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The Daily Whim

The Daily Whim

Tue. Apr 22, 2008

Angry White Men

Apparently, being a liberal female author and screenwriter, like Nora Ephron, gives one license to engage in what might be considered sexist racist talk about people who look different from you:

This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women. And when I say people, I don’t mean people, I mean white men.

To put it bluntly, the next president will be elected by them: the outcome of Tuesday’s primary will depend on whether they go for Hillary or Obama, and the outcome of the general election will depend on whether enough of them vote for McCain. A lot of them will: white men cannot be relied on, as all of us know who have spent a lifetime dating them. And McCain is a compelling candidate, particularly because of the Torture Thing. As for the Democratic hope that McCain’s temper will be a problem, don’t bet on it. A lot of white men have terrible tempers, and what’s more, they think it’s normal.

Nora Ephron: White Men

If I were to suggest that I believe … let’s pick a sex/race combo … “black women cannot be relied on and have terrible tempers,” a lot of people would rightfully castigate me and suggest that such a sweeping generalization about an entire genetic subset of our species qualifies as bigotry and prejudice. Ugly things that usually disqualify further consideration.

Unless you are someone who gets paid by the word.

Ms. Ephron continues: “...these last primaries will show which of the two Democratic candidates is better at overcoming the bias of a vast chunk of the population that has never in its history had to vote for anyone but a candidate who could have been their father or their brother or their son, and who has never had to think of the president of the United States as anyone other than someone they might have been had circumstances been just slightly different.”

Excuse me, Nora, but this white male from Georgia (certainly, in the mind of a Hollywood screenwriter, a state filled with as many primitive white males as rural Pennsylvania) did not have to vote for someone who does not look like me.

I chose to do so, voluntarily, and joyfully. For reasons that have nothing to do with physical appearance.

Furthermore, to suggest that America is a place that will always line up “by type” and never advance as a society is a depressingly conservative idea for such a liberal to spout, and is contrary to the view of history. Just during my lifetime and Ms. Ephron’s.

I realize there is indeed 10-15% of this country who will not vote for a candidate simply because they are black or a woman. I don’t think they are all white men. And I also think that, in any group of any type at any place, 10-15% of them will behave, shall we say, irrationally. I call it the Butthead Factor (when I’m feeling polite). They’re everywhere, but in small enough numbers they are easily overwhelmed by the more rational among us.

Indeed, a lot of people have said a lot of stupid things during this interminably long campaign, and I suppose Ms. Ephron is due her share. Others, however, have sucked up their entire quota for this century, as well as that of several other people. Yet keep going:

“I think that they played the race card on me. We now know, from memos from the campaign that they planned to do it along.” – President Bill Clinton.

And that’s how President Clinton begins his answer to WHYY’s Susan Phillips who, during a phone interview earlier this evening, asked the President how he feels about one Philadelphia official who says she switched her support after interpreting Clinton’s remarks in South Carolina as an attempt to marginalize Obama as “the black candidate.”

Clearly, Clinton seems clearly frustrated by the question or the suggestion by anyone – either the reporter or the Philadelphia official whom she quoted – that he was somehow making a negative statement about Obama (or Jesse Jackson) based on their race. His frustration comes through towards the end of the recording when, apparently unaware that he was still on the line, Clinton asks whoever is with him, “I don’t think I should take any shit from anybody on that, do you?”

President Bill Clinton says the Obama campaign “played the race card”

Update: Bill now denies saying that, even though it was a radio interview, i.e., it’s on tape. “No, no, no. That’s not what I said. You always follow me around and play these little games, and I’m not going to play your games today.” Golly, Steve Jobs isn’t the only one with a Reality Distortion Field surrounding him.

Myself, I just don’t feel as “put upon” as Bill does. And as for what he should have to “take,” perhaps he should talk to his wife about the kitchen. Recently she’s been crowing that if it is too hot in there, you should get out.

Go find a fainting couch somewhere. Or maybe the men’s room. There’s apparently a bunch of white guys in there commiserating, licking their wounds, and collectively deciding who should be the next President.


Peanut Gallery

1  emcee fleshy wrote:

I read that Nora Ephron article too, and it made my blood boil.

This year is the first time in my entire life that I’ve ever thought, in all seriousness, “Come on, y’all, give us white guys a little credit.”

Ultimately, Senator Clinton is running a very good campaign, if it were the general election and she were a Republican. But it ain’t, and she, well, I’m not sure anymore.

2  stimpy52 wrote:

Perhaps any man dim enough to date Ms. Ephron should only be counted on to be stupid, irrational and violent.

3  emcee fleshy wrote:

I wouldn’t go that far. But she might be extrapolating from an unrepresentatively troglodytic sample.

(yes, I made that word up.)

4  Mel wrote:

I’m a young,black woman, and I enjoyed your post! I couldn’t help but put my two cents in.
I must say that I find it particularly odd how [some] white women get away with bashing the hell out of white men…and even more odd that a larger number of white men are not incensed.

Why is okay for her to make generalizations about white men “not being reliable”? You’re absolutely correct; if you had made some blanket statement like your aforementioned example- “black women cannot be relied on and have terrible tempers,” there would have been hell to pay!

As far as I know, white men are still people, and further more, they people with feelings….but I guess in today’s society their humanity is trumped by the power they possess as cohesive entity in society.

My father lived through many of the things that make older black people bitter ( he has a fit if I try to order from a drive- thru window , lol, because back in the day in NC, whites never let him in a restaurant, and if they did, they made him go through the back ), but I can tell you that he ‘s taught me very important life lessons.

One lesson was that, equality knows no color…it’s for all. Dimishing the humanity of a group of people or even just stereotyping, only sets us back as a society…we should know this just from America’s history. I as a black woman, cannot, and I speak for myself , bring myself to vilify and stereotype white men because, quite frankly, I know how that feels. Some say ‘it’s about time for white men to have a taste of their own medicine.” But I can tell you now; that medicine is Not a cure, it perpetuates the disease, and white guys may not believe it, but there’s a small but formidable, little army of young, successful, black women that are saying “hey- play fair-back off the white guys

ps. Death or Hillary Clinton? Hmmm. Hard choice….

Comment by Mel · 05/13/2008 05:19 AM
5  Reid wrote:

Mel: “But I can tell you now; that medicine is Not a cure, it perpetuates the disease, and white guys may not believe it, but there’s a small but formidable, little army of young, successful, black women that are saying ‘hey- play fair-back off the white guys’”

Mel, voices like yours repudiate Ephron’s concept that this country will always line up “by type” far better than anything I wrote. Your dad (and mine) grew up in a much different and harsher world than you and I did. That’s all the more reason for the next generation(s) to turn the page.

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