Saturday, April 23, 2005

The White Christian Male Minority

I have just finished listening to an incredible taped set of speeches. The circumstances of the speeches were this:
The Family Research Council, a Washington-based Religious Right group, held a closed-door “Washington Briefing” March 17-19, 2005. During the event, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) addressed attendees and pledged that Republican leaders in Congress would work to implement the Religious Right’s controversial political agenda.
Now, the thing is, this was supposed to be a closed door meeting. Neither Frist nor DeLay had a clue they were being taped, and they spoke with a candor they do not afford their constituents or the press.

I learned about these speeches in a diary by Pyewacket at Daily Kos called Evangelicals Caught on Tape: We Can Shut Down the Courts!. You can listen to the actual speeches at Americans United For Separation of Church and State. Further information, this more specifically relating to the religious leaders present is available from the LA Times Story 2 Evangelicals Want to Strip Courts' Funds.

I'm not going to discuss the fundamentally Unamerican attempt at undermining the United States Constitution and our entire system of government. If you want that discussion please see this diary at Daily Kos. It has been thoroughly hashed out there.

What I want to talk about briefly is the very weird view apparently held by everyone at that conference and the two speakers that White, Christian males are some kind of persecuted minority deserving of special status and protection. I don't want to hear crap about liberals playing the victim. Both DeLay and Frist have elevated whining to new art form and their whines are a cry in unison of: poor pitiful me! Born a white male in the world's richest country! Life is so difficult when you're a White Christian Male in America! Everybody picks on poor Christians! Here we are the two most powerful elected officials in America other than the President and we're victims! Victims of the liberal media! Victims of activist judges! Victims of the godless anti-Christian Democrats!

Maybe they think that if they whine loudly enough and often enough we will believe them. From where I sit, I have no goddamn sympathy for them at all. None. Why not?
  • These are hugely successful people. More successful than 99.99% of the population.
  • They cheat. If they can't get what they want by following the rules their solution is to either change the rules (end the filibuster) or ignore the rules (take money illegally from lobbyists). When I was a kid and playing board games there was a clear word for people like that: Cheaters.
  • They are white Christian males, the most privileged class of people this entire planet has seen for the past 300 years. You want some goddamn sympathy? Dye your skin brown and pick grapes for a living assholes! Dye your skin black and work two jobs: as a janitor and as a server in a greasy spoon to make ends meet. Spend a month as a Muslim university student; now's a great time to be named Muhammad in America. Get over your precious selves!
  • Quit blaming the Democrats. Hello? You won the elections, legally or illegally. You control the House, the Senate, the Presidency and over 60% of the current federal judiciary are Republican appointees. If you can't get what you want it's because of your stupidity and incompetence because guess what: we don't have the power to stop you. We lost. So quit whining about the Democrats and go do what you do best: sit on your ass while somebody else's son or daughter dies in Iraq.

    This reminds me of way back when I was in the University of Denver School of Law. One day, in second year, I got to class way early and was sitting in a classroom with two other white guys waiting for class to start. The two of them are just bitching and complaining away. It seems neither of them got the legal clerkship positions they wanted for the summer. They had figured out why: because minorities had gotten all the good clerking, intern and research positions. That dastardly affirmative action had cheated them of their God given right as white males to get whatever the hell they wanted, when they wanted it.

    There was only one problem with their thesis. At that time I think out of our class of 300, there was exactly one, yeah, count 'em, one black guy: Mark. I felt really, really sorry for Mark. He was going to have one hell of a summer as a clerk for every judge in Colorado, interning at every law firm in Denver, etc. Poor guy probably wouldn't get to sleep until school started again in fall! But he had succeeded in his nefarious plan to cheat the whites of the jobs they deserved by virtue of their color and maleness!

    I am so sick of the: whites are the victims, Christians are picked on, males are losing their masculinity memes. It is such a bunch of self-pitying bullshit that it nauseates me. And this just pervades our culture. I mean look, it spans from Bill Frist, born to a wealthy family of privileged elites all the way to a common insect exterminator from Houston. It's rooted in a childish selfishness that stuns me with its shortsightedness.

    So, this is the problem but I will be damned if I know the solution. How do you get people to recognize that their problems all have only one thing in common: themselves. How can you teach personal responsibility to adult elected officials? Can they even learn it at this point? I know what it took for me to grow up; my pride had to go before a long, humiliating fall. That's when I realized that if I didn't succeed, I was the problem, not someone else. That's when I realized the blame game is a losing game where you hurt others with the blame and cheat yourself by not learning from the mistakes you make.

    I wonder if they really believe that they are persecuted. This is coming from an alcoholic in recovery: I know a little bit about denial, be this is extreme. How could they really think this way?

    In a sense I feel sorry for Frist and DeLay. They have tremendous amounts of power and don't know it; all they see are the little bits of power they don't yet have and they have to cheat to try to gain those bits. So self absorbed they cannot or will not use what they have to benefit America as a whole. Blind to the key tenets of their own religion:
  • Honor God first and foremost always
  • Treat everyone else as you wish to be treated
  • Tend to your spiritual growth, don't worry about the spiritual growth of others
  • Lead by example-deeds, not by words
  • When others are down and out and you are not, help the down and out folks!
    The good news is that if they keep this up, if they put themselves first always, their hubris will be what brings them down. It always catches up to you. So, go ahead and kill the filibuster. Violate your own principles to intrude in private, family decisions (decisions you made for your own family), ram your judges through the Senate, break the laws. It will all catch up to them.

    It's just gonna suck for the rest of us until it does.
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