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The New White Man's Burden

How can the white man succeed in a world that treats him only as an equal?
They just promoted a woman with twice the experience over me. That is so unfair!

They just promoted a woman with twice the experience over me. That is so unfair!

In 1899, Rudyard Kipling wrote his famous poem, "The White Man's Burden: The United States and the Philippine Islands". The poem was a call to American imperialism and became one of the many moral justifications for the West to exploit the rest of the world. After all, someone had to civilize all the non-white savages and the white man would just have to shoulder that responsibility.

But that was then and this is now. 

Where once mighty white American men walked down the streets assured of their dominance, they now schlep their way through life, bemoaning their status as the Most Oppressed Group Of All Time. Where once they shouldered the burden of lifting up all those benighted Others, they're now being unfairly stripped of their rights. Why, oh why is life so cruel and unfair to the white man? Hasn't he suffered enough already?!

The "rights" being stripped in the less-satirical-than-it-should-be paragraph above is the "right" for white men to have every advantage imaginable. When the entire system is geared exclusive to your benefit, any effort to make the system work equally for everyone else feels like a direct assault on you, personally. Hence, the nonstop bitching and moaning of white (and even not so white) men:

“I am all for women empowerment but it’s like they want to empower themselves so much that they want to eliminate men from the equation,” Oliveras says, speculating that women these days are no longer interested in creating intimate ties now that they’re less economically dependent on men.

“I actually feel like women are taking over the world,” says Ishwar Chhikara, a 36-year-old investment officer at an international development bank, citing statistics showing more women now have college degrees in the US than men. He says this laughing, but with no audible irony.“

I feel bad for men, especially those who don’t go to school, or study. The whole system is changing drastically with the coming of the information age. It’s not about strength anymore, it’s about the brains.”

It's tempting to whip out the world's smallest violin and play a sad song for their "struggles" but, to them, the struggle is real and they still have the power to punish all those uppity Others encroaching on their territory:

Justice Department officials are planning a new project to investigate and sue universities over affirmative action admissions policies they determine discriminate against white applicants, according to a U.S. government official.

The project will be based out of the department’s civil rights division, which is now looking for lawyers interested in working on “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions,” according to a person familiar with an internal announcement in the civil rights division.

If the idea of the civil rights division being used to further a blatantly white supremacist agenda makes you physically ill, congratulations on retaining your moral compass in a time of widespread moral rot.

The fact that Donald Trump is squatting in the White House is the most obvious example of white male grievance made manifest. After centuries of being, by leaps and bounds, the top of the pecking order, the election of a black man to the presidency was cause for complete and total panic. All of a sudden, the white man could see the rest of the population in their rear view mirror catching up and that just wouldn't do. From November 2008 forward, playing the victim card, once a favorite right wing insult, would become the all-encompassing lifestyle of white men.

Not everyone says "Merry Christmas?" That's an attack on white men. Not everyone portrays Santa and Jesus as white? That's an attack. Women demand an end to the campus rape epidemic? Attack. Black Lives Matter? Marriage Equality? Immigration reform? Attack, attack, attack. Everyone is out to destroy the white man! The white nationalists of the alt-right actually go so far as to call it "white genocide" with a straight face.

It's a wonder that with such a mind-bogglingly massive assault from all sides that white men, just 31% of the population, still have the time to get paid more, have more wealth, and control 65% of elected offices. They sure do have it hard in this newfangled modern world of ours.

The bottom line here is that white men, no matter how loudly they deny their privilege, know that an even playing field is not in their best interests. Surely it's just a coincidence that just as women surpassed men in earning a college degree that we started to hear that college is for snobs. Surely it's just a coincidence that just as minorities started becoming a threat at the ballot box that white men suddenly became obsessively concerned with preventing nonexistent voter fraud. 

America's white men think they're drowning under the weight of an imaginary burden when the water is only up to their knees and they're still wearing a life preserver. Yet, in their blind panic they're trying to push everyone else under to stay afloat. Sooner or later, someone is going to have to slap them across the face to break the hysteria before they drown the entire country by accident.

There are 460 days left to the 2018 elections.

- This article kills fascists

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