Photo: Bill Metcalfe

LETTER: Straight white males, be accountable

From reader Charles Jeanes

Canadians can make arguments about Canada without reference to the USA, saying we are better, or we are no better. So, please, let’s stop this, in all discussions of race relations. Ours are ours, not the Americans’. We’ll improve, as we must — without referencing them.

Humanity makes progress, so I read frequently: Freedom and equality for all sorts and conditions of human regardless of race, gender, creed, class, against the artificial divisions bigotry makes. Yes.

My particular artificial fraction of humanity is the other who is responsible for a vast amount of injustice in history: males; white; heterosexual. Source of misogynistic patriarchy, murderous racism, homophobia (and other crimes against sexual minorities). If I were “Christian,” that identity would be labelled another minority who caused immense historical wrong.

There must be a responsible, guilty other; my minority had the greatest power, dominated politics, economics, culture, for some centuries. So in all fairness, straight white males of rich Western societies: be accountable; feel collective shame.

I’ve been told progress has been real. Somehow, SWM have come to this time, where our power is less than it’s been for centuries. How did the power of SWM others slowly ebb — shared with women, other races and sexual groupings, in Western democracies? Not yet perfectly-shared, not at all.

Were SWM violently defeated by the oppressed? Sometimes. It also happened because the majority of SWM are humans with moral consciences, therefore are peacefully persuaded to the rationality, justice and morality of letting power go, gradually sharing it, incrementally creating fairer societies.

Democracy, justice, liberty, equality, aren’t ideals only of oppressed humans. Some large part of SWM dominators over society validates those ideals too, and hasn’t resisted peaceful progress.

I will be told my timing of this declaration is awful. My sense of what’s appropriate, non-existent. My judgment, terrible. Fair.

I’ll be asked, “why do you feel you have to assert this, now?” Because no one else does, and it’s a noble truth. Humans progress when malefactors consciously, conscientiously, feel their wrongs and injustices — the possibility of increasing good is real.

Charles Jeanes


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