“No longer is the female destined solely for the home and the rearing of the family and only the male for the marketplace and the world of ideas.” William Brennan, Jr.
The following article is likely to stir emotions and cause anger in some people. So if you are easily offended by any number of things, please stop reading now. If of course you continue reading I will simply say, I warned you.
In a recent email exchange with a reader I was reminded that being white and male places me in a distinct disadvantage with much of the modern world. Common perception places me among the rich and obscene of the world, after all, I am white and male right? When the individual wrote me it was to complain about my apparent lack of concern for the world. My recent articles have been supportive of community solidarity and I am a strong supporter of that. This of course is mistaken by many to mean that I simply do not care about the world or society as a whole.
I was born as I am, I did not have a choice in the matter of race. Another side effect of birth was a congenital spine defect called, spondylolisthesis, for most who suffer from this it evidences itself in the early 20’s. I was 12 when my legs first started to go numb and I began falling, than the pain started. By the time I saw a doctor I was spending as much time in bed as I was up and around. I was diagnosed with grade IV spondylolisthesis, and after over a month in the hospital and a year of traction, full body casts and intensive physical therapy I was walking again.
For the next 17 years I did everything I could, every crazy activity and physically demanding thing I could think of. In late 2005 I began having far more pain than I was used too, I lost almost complete feeling in my left leg and most of my right. In early 2007 I had more surgeries and was back at home, thankfully my significant other at the time wanted to spend time apart and so I moved using a walker to get most of my stuff out. She was a kind soul, and didnt want to burden me with her mental issues or alcoholism. She was much like the significant other I had before her, preferring to blame others for her issues and leaving over facing life. Needless to say my pain at the time was intensified by the emotional pain as well. It was not long before I began to contemplate self termination and to wonder if that would be a better alternative.
My insurance company at the time decided to cancel and backdate my insurance to before the surgery had occurred. With this and the unexpected move, as well as not being able to work and battling to get disability payments from private programs I paid into caused me to having increasing bouts with depression. I learned at this time that the system was not designed to actually help anyone. I also learned that regardless the private safeguards you had in place thanks to the government and its laws, you were forced to apply for their programs after a certain amount of time. As a result I ended up on SSI, not by choice, by force of necessity and coercion.
The reason I have brought this up is to make it clear to those who read what I write that I am not a rich, privileged white boy. In fact, with very few exceptions my annual income has been below the national poverty line for most of my life. In February 2008 I met my current mate and love of my life, I am now a proud father to a beautiful son and daughter. I am still disabled, rarely able to walk more than 100 feet without long rest breaks, having to rotate from sitting to standing to laying down regularly just to get through the day without passing out from pain. This has resulted in my being a stay at home parent, one of the most difficult careers I have ever undertaken.
On a positive note, when properly motivated or medicated my penis remains intact. So for all those out there who believe that I am a privileged white male and as a result an oppressor to minority races and females, I want to say, focàil leat. There is nothing you can do to me that hasn’t already been done by someone else. I am not a misogynist or a feminist, I am not a racist or a sexist and I most assuredly do not rely on privilege of any type to complete my goals. What I am is an individual and a lover of humanity through other individuals. I am a nice person, I am flawed as all humans are, but I am above all a good person who wants to see people become what I know we can be.
Looking around at others I see social roles embracing us, defining us and building us into a mirror image of those around us. With my beautiful children the goal is simple, I do not want them to be who I am, but to take what we as parents are and build on that, growing to the next step. More importantly I want them to understand that the only limits on their success are themselves and the non aggression principle, do no harm or do unto others. (In short, if it is voluntary among the parties involved it is good, if it is not, it is bad)
So for those who would see my race, sex and more as a threat, I hope you understand, I am not the threat to your person, you are. I only wish to be left alone, to live in peace with those around me and to do no harm unless harm is meant towards me. It is those who wish a false equality, and to promote one sex over another or one race over another that would see you and I hurt. Those who would see division continue are the problems in this world we live in today. So remember, when I tell you that we should work with our neighbors and within the communities where we live, I mean exactly that.
Your neighbors regardless sex, color, sexual persuasion or body type should be among the most important people in your life. Each of us is special, different and none of us is truly equal nor should we be. And so in defense of my penis and the others that adorn white males everywhere, stop and think before you say something thoughtless that only leads to division.
Free the mind and the body will follow
- America’s White Male Pathology (my.firedoglake.com)
- America’s White Male Problem (alternet.org)
- USDA Diversity Instructor: Pilgrims Were Illegal Aliens; Mocks White Males (whitenewsnow.com)
- Sociopathic Society Series: Violence, Race and Selective Sentimentality (redsociology.com)
- White Male Terrorist Violence, White Supremacy and The Media | Gradient Lair (innerstandingisness.com)
- 4 black males attack 72-year-old white male – their race hidden by media (patdollard.com)
- Home invasion sends two residents to hospital (blogs.windsorstar.com)