Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I am an Angry White Man.

This is not the blog post I intended to write tonight. It isn't even my original idea.


 

I have been working on a book review that isn't going the way I wanted. I was planning on posting that tonight. If I just couldn't get that written, I thought I might write about Nancy Pelosi's failure to pass a FISA bill. A 500 word post is always easy if you think about Nancy Pelosi for about a minute and a half.


 

However, Fate had a different idea. Today at work I was catching up on my Rush Limbaugh podcasts. I was listening to his show from last Tuesday when he began talking about an article from Gary Hubbell in The Aspen Times. In his article, Mr. Hubbell sets about to discuss the group that will most likely decide this election: The Angry White Man. As Rush began to read the article, a tuning fork was struck for me. I believe there are events or messages we receive that resonate deep within us. These messages I call tuning forks. I know it isn't very original, but it is the only way I know to talk about it. As Rush read Mr. Hubbell's description of the Angry White Man, I thought more and more that he was describing me.


 

I am not going to tell you that I match every single category on the list. However, I do recognize a lot of the traits in myself, and I admire the people who have the traits I don't have from this list. I encourage everyone who is reading this to go read Mr. Hubbell's article. I know at least 5 or 6 regular readers from this site that fit this list as well. I am sure there are more, and I suspect a few of the lady readers even identify with this message.


 

Those of you who think Hillary Clinton should get elected because she will take care of our Health care needs should read the article. If you believe Obama is the coming Messiah, please read the article. Sit back for a minute and think about the person Mr. Hubbell is describing. As of the posting of this blog, there were 933 comments to the article. Some of them were angry, some were not. I decided to add number 934 to the list with a very simple response:


 

"Amen, Brother."


 

 

19 comments:

David Weisman said...

This reference to your own anger sat odd with me since you're generally soft spoken and polite, yet I can hardly gainsay you. You're a fan of Rush and Coulter so a reasonable person could have guessed at some anger somewhere. It's worth thinking about though - working so hard to keep your own talk quiet and polite, but raising anger for your flag.

Anonymous said...

From Andy's linked article:

"Nobody like [the Angry White Man] drowned in Hurricane Katrina — he got his people together and got the hell out, then went back in to rescue those too helpless and stupid to help themselves."

So the World War II veterans who drowned in nursing homes and hospitals who were abandoned by staff and government agencies weren't man enough to be Angry White Men. They were stupid and helpless "victims."

Anybody who wants to understand the Angry White Man should read pp. 65-107 in George Lakoff's Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think.

Or you can read an explanation of Andy's Angry White Male politics here.

Andy D said...

I think most people who were in nursing homes or hospitals weren't able to get themselves out. In their case, it was simply not a physical possibility. I would say they were definitely victims. I think the reference in the article is directed towards those who knew a major hurricane was coming and decided they didn't need to take care of themselves.

Andy D said...

I think there are certain topics that get anyone angry. In the case of the Angry White Man article, Hillary Clinton was one of the prominent subjects. There are things that make me angry, but I don't spend my days and nights angry.

Anonymous said...

Well...I definitely can see how the article can be appealing, but I find that the message isn't all that different than Al Sharpton's usual tactics.

For instance, Sharpton uses his dated "Hop on any bandwagon to get his name in the papers" speeches to prove relevance. He preys on the everyday, working black man (or woman) who may have some hardships, to fuel his opppresion talks. The author of that article is clearing using the same tactic, just with white men.

It's a path that easily persuades the reader, depending on how the author chooses his/her words.

familyman said...

Well, congratulations Andy. You've just identified yourself with an ugly stereotype.

Why not be happy just being Andy?

All that guy does is talk about why his group (Angry White Men) really has reason to be disgruntled while all the other groups are just whiners.

Andy D said...

Family,

What part of the article did you find offensive? What characteristic listed do you disagree with?

familyman said...

1. Press ‘one’ for English” is a curse-word to him.

A hundred years ago my ancestors came here from Norway and it would have been common in the towns and neighborhoods that they settled to see storefront signs printed in Norwegian and to see Norwegian language newspapers. The same goes for Swedes, Germans, Italians...

Should we rewrite the words on the Statue of Liberty to read -
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
BUT ONLY IF THEY SPEAK ENGLISH." ?


2. Nobody like him drowned in Hurricane Katrina – he got his people together and got the hell out, then went back in to rescue those too helpless and stupid to help themselves, often as a police officer, a National Guard soldier or a volunteer firefighter.

This demonstrates an attitude of us vs. them that is destructive and segregationist. Someone with real compassion would look at the victims of Katrina as fellow human beings. When I saw the suffering that was happening in New Orleans my heart ached. That was a time for us all to recognize the basic humanity that connects us all. But apparently the AWM sees himself as superior to victims that were too "stupid" to manage an escape. He looks at them and says, "Well if they were more like me they wouldn't be in this fix."

He also seems to have some kind of hero complex where he sees himself as a police officer, a National Guard soldier or a volunteer firefighter. I don't know for sure, but my guess would be that quite a few of those jobs are held by non-white people.


3. the thought of killing someone who needs killing really doesn’t bother him.

Apparently this AWM is just the guy to determine who needs to be killed?


4. His background might be Italian, English, Polish, German, Slavic, Irish, or Russian, and he might have Cherokee, Mexican, or Puerto Rican mixed in, but he considers himself a white American.

I understand being proud of one's ethnic heritage. But too say, "I consider myself a white American." is stupid. That's like saying, "I'm proud to be a peachy/pink colored American." What's the point except to draw some arbitrary distinction between yourself and other groups.


5. Most important, the Angry White Man is pissed off. ... When his job gets shipped overseas...

The AWM is hardly alone in having his jobs shipped over seas. And he mostly has other white men to thank for sending those jobs over seas. It's not the minority groups he loathes so much that is shipping those jobs outside of the US.


6. ...the Angry White Man loathes Hillary Clinton. It’s the liberal victim groups she panders to, the “poor me” attitude that she represents... his tax dollars that she wants to give to people who refuse to do anything for themselves.

Yes, all those millions of uninsured children that can't pay for their own damn insurance. Why don't they get off their little asses and start contributing something to society?
The AWM loves to talk about how liberals are just dying to give all our money to free loaders who do absolutely nothing. I have yet to see any evidence of this.


7. Four million Angry White Men are members of the National Rifle Association.

Oh good, four million angry guys with guns. Just what this country needs.

Andy D said...

I can only respond to how I originally took this:

1)I think most peoples ancestors came from another country. However, most of our ancestors tried to become Americans. They wanted their children to become part of this great nation and that included learning the language and the culture. Most 2nd generation immigrants speak English, and many third generation don't speak the language of their grandparents.


2)This isn't and us versus them. The AWM did what he could to get him and his family out. Those who decided to stay were on their own. After the danger passed, and his family was safe, he went back in to help those who made the mistake of staying.

I agree that there are members of all races in the National Guard, Police, etc. I didn't take the original article as saying that white men were exclusive to these groups.

3) I have to be honest on this one, I value human life as long as I have the luxury to do so. The second someone threatens my family and puts them in mortal danger, I no longer value their life.

4) I don't really consider myself a white American, just an American. I guess I might not meet this requirement.

5)I don't believe minorities are shipping jobs overseas, I believe our government is making that happen. The more laws we pass that attack businesses, the more jobs will go overseas.

6)It isn't millions of children who can't get insurance, it people who simply decide they can play the odds and not get insurance. I know some personally. They are in their 20's and have decided they don't want to pay for it. That is their decision to make. But I shouldn't be forced to pay their insurance.

7. I am not a member of the NRA...maybe I should look for a membership application.


Thanks for the responses. I hope these help clear it up. However, I still believe I might qualify as an AWM.

familyman said...

If the writer had identified himself as an Angry American Citizen, the entire article would have a different light cast on it.

By differentiating himself based largely on his skin color, the implication of the article is that all these traits he lists are the domain of the white guy.

Many of the points he made would sound reasonable if attributed to an average American who's fed up with politics as usual. The article becomes ugly once the writer draws a distinction between himself and others based on something as superficial as skin color.

pack04 said...

Are you blind? Not see the liberals wanting to give money to the lazy?
I have a friend who's family owns a business in a small town. They cannot get people to work for them because of government issued unemployment checks. Yes while the unemployment checks give them less money then working might, they would rather sit at home and watch TV and "earn" money rather than work for it.
Those people are considered poor and that is who the liberals fight/work for.
And yes I know that not all poor people are lazy.
But to say that you do not see that liberals want to take money from the haves and give to the lazy is just flat out ignorant.
This is even true on the global level. Senator Clinton's plan in Iraq is to pull the troops out and give them multi-billion dollars to play nice. There is a saying give a man a fish feed him for a day or teach a man to fish and feed him for life. Applies here. What happens when the multi-billion dollars to Iraq is gone? Do we give them more? Or the money to provide health insurance for people that don't have it. What happens when people get smart and realize they don't have to pay for it somebody else will? Then we will have millions and millions of people to cover and no money.
A little off subject but I am on a roll so...
Here is a theory perhaps the impending democratic win for the white house has people in the country scared to spend money...they want to save it, so that they can afford to "pay" the lazy in a few short months. When we were talking about Bush being an idiot and the war in Iraq things were okay. Then when Senator Obama and Senator Clinton started running and being proclaimed as the sure thing winners things whet in the tank. The rest of the world is not dumb either they can read the papers and that could be why they have not faith in the American dollar.

Andy D said...

The specific article was talking about a demographic. There are other demographics that share the same beliefs, or some of them. He was pointing out that candidates shouldn't forget this group. I pointed out that I think I fall into that group.

familyman said...

Pack - There are always going to be people that play the system and take advantage of the loop holes. That goes for poor people and rich people. Just as much if not more of your money goes to support tax breaks to rich people and giant corporation who don't need it as goes to welfare programs. To say that the goal of the Democrats is to give money to lazy people is silly.

pack04 said...

So what you are saying is that because he mentioned some thing as simple as skin color his article became ugly.

So does it not seem ugly that a person can get a job interview based on skin color only? Or that a person is not able to be offered a job because of their skin color?

I'm with Andy, I want a politician to not forget about their cash cows and work force.

Andy D said...

Remember, corporations don't pay taxes. Those who purchase their products and services pay their taxes.

Anonymous said...

Uh, corporations do pay taxes. They are called "corporate taxes."

But you may be trying to pull some economic/logical sleight of hand, which would not surprise me. If so, you are using circular logic: it would be like arguing that I don't really pay for my own groceries because my employer actually pays for them. But, according to that logic, my employer really doesn't pay for my groceries: consumers who patronize my employer do. But wait, the employers of those consumers actually pay for my groceries... etc. etc.

BTW. Familyman's response was eloquent and wise: he is able to see real people and real lives in front of him more than simply a skin color other than his own.

pack04 said...

I am not against welfare programs. I think that the current state of some programs do not encourage people to better themselves. They do the opposite. I believe the liberals are interested in expanding the programs so that they can enlarge their voting base. That is how I arrived at my conclusion of liberals are dying to give money to the lazy people. Yes as you pointed out rich people and big corporations get tax breaks (conservatives keep these going to keep their voting base) probably more than the poor get but to borrow a saying from my boss: I've never had a poor man give me a job or give me a loan.

Giving tax breaks to big corporations does not seem to bother me as much as giving money to welfare programs.

Yes I can and do see past the skin color of people. I was just point out that it is a little funny that when a white person mentions color of skin it is always seen as negative.
Oh and the difference between Sharpton and AWM is Sharpton is interested in putting money in his pocket and keeping people down so that he can keep getting that money. AWM just is saying he does not want to be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Pack-

If you go back and read for the reasons AWM is angry, then I would believe that you really can't say that AWM only doesn't want to be forgotten. AWM basically preys on simple prejudices that we (Americans) develop towards one another based upon our own unique experiences. We tend to generalize the poor, rich, black, white, etc. all too quickly to prove our points.

And also, I do find it appalling to get a job interview just because of skin color. It demeans both sides of the equation: the minorities who actually have a solid chance of getting the job, and those who are left out. The major difference is, it's only been about 43 years or so that American businesses were really forced to not look at skin color while looking for employees. So, if you think that since the pass of nearly one generation, that prejudice in the hiring process is not still around, then by all means, I have a bridge for you to buy. Here's a link that will show why we still need some of those laws to keep businesses honest. (Obviously not all of the US evolves at the same pace.)
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/03/10/kkk.store.ap/index.html?iref=newssearch

Anonymous said...

I'm really disappointed to hear that Andy is an AWM, if the reasons given in the article reflect his opinion.

The Angry White Man is not a metrosexual, a homosexual or a victim

First off, I'm none of these and don't plan to be. As I'm pretty much sure, that a lot of "victims" don't plan to be. But all this man's man bull reminds me of the kid who had problems at home and chose to bully other kids at school to be a "man's man."

He's not a racist, but is annoyed when people of CERTAIN backgrounds act like the worst of their race (paraphrased)...

I mean, come on, do I have to explain this? Assuming the author is white of course, we know he's not including his race in this sentence. You mean none of us (white men) can disgrace our race?

Those who come here should learn English?

How about you stop eating every food that's not American? As a matter of fact, give every tradition that's not American back to it's own country and never celebrate them again. Let's see how far that will take you. (I'll give you a shortcut on responding to say that I mean that our American culture is deeply rooted within the traditions of other countries from those who migrated here, so don't try to separate the food, language, culture, for your convenience.)

Last, but not least, if the constitution IS taken literally, then we LITERALLY have the ability to make ammendments that do not contradict the basic laws of our freedom. I would say that this constitutes a living document.