Saturday, May 30, 2009

Getting Real About White Men

As a white man, I would like to share my thoughts about those white men feel threatened by Sonia Sotomayor's appointment to the US Supreme Court. Like Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich and many conservative commentators, I could easily been affronted when I read Judge Sotomayor's comment that a Latina woman might bring a perspective to the judiciary that most white men would be unable to provide.

But though I have been a white male a long time, I have been lucky enough to spend a great deal of time in places where people like me are rarely found, as well as in places where ONLY people like me are present, and the contrast between those places is worth pointing out

. To help put the position of white men in American society in perspective, especially relative to Latina women and other women of color, I am going to identify a number of places where white men are the overwhelmingly dominant group, and then indicated some spaces where white men are an in a tiny minority. You can then draw your own conclusions, after comparing the two lists, about whether white man are in imminent danger of being unfairly displaced from position of status and influence

Places I Have Been, or Visited, Where White Men Predominate and Women of Color Rarely Appear
The United States Senate
The Trading Floor of the US Stock Exchange
The Partners Room in Major New York Law Firms
Peter Lugar's Steakhouse and Il Molino Restaurant
The Bar at Most New York Area Golf Clubs and Country Clubs
The New York Athletic Club
The Press Box at Yankee Stadium
Any Tennis Club in the Hamptons
Ski Resorts in Aspen and Vail
Breezy Point aka "The Irish Riviera" ( in the Rockaways)

Places I Have Been Where White Men ( Present Company Excluded) Rarely Appear and Women of Color are Highly Visible
The Hub ( A Major Shopping District in the South Bronx)
Fulton Mall
Hostos Community College
Popeye's and Golden Krust on Pitkin and Pennsylvania Avenues in East New York
The Patterson, Mitchell, Mott Haven and Millbrook Houses
Thessalonia Baptist Church and the Futa Islamic Center in Morrisania
WHEDCO's Two Affordable Housing Centers in the Bronx
The Intersection of Flatbush and Church Avenues in Flatbush Brooklyn
The Intersection of White Plains and Gun Hill Roads in the Bronx
Heffen Park and the Eastchester Houses in the Northeast Bronx
"Old Timers Day" in Crotona Park ( First Sunday of Every August)

The point here is this. With the exception of biker and country music bars, orthodox Jewish synagogues, American Legion Halls in small towns, or the "white section" of the yard, or day room in a New York State Prison. the major places I know where white males predominate are centers of wealth and power and influence

In contrast, the places where white men are rarely found are places where working class people, immigrants and.poor people are the majority

When that situation begins evening out, I will become more vigilant about defending white men from slights, insults and government policies designed to give long excluded populations greater access to power

Sonia Sotomayor only threatens people who fear competition for the positions they have monopolized throughout American History.

This white male thinks she will bring a breath of fresh air to the US Supreme

May 29, 2009

No comments: