Dissonant Notes

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Lamentations of the Oppressor

I write this essay not because I wish to become the straight white male voice which dominates the conversation. I write this essay in response to the straight white male voices which dominate the conversation. The facts that I put across are not news to black people, to gay people, to women. They live these facts each day. Western society was created as the plaything for straight white males. It is their wonderland. Every goal that Western society achieves reflects on the glory of straight white males. Every misstep is merely the folly which all societies are prone to. Straight white males wake up every day knowing they do not need to fight for their place in society, do not need to claw their way into the picture, do not need to plead for their basic humanity to be recognised. Their sex lives can never be compared to the person who takes pleasure in penetrating animals. Their genes are not the subject of scrutiny in regards to criminality or laziness. Their clothing is not inspected for signs of sluttiness, for signs of vanity, for signs of a little too much self-regard (the straight white male will soon take care of that). Their intelligence will not be remarked upon with a certain surprise. ‘One of the girls’ will never be seen as a compliment. Their lifestyles will not be the subject of endless, humourless ‘jokes’. The world is theirs.

What happens though, when a small non-straight non- white non-male voice rises up and demands respect, demands a small piece of dignity? The straight white male cries foul, tells them that we all must deal with life’s troubles. Whenever straight white males do not get to decide what is discussed, and how it is discussed, then suddenly they are the victim of an almost unbearable violation. Fascism has descended. A crime against the very fabric of the universe has taken place. Suddenly they will become the noble warrior for truth and justice. The small, almost imperceptible voice that demands a place at the table must be silenced. Straight white men earned their place at the table. What has this small, pathetic, whiny voice of discontent ever done? Black people, you should be glad your ancestors were taken from Africa. Just look at the opportunities you have. Gay people, just be glad you aren’t being tortured and killed for your sexual orientation. Women, what has feminism really brought you? Wouldn’t you be better off back in the kitchen, leaving the man in charge?

The straight white male struts and frets. Suddenly he steps on a nail. “See, I hurt too! Aren’t we all human after all? My pain is at least equal to yours!”. His failure to recognise the superior hand he was dealt renders him incapable of recognising other pains, other problems. “Unless I recognise the pain you feel as akin to mine, it is a lesser pain. The pain of one who has not outgrown race, gender, and sexuality as I have”. Why do gay people ‘come out’? The straight white male thinks sexuality is unimportant, because society never negates his. The straight white male thinks we are all part of ‘the human race’ because his whiteness is the norm to which other races must strive. The straight white male is confused by women. They demand equality, but wear make-up! If women refuse to meet societal norms of attractiveness, then they are ignored. If they strive to meet societal norms they are hypocrites. Women are bitches if disliked, but have ‘balls’ if they are admired.

Then we have the straight white male right-wing Christian. For centuries Christianity has dominated the lives of millions of people. It has carried out such barbarities as the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre, Witch Trials, burning of heretics, as well as the persecution of Jews, the persecution of women, the persecution of homosexuals, and the persecution of scientists. Christianity was the moral force behind the British Empire, the Atlantic slave trade, Manifest Destiny, the slaughter of Native Americans, the persecution of African-Americans that included beatings, lynching, the black codes, Jim Crow, and segregation. The Vatican continues to cover up child abuse that occurs on such scales as to be almost unimaginable. The Catholic Church also helped spread HIV in Africa by forbidding followers from using condoms. Truly there is not enough room to document all the murder, torture, censorship, and general brutality carried out by the Christian religion. Up until even the most recent times Christian thinking had the power to silence, to ruin careers, to punish those who questioned. Christian groups are often the most powerful forces in the rejection of evolution and the promotion of Creationism. They pressure for books to be banned, for textbooks to be altered, for children to be taught outright lies. Christian churches, indeed any religious institutions, do not pay taxes.

What happens if you raise your voice against such a powerful force? You are labelled intolerant. Complaints will be made about the restrictive nature of political correctness, even though up until recently it was Christian morality which controlled and restricted discourse. When it comes to the teaching of scientific knowledge Christianity still restricts, except now it takes on the role of the bullied underdog. Christianity demands equality in the classroom which means the pathetic pseudo-intellectual drivel that is Creationism must be given equal footing with evolution, a scientific fact which has such overwhelming evidence to support its claims that nobody outside of those blinded by religious faith has any reason to doubt it. Among religious scholars it is stated as an incontrovertible fact that a historical personage by the name of Jesus actually existed. The evidence for this fact consists of zero first-hand accounts yet we are still told that the evidence is unarguable and only hard-line atheists would be foolish enough to deny it. Bring up the staggering amounts of evidence for evolution and/or climate change however and suddenly the right-wing Christian becomes a free-thinking skeptic who refuses to take peer-reviewed scientific papers seriously. Whispers will be made about liberal conspiracies. Textbooks mentioning evolution and climate change will be censored. The right-wing Christian states that unless they are controlling the narrative they are being repressed, suppressed, censored, and subjugated. Unless they can, without controversy, place their Christian symbols wherever they wish, whenever they wish, then there is a war taking place against freedom itself. Unless they can verbally (and at times legally) persecute homosexuals then not only is their liberty at stake, the liberty of all is at stake.

The libertarian movement in America is dominated by straight white males. They are more often than not right-wing Christians also. Their philosophy states that in a society designed to reward the straight white Christian right-wing male the only thing government should do is leave people alone. The police must be used to enforce property rights. Wars must be fought continuously to protect overseas business interests. Politicians must work to open up foreign markets for Western businesses. The government must hand out billions of dollars in tax breaks while also propping up the free market. Society must exist to reward, protect, and foster the rich ruling class, but the poor and middle class must be stripped of government protection in order to become more free. Trickle-down economic philosophy has been shown time and again to not work, to create poverty, and to increase wealth inequality yet the straight white right-wing male acts as if the universe is a faultless karmic machine which deals out good and bad perfectly according to how hard we all work. In the end, the money you take is equal to the money you make. Right-wing economic theory is nothing but warmed over hippie-esque karmic mysticism with money replacing love. Everything happens for a reason. Let’s use this opportunity to learn, regroup, and make some more money. If we work hard enough, we’ll succeed. What you give is what you get.

In the world of the straight white right-wing Christian male, race, gender, and sexuality mean nothing. They are the hobgoblins of small minds. Despite racism being invented as a term to describe the white European attitude toward non-white people, we must now use it as a universal term which applies to all races. It cannot be stated enough that non-white people, those whose idea of race was forged in the fires of white supremacy, can also be racist. Even though sexism was originally used to describe the behaviour of men towards women, it must now be used as a universal term. Even though women have been controlled, bought, sold, mutilated, burned, and slandered for centuries, please remember that women can be sexist too!

The lesson is clear. The straight white male must control at all times or the straight white male will feel oppressed. The right-wing Christian must dominate or liberty itself will be under attack. Only when society protects, fosters, and accepts the morals of the straight white right-wing Christian male are we all free. All other approaches must be set aside or a wave of anarchy will destroy the very foundations of society. America will be under attack. Look for these signs whenever the values of those who have dominated Western society for centuries are challenged. They are a shiver rattling down the spineless. They are the complaints of the King who must concede some power to an emerging parliament. They are the wails of the landlord who is forced by government ordinances to upgrade his slums. They are the protestations of the sweatshop owner who discovers he can no longer beat his 12 year old employees when they desire a toilet break. They are the lamentations of the all powerful when they sense they cannot dominate everything at all times. When the privileges of the oppressor are challenged they will suddenly become the oppressed and appeal to the very rights that up until recently they would deny to all but the chosen few. With that in mind, treat these lamentations with the respect they deserve.

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