I am a straight, Caucasian, male. This gives me a certain status in the United States, a privilege unlike any other enjoyed by any other group in the United States, and quite possibly, in the history of the world. This comes up today because of something I posted on Facebook earlier where I referred to someone as 'a bigoted moron.'
This resulted in a question about why they're bigoted morons? Is anyone who disagrees with me a bigoted moron? No, not anyone. I might even be willing to concede that "moron" was judgmental and mean of me, but bigoted was right on point. Bigotry: intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself, also, intolerance towards a group of people in general based on their group characteristics such as race, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status An opposition to gay marriage is bigotry. It is an intolerance of a group of people based on their sexual orientation, and in this case, it is hidden under the guise of religion and moral superiority. This same guise of religion has reared its head in white supremacy groups both in North America and in other parts of the world. The Christian Identity holds that the white people of Europe are the descendants of the ten tribes of Israel, and that Jews are the cursed children of Cain. The KKK, while not being a religious group, saw its second founding come about as anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic group in the 1920s that was largely led by Protestant ministers. What does that have to do with any of this? Quite simply...I am privileged. I can use that privilege for good or evil. I am never going to be married in a same-sex marriage. Why? Because I'm straight, and I like girls. Who am I to tell other people what they can do? I am never going to have an abortion. My doctor tells me it's not possible for me to be pregnant. Who am I to tell other people what they can do? (I do hope, that if one day I'm married, and we experience an unplanned pregnancy, that we'll have a discussion and she won't just not tell me and get an abortion, but it's her right if she decides to do so.) I have no moral standing to decry the the supposed damage being done to the sanctity of marriage. I've been married. We were miserable. We got divorced. The bible teaches that God does not recognize my divorce, and in his eyes I'm still married, and have thus committed adultery several hundred times in my life. Luke 16:18 - Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery. So...I admit it, I've committed adultery. Leviticus 20:10 - If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. Well shit, that's a bummer. Okay...back to the part about white privilege, and why I think it's use is important. As a member of the privileged group I can use that privilege in one of two ways. First, I can use it to hoard my privilege. I can use it oppress people who disagree with me, who are poorer than me, or who I just don't like for one reason or another. Second, I can use it make sure that it extends to everyone. Read that again, and let me add this. Thomas Jefferson - We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This is what I want, nothing more, nothing less, and as a member of the most privileged group of people in the history of the world, I am in a position to affect change through my words and actions, until we are truly living the ideals of our forefathers. You don't have to approve of everyone else's choices. You don't have to even approve of anyone else's choices. What you have to do is acknowledge their right to make it whether you approve or not. I am not a woman, but I am a feminist, because I want my daughter and your son to be equals. I am not gay, but support gay marriage, because I believe that every person has the right to find happiness in that institution. I am not African American, but I know that racial biases still exist in this country, and I work to remove them from my thoughts and actions, and strive to show that example to others. I am not an immigrant, but support a path to legal immigration that provides amnesty for the estimated eleven million people in this country illegally. They want to chase the American Dream, and I believe they should be given that choice. I've said it before, but it bears mentioning again. I support a woman's right to be in charge of her own health care decisions, not because I'll never have to make them, but because no one else should make them for her. To me, having white privilege means making myself an ally to groups who seek nothing more than equal treatment under the law. I do not wish to oppress my straight, white, male privilege, I wish to see it extended to all groups of people. Here's the opinion part...and where I'll anger people. If you're using your straight white male privilege to oppose any minority group, or using religion or faith as a reason to do so, you're doing it wrong. James 4:11-12 - Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?