Is it racist and sexist to point out that white men are dominant? Since launching the Tumblr white guys doing it by themselves, I’ve been called a “racist bitch” and told I’m sexist, too.
I welcome the opportunity to respond to these comments because while they lack decorum, this strain of thought is out there in less aggressive forms and it’s important to address it.
No one is a bad person for thinking that it’s racist or sexist to point out differences between advantaged groups and disadvantaged groups. Rather, they are tuning into decades of right-wing messaging gone mainstream: That equality has been achieved, that racism and sexism are wrongs of the past and not the present, and that the true victims of racism and sexism are white men who are less likely to get jobs and all the other things they might otherwise rightfully achieve on this planet were it not for misguided affirmative action efforts. None of these messages are true.
In a hypothetical world, it could be racist to exclude white people in order to prioritize people of color. It could be sexist to exclude men in order to prioritize women. We do not live in a hypothetical world.
We live in a real world where white men are so dominant that it’s easy to overlook how often they dominate to the point of excluding everyone else unless it is pointed out.
Pointing out white male dominance is not an attack on white men. It is an attack on the centuries-old practice of racism and sexism excluding everyone but white men from the levers of power, and the invisibility that allows that discrimination to continue.
The ability to be taken seriously as a leader, as a white man, is a privilege. It is not earned, although many white men work hard and do good things on top of this privilege. With this unearned privilege must come awareness and responsibility among hard-working white men to insist others are included in discussions affecting all of us. This is why white guys doing it by themselves exists.