Notes From A White Male

Did I lose you yet? Just listen, no please I need you to listen.... What did I do wrong? I mean seriously, cause I’m still trying to work it out? I’ll be working for the rest of my life so give me a break, but what is a break? I don’t know the definition. Apparently I suck for oppressing a race, a race that was oppressed before my very face. I’m told it’s my fault that I chose to do nothing, but when I look around me I don’t see the oppression. I know this poem will make you hate me and you’ll probably stop hearing. You’ll hear what you want, but that’s not what I’m saying. When slavery and suffrage plagued you, my ancestors weren’t even in this country. They had their own oppression in the form of an army. They fled from the Nazis to find refuge here, the land of the free and the home of the brave, but they found neither. My grandfather never taught his own daughter his language because he wanted her to be American because at the time being anything, but American was a sin. My mother had 6 siblings all of whom learned to be American before they learned to be themselves. They learned oppression before oppression left your lips. You grew up in a time where men and women were equal. In which black and white could walk in peace side by side and in which people were valued for being more than just what they were told to be. But this is not your fault. Someone told you that you are oppressed long ago. You grew up breathing the anger, drinking in the hatred of the world and wearing it like a coat of armor, you fought wars. Harsh words from kids at school and nasty looks from a lady in the checkout line, but that was enough. Everyday a white boy in America gets bullied. Every day a white man in America goes home feeling as though no one loves him. You are not alone. Just because you are not white or you are not male does not mean that your pain is worse than their pain. Nearly 70% of suicides are committed by White males. Men are almost 4 times more likely to commit suicide than women and people who are white are much more likely to fall on the blade of suicide than any other race. So the next time you tell a white guy they are worthless or a pig because of the body they were born in, re-evaluate your values. I am not saying that racism and sexism do not exist, but I am asking you to examine who the primary culprits of those actions are. Stereotyping all white men as xenophobic, homophobic, racist, sexist, or small minded makes you become the very thing that you detest. Every human being is different, every person is unique, regardless of any demographic. When I tell you that I hope to travel someday, that is my dream and I confided in you. If you tell me that the reason I can dream is because I am a white male then do you not remember Martin Luther King Junior, he died for his dream. He died so that you and I may both have dreams and so we could both fulfill our dreams. Yes my dream may not be as important as his dream, but a dream is a dream. I will most likely be saving up money for the rest of my life and still not be able to afford my dream, but by telling me that it is because of my “privilege” that I’m allowed to travel, sets our world back farther than my tear-filled eyes can see, while I try to prove to the world that I am more than what it has labeled me. I shouldn’t have to prove anything to you. Where is the privilege you mentioned anyways? Because from where I am kneeling there is no privilege to grasp. In America the highest percent of hate crimes targeted at the person themselves is based on sexual orientation not race and not gender. Yet, when people say that they are discriminated against they conveniently forget that more people are discriminated against for their sexual orientation than for race, for gender, or for any other form of societal labeling. What does that mean you ask? 58% of homosexuals are white and those white men and women are likely being discriminated against more than you ever will be in your lifetime, yet because of their skin color that they themselves can not change, you despise them. How is that any different than the racists who hate you? I am not saying that all white men are perfect and I’m not saying that no white men are racists, sexists, or homophobes, in fact many of them are. However, I am asking you, no begging you, to remember that we are not all the same and before you get to know someone, don’t judge them or label them as something they are not because that makes you just as bad as the bullies who labeled you.

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