I honestly don’t think I’ve watched an ounce of MTV since I last saw three little white girls mmmbopping about something in the mid-90s. But yesterday, I found my Facebook feed inundated with this video from MTV news. Go ahead and take a minute to watch it, I’ll wait.
Being plagued with the condition of white skin and male genitalia since birth, it became abundantly clear that they were talking to me. “Do better in 2017” was their rallying cry to myself and those who look like me. And while I appreciate the encouragement to advance myself, I sat scratching my head over what exactly white people need to do differently in 2017. I mean, we did have that ridiculous Corey Feldman dancing performance attached to us and if that is the case, dear Lord yes let us do better. Upon realizing that they were lecturing half of an entire race on issues of racism and sexism I thought to myself, “This must be satire.” Double checking a time or two for the Duffleblog link, it settled on me that no, an entire brand was in fact allowing millennial kids to lecture and entire race. Grabbing popcorn and watching the entire Veteran community in general “get woke” I watched the subsequent fallout with great awe. But now that the dust has settled, I think now is the best time for me to mansplain a thing or two to MTV news and the world.
America is Only Great for the White Male?
True story, I actually had no idea what “get woke” and “mansplain” meant and had to look them up. Thanks for the education MTV news. But as a white male, I have to admit that revolutionary war days were pretty dang sweet for white dudes and not so much for others. It’s just history and no need to argue about it. Women couldn’t vote, African-Americans were only counted as 3/5th a person, and the Native Americans got a slightly less than stellar deal from the white man. They gave us America, we gave them smallpox, but is it really our fault that we are such good negotiators? That was a joke snowflake, so lighten up Francis.
But to say that America was NEVER great for anyone who wasn’t a white male is just not factual history and perhaps a little, “fake newsie” if I can steal the term. For the term “never” means not today, yesterday or ever has America been a great place for women or persons of color. And that is just not true. In fact, so much so I’d like to see Facebook flag that video as something which has been proved patently false. I mean, just look at these poor refugees from Cuba who braved shark-infested waters in order to come to the land of non-greatness. How sad they must be to have arrived.
I spent about an hour last week talking to a refugee from South Sudan and I gotta tell you, she loves it here. The week before I watched a young Latino man receive an email and the dude literally jumped up in excitement and screamed. The email? He had just been cleared for citizenship. Poor guy will never be great again. I bet the Afghan girl in a small village being beaten for going to school would find America just terrible. I’m sure all the immigrants legal and illegal pouring across our borders and boat loads of refugees clamoring to get into America are just lost. Wrong turn at Albuquerque likely. If America has never been a great place for anyone but white men someone has sure failed to get the message out to the rest of the world.
Of Course Racism Still Exists
No rational white person is arguing that America does not have a checkered and tragic history with race and gender. Immoral, I would go so far as to say. And yes, it is inherently minimizing to say that as a guy who wouldn’t have experienced it anyway. I guess I could just self-identify as something else like Rachel Dolezal, but I’m not crazy. See my article, “Thanks to Rachel Dolezal I self-identify as Batman.” Despite being equally endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, persons of color and women were denied those rights under our flag. But I am perplexed beyond belief at this generation’s prescription to cure these remnants of our human illness.
Every great social change movement from MLK to Gandhi realizes you have to enroll people and not alienate them. In fact, the people you often need to enroll are the very ones opposed to your end result. Martin Luther King had a dream that little kids of all color would be walking down the street holding hands and didn’t make it happen by saying “you white people need to do a better job of holding a person of color’s hand.” No, he preached a method of progress and always forward that enrolled whites and blacks in the same vision. And when your social movement earned everyone a day off work in January, you know you do social movements like a boss. When you outsource your social movement to the kid who comes up with the sweetest hashtag, you get trainwrecks like this video.
Gandhi had a dream for a peaceful and free India. And to accomplish it, he was somehow able to enroll his people to walking to the face of British oppression and get the ever loving snot beat out of them time and time again. Such a remarkable display of fortitude enrolled people around the world and yes, in Britain to change their minds. But for some reason, this modern generation of social just warrior wanna be’s has gotten the idea that to make progress we must first divide. Rather than the historically proven message of progress and always forward, they have changed the message to “hey guys, slow down you know I can’t run that fast.” If there is anything this modern social movement needs to “get woke” about it is that their tactics suck. And this video was just the worst.
People are right to be outraged by a video that divides rather than unifies. People are right to scoff at a social movement which has done more harm than good. And white men like me are right to question why I’m being lectured by some 20 something-year-old kid to do better when he has yet to experience half the life I have lived. They were not beside me when I spent 13 years working with vulnerable youth of all colors in the foster care system. They are not helping me raise my daughters to be the strong type of woman who would jack up a dude if he mansplained anything to her. They were not there with me when myself and my fellow Marines of all colors were fighting side by side in Iraq. Really it was great, we had Mexicans and even a couple Asians too! It was a rainbow coalition of pew pew pew.
So no, I will not do better in 2017 because I am white. I will, however, do better in 2017 as a general member of the human race. I plan to lose weight because I gained like 20 pounds this year and being fat sucks. I plan to be more kind to me wife as I hardly do her beauty and personality justice. I’d like to be a better dad to my kids and not let work consume me. And so help me, 2017 will be the year I finally make “Bea Arthur wants her panties back” like a legit thing on the interwebz. Who knows, maybe I’ll find enough time to look up the proper use of a comma. And if you think this blog is just some long defense of Donald Trump I suggest you check in with my regular blog followers for my thoughts on that. Do better in 2017 my friends, especially you MTV News. You can do a lot better because this was bad.
If You Believe Change Comes from Moving Forward Like the Unprecedented Mediocrity Page Below. It won’t help anything, but I’ll get to write more stuff to you.