We’ve all heard a lot this year about “identity politics” and “intersectionality,” and if you are anything like me, it’s made you deeply uncomfortable. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not some slack-jawed reactionary; in fact, back in the day, I was widely considered the wokest young Republican in the Student Senate. I don’t publicly hold unseemly views about any group. Gray, blue, purple, I don’t care what color you are, as long as you defer to my judgment. I am certain that as Americans of good will we have many shared values, and I sometimes stare off wistfully and try to imagine what those might be.
The Wall Street Journal tells me that some groups apparently feel like they have to shout to be heard, that they are tired of constantly having to justify their very existence, and that every institution in America goes out of its way to disrespect and humiliate them. In a vague and non-actionable way, I see where they are coming from. But I have a demand of my own: to have my identity as an abrasive, shallow, and deeply unlikable white man validated and recognized.
People think I’ve had an easy life. Hardly. My father was a hard man. He sometimes would look at me over his newspaper, fix me with a steely glare, and say “You better shape up unless you wanna dig holes for a living.” He would then pour himself a brandy and fall asleep. I could have let those early traumas shape me. I could have spent my days complaining to some phony therapist or become some sort of money-grubbing “activist,” but I used my hardships to fuel me. When my old man hired me as a Vice President, I had the dignity and confidence that comes from fighting past insurmountable obstacles. The eagle poster in the bathroom at my office says it best: “Anything is possible if you have the will to fly.” America’s urban poor would do well to learn from that eagle.
But my struggles didn’t end in childhood. It’s not easy being constantly judged. Everyone thinks they can weigh in on my lifestyle, second guess my choices, and bring up various allegations against me. It’s a constant source of stress in my life. One time at the dry cleaners, the lady rolled her eyes at me when I said I needed to look my best that night “to chase fresh tail.” Would she have done that to a Mexican woman who said the same thing? The double standard is real. And for anyone who thinks these microaggressions have no real-world impact, I couldn’t stop thinking about it until after my second Red Bull and vodka. She nearly ruined my whole night!
But it’s not just about the poor service I get at ethnic restaurants or whether my daughter’s friends feel comfortable spending the night. It’s about an entire social movement that aims to demonize good guys like me. The same people who complain about it being a “hostile workplace” try to get you fired for telling hilarious jokes. Do you want to have fun at work or not? Make up your mind! You can even be sued for making an innocent comment about someone’s hair. If that isn’t bad enough, who gets in trouble after the company pays the settlement? Is it the attentive and complimentary boss, or the troublemaker who tempted them by having hair? I would tell you, but I signed a non-disclosure agreement.
In this difficult social moment, white men have a duty to stand up and be heard.
Join me in standing up.
For the teen who gets punched for using a racial slur and then has his GoFundMe shut down.
For the college student who faces a life-destroying academic court martial because he was sober and responsible and his sexual partner was asleep.
For the fund manager who can’t go to his favorite golf course anymore because he was “drunk” and “abusive” and “drove onto the patio.”
You don’t have to be uncomfortable anymore. Just because for once people are asking you to listen doesn’t mean you have to actually do it. Rather than be silent, you can be twice as loud. Let’s take this message out of the comment section and into the streets, and with your help, we can take it all the way to the House of Representatives.
Show the social justice stormtroopers that you’re not going to take it anymore. Stand astride the globe and shout: “Enough!” Take out your checkbook and donate to my PAC, my campaign committee, and my legal defense fund. Together we can be a voice for those who are upset about not being the only voice in the room.