because that sounds a lot like the dictionary definitions of “racist” and “sexist.”
If Only Morality Had Some Kind of Rules …
It’s so hard, nowadays, to navigate ethical questions. It would help if there were something solid we could grab onto, like that thing … what was it …? It was a thing which some dead white guys a long time ago in Greece called … a “principle.” Yeah, that’s it! A “principle” which applied to every human being, regardless of his or her sex chromosomes, skin color, language or religion. If you had one of those things (think of it as a mental measuring tape) then you could make decisions about how to treat people, whether or not you knew their ethnic background — or even their sex, because that’s getting confusing nowadays, what with men wearing makeup in Vogue magazine and white women kinking their hair up so they can lead chapters of the NAACP.
Is that okay, by the way? Because I know it’s okay for men to identify as women, and vice-a-versa. But it’s not okay for a white guy to identify as a black guy, even though the physical differences between the ethnic groups are trivial, while the difference between men and women is what makes our species’ physical existence possible.
When the President Muslimsplains … is that okay?
I wish all of this were simpler, that somebody could explain to me clearly how we’re supposed to know what’s offensive and what’s acceptable. I mean, look at religion. We have a president who’s not a Muslim telling us what Islam does and doesn’t teach — and a bunch of Muslims all around the world, including clergy and professors, who say the exact opposite. And act on it, almost every day. But we’re supposed to listen to the president (who’s not a Muslim) and believe what he tells us. If we believe what the Muslims are saying and doing, then that makes us racist. Which is weird, because I thought Islam was a religion, not a race. But again, I’m not an expert, and I’m not even sure I’m allowed to talk about this at all. Because I’m just some white guy. And the president isn’t.
Maybe — and it’s just a theory, and if this offends I apologize, and please don’t tell my employer — there is an unspoken rule, which we’re just supposed to know about, but not discuss. Not a principle really, but more like an unwritten law. Yeah, I think I can suss it out based on that MTV video, plus all the news reports I’m reading from college campuses. I think it goes like this:
It is okay today to make fun of white people for being white, and men for being men, because back in the past white people were richer and more powerful than other people — especially in the countries which the white people had founded. Not so much in countries where people of other ethnic groups were completely in control, and ruling over smaller ethnic groups whenever they could. But that doesn’t count, because they weren’t white.
And the men dominated those countries, because they always dominate countries wherever they go, which is terrible and not at all something that just naturally happens. It must be part of a secret conspiracy that goes through every culture and all of recorded history, which was so effective that it erased all the evidence.
So because in some places other people a long time ago who were white and male were better off than the people who weren’t, it’s okay today to make fun of white men, to list their negative stereotypes and tell them to straighten them out. In fact, it’s so acceptable it’s even funny. So laugh at it, especially if you’re a white man, and maybe they’ll leave you alone.
But probably not.