The Dashing Chronicles: the White Male in Distress
- Winston McLean | August 15, 2017
Oh Lordy, When Will It End?
It was inevitable. As First Nation people begin to reclaim for themselves their rightful place on Mother Earth, a new source of resistance has emerged.
This resistance is quietly hostile, resentful and, if given even a little authority, it can be self righteously reckless – just ask, Canadian Tire shopper Kamao Cappo. It can even have deadly tragic consequences – as Colten Boushie found out at a farm near North Battleford.
It often cries, “When will it end?,” “When will you Indians have enough?” or “Why can’t you just get over the past?”
It is in genuine pain. And it seethes with fantasies of being an avenging hero.
I speak of the White Male in Distress. For short we’ll call them WMD’s.
Note to the Reader: There was a part of me that wanted to crack a joke and say, “Not that dress, but Distress.” Get it? But for the life of me, I couldn’t get it to work “smoothly” in the column, so we are all out of luck. But I digest…
Since we all prefer simple answers to complex problems, we have a tendency to dismiss the WMD as irrational, simple minded nitwits and cowards. And we fear them.
They often have hair-trigger tempers. They mock people of other cultures, and when confronted they unleash a terrific barrage of hostility because, “they were only having fun,” “doing their job” or “protecting their property.”
They rely on over-simplified answers that dehumanize that targets of their pent-up hostility. And when you can dehumanize someone its easier to do things to the targets that no normal human would do to other humans.
And we worry, and rightly so. “When will the WMD turn their hostility on us?” It may seem ironic at first, but they do not discriminate. Anyone at anytime can fall within their crosshairs if you cross them.
So why is the WMD frightened and confused? Why does it fantasize about being the heroic avenger? Why does it resist examining the past to understand the present?
There is a myth in the western world.
The myth is that if you work hard, pay your taxes and mind your own business, you will have the good life. The myth holds that everyone is fundamentally equal. And central to that myth is the belief that we are all individuals, with no ties nor obligations to the past.
The myth holds, you are a rugged individual, isolated yet powerful if you pay your dues and persevere. In fact, this world is yours to conquer and dominate. If you are a white male you are the king of your domain.
For countless generations, this myth powered many to explore and colonize. Power, prestige and women were the fruits of these labours – yes, sex is a powerful motivator.
But the myth is flawed.
For example, the idea that everyone is equal is a seductive one, and it is deceptive. In fact, the starting line in life for many is not the same, so we make accommodations because we give a damn. The WMD cannot comprehend this, for it appears that others are given an unfair chance.
And then there is the obscured past. To the WMD history is irrelevant, which can be frustrating as hell when everyone seems to be throwing it in their face. “I didn’t make this mess, why do I have to pay for it?”
The WMD is angry. And no wonder – they were lied to. And now they lead frustrated, misguided lives.
Are all White Males guilty? Hell no. The overwhelming majority I’ve encountered in my mad-cap journey on this crazy, wonderful planet exhibit the best virtues the western world has to offer – courage, compassion, wisdom and so on.
These are the ones we must feed.
And when they mix with the best of what the Asian, African, Middle Eastern and the Indigenous worlds have to offer, we got something great to work with.