As many of you know, I am demographically a member of a group of older white males. Many of my cohorts appear to feel that the world has changed so significantly that their values and way of life are being extremely threatened by different groups and attitudes.
First, there is the problem of blacks and Hispanics. To disguise blatant racism, the argument is stated that ethnic minorities are taking jobs and making it difficult for white men to maintain their standard of living. The alpha white male has suggested rounding up illegal immigrants in the United States and sending them back to Mexico. In addition, he would then have a fence built along the Mexico – US boarder so that they cannot return to take our jobs. This same alpha white male has suggested that we not allow any Syrian refugees or other Muslims into America because of the small chance that they may be terrorists. So my cohorts can allay their fears by turning their backs to a massive human tragedy.
Then there is the problem of the LGBT community. Homosexuality is seen as a threat to the core values of many white males. In addition, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage. Many States, particularly in the South, have taken measures to oppose this ruling. Again gay marriage is a threat to the core values of many white males. In order to protect these values they stand in opposition to the LGBT community and the concept of gay marriage.
Additionally, older white males must deal with gender equality. According to one author, the misogyny of most Greek and Roman philosophies was perpetuated in Christianity throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Aristotle believed that females were undesirable and a husband was to rule his wife and children as a king rules his subjects. Augustine believed that men not women reflected the image of God. Women could only attain that status by being joined to a man.
Remember that women in the United States were given the privilege of voting about 100 years ago and in most professions still do not earn as much as a man in the same position. Still in 2016, we talk about a glass ceiling. Many men view women as sex objects and act in inappropriate ways around them. Now these men are faced with the prospect of a woman being elected President of the United States after eight years of having a Black President of the United States.
One of the textbooks I use makes the statement, “another way of keeping women’s ideas and women’s contributions invisible is for men to discredit the quality of women’s ideas because of alleged personality deficiencies and mental health problems.” According to this point of view, if another woman was running for President she would still be “crooked”, “weak”, etc. because that is the way that some men can discredit the accomplishments of successful women. I have colleagues who refer to some women as “crazy b..ches” when a woman does not agree with the man.
What we may be seeing in the US today are responses to fear that a way of life is going away. I would like to end this column with the words of another white male, Robert Zimmerman. “The line it is drawn, the curse it is cast. The slow one now will later be fast. And the present will later be past, the order is rapidly fading. And the first one now will later be last for the times they are a-changin.’”
Bob Newby is an educator and Erath County resident. He is a member of the E-T's community columnists and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.