Melanin-Deficient Males of a Certain Age

I’m a great supporter of racial and sexual and ethnic and all other kinds of human equality. Mostly that’s because of my grandma, my mom, and the women it has been my pleasure to live with and hang around with in my life. None of them, including my gorgeous ex-fiancee who I’ve lived with these 38 years now, would put up with a minutes-worth of that kind of divisive nonsense. And it’s also because I have a raft of gay people and people of color and of different ethnic backgrounds in my immediate family—like many families these days we’re an increasingly cosmopolitan bunch.

Despite that, I’m a member of one of the only two groups that it is still OK to talk trash about. I mean, you can’t rubbish black people, and that’s a good thing. And you can’t trashtalk women, also a very desirable and long overdue change. You can’t tell Polish jokes, which is a fine thing for society, particularly if you’re Polish.

But there are two groups you can still talk rubbish about without anyone raising so much as an eyebrow, and their middle name in both cases is “White”. The groups are “Old White Men” and “Poor White Trash”. It’s still OK for people to say “Oh, it’s just a bunch of old white men in charge over there, what do they know” the way people used to say “oh, that’s just a bunch of old women talking, what do they know” … and just about everyone rubbishes poor white trash at one point or another.

old-white-menBe clear I’m not complaining about my position. I have no complaints about my life, it’s been astoundingly good. Instead, I am pointing out what I see as a sad effect of the rise of “identity politics”. This is the kind of politics which in the US is mostly practiced by Democrats, where everything revolves around your race, or your sexual identity, or your ethnic group, or your color, or any of many other characteristics that divide us instead of uniting us. The problem with this kind of identity politics is the underlying false assumption that the problems of group X are caused by group Y.

In far, far too many instances, blacks think their problems are the result of whites, and gays think their problems are because of straights, and women think their problems are because of men, and old white men blame people of color and kids trespassing in their dang yard … for identity politics to work, you have to blame someone else. And since I’m a member of one of the two remaining blameable groups, I get to see this process up close and personal—at the end of the day, regardless of the problem, it’s likely someone will claim it’s all the fault of old white guys like me.

But the thing is, it doesn’t have to be that way. We don’t have to live at each others throats. We don’t have to blame each other.

Because you see, if each of the splintered identity groups took responsibility for their own problems, we could stop this insane politics of division and practice a politics of responsibility and inclusion. Think about it. If white folks realized that their pain is not caused by people of color, wouldn’t that bring a huge sigh of relief to the world? And so on with black people and women and all the way down the line to the tiniest groups, left-handed Ethiopian refugees or whatever the cause du jour is—if people and groups started taking responsibility for their own lives and stopped blaming “the other”, we could have a politics of inclusion rather than division.

I think that this is possible. In fact, I think that we can settle a majority of our differences by coming to a cessation of hostilities on three issues: guns, abortion, and homosexuality. It will not solve everything, but it would be a big step. I’m not asking for total resolution, just a ceasefire.

Here’s what I think we need to do, and it will take concessions on both sides to make it work. However, to a large degree, all it requires is seeing the historical inevitabilities and acceding to them. Here’s the plan.

1) Let the gay community live in peace. They are our sisters, brothers, and cousins. Trump has no beef with the gay community, he congratulated Elton John on his wedding and named a gay man among the first dozen people on his Transition Team … and Trump appointed him with no fanfare, as it should be done, just another day in the life. This is the inevitability—gay people are our relatives, they’re not going to disappear. As a nation we need to learn to first live with, and then eventually support, that fact.

1a) And on the gay side, let the Christians live in peace. If the Christian baker in your town doesn’t want to bake your dang wedding cake, just shut up and get it baked somewhere else. Don’t whine about your grievance and sue them out of business, OK? Nobody cares for whiners, plus it’s bad for your image as caring neighbors and responsible members of society …

2) Let each woman choose her own reproductive future. To begin with, Trump won’t push for overturn of Roe v Wade, so your odds start out bad. To opponents of abortion I say look, even if people succeed in overturning Roe v. Wade, it just goes back to the states, and this is not the 1950s. In 2016, most of the states will allow some abortions, with varying restrictions. And you know California and New York and other states will put very few restrictions. So that’s the inevitable part—even if Roe v. Wade were overturned tomorrow, abortion is STILL not going away. That’s magical thinking.

And given that … why fight for the overthrow? What do you gain? The chance to make abortion totally illegal in Wyoming or Kansas and force women there to go to Colorado or California for an abortion? Whoopee. Is that trivial change truly worth an endless battle of attrition where even if you win, abortions won’t stop happening and women will just go to a neighboring state? Does that miniscule gain justify an endless fight that splits the country down the middle?

Look, if you don’t believe in abortions, then I cheerfully suggest that you never have one yourself, and that you allow America’s mothers, sisters, and daughters to make up their own minds about their lives.

3) Let Americans keep and bear arms. In the recent election the fear, perhaps justified in some instances, that Democrats wanted to disarm law-abiding citizens cost them millions of Clinton votes. In addition, every time the issue is raised, gun sales go through the roof because people get nervous about confiscation, whether that unease is reasonable or not. Obama’s actions have sold more guns than any other President. One of the biggest beneficiaries of his anti-gun rhetoric has been Smith & Wesson … hey, this is verifiable fact, check the gun sales data, but for heavens sake, don’t shoot the messenger …

And “assault rifles”? Please. Every year, more people are killed by hammers and clubs than are killed by rifles of all kinds combined. You want to ban hammers and clubs? Deaths by gunfire are overwhelmingly from pistols, not long guns.

As to gun laws, Chicago has among the toughest gun laws in the USA. It also has among the highest number of deaths by gunfire. Gun laws don’t work for the old bumper-sticker reason … “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns”. See Chicago if this is not clear.

In addition, restrictions on things like magazine size are a joke in the era of 3-D printers. You can already get plans for 3-D printing 30-round magazines off the web, put them in your printer and there you are … people agitating for laws restricting large magazines are sooo twentieth century.

The inevitability regarding this one is that (1) hundreds of millions of people own guns, and (2) their right to do so is enshrined in the Constitution. So our gun issues are not going to go away any more than our abortion issues will disappear. Our only option is to live with both of them, we have no option called “no guns” or “no abortion”.

(And yes, I know there are folks out there who think any law involving weapons is “infringing” on their rights in the Constitutional use of the term, and is un-Constitutional. To them I say, we already don’t allow private citizens to own tactical nuclear weapons or rocket-propelled grenades … so your “any restriction on weapons ownership is unconstitutional” argument doesn’t hold water. The inevitability for you is that people will NEVER agree that civilians should own nuclear weapons, so your absolute ban on “infringement” doesn’t work in the real world.)

The good news is, there is no organized opposition to background checks, not from the NRA nor anywhere. Make background checks strong, nationwide, loophole-free, uniform and enforced everywhere. In addition, the NRA has endorsed gun safety classes, and for my money they should be mandatory for first-time purchasers. In addition, I would propose that all new guns should be test fired by the manufacturer and the bullet’s characteristics should be registered in IBIS, the existing global database of bullets. Logging bullets is not any kind of an “infringement”, you still get to keep and bear arms just as before. For legitimate gun owners, this will make absolutely no difference. But criminals won’t like it one bit, always a good sign. Then if the gun is stolen and used in a crime with the serial numbers filed off, it can still be identified and returned to the owner, and the criminal who used it can more easily be connected to the crime.

And then let the whole gun issue go, unless you want to start banning hammers and clubs. If you don’t believe in private citizens keeping and bearing arms, I cheerfully suggest that you don’t keep or bear a single one.

I do think that agreeing to those three common-sense paths to resolution could greatly increase the unity of our nation, which at the moment is very split.

Do I think it could happen? Can I see an end to this corrosive identity politics? Sure, Americans are basically decent people, and all they need to do is accept some inevitabilites. And all sides will have to give up some things in that process, so it will be fair (or perhaps equally unfair) to all.

Am I overly optimistic about that possibility of success?

Dangbetcha … no other way for an American to be, I gotta believe we can solve whatever problems the world puts up in front of us.

Best to all, Democrats and Republicans alike,


PS—As is my unchanging custom, all comments and criticisms are most welcome PROVIDED that you quote the exact words that you are discussing. This greatly reduces the chances for misunderstandings to grow and fester.

10 thoughts on “Melanin-Deficient Males of a Certain Age

  1. Good points in general. If folks could just mind their own business and let their neighbors mind their’s there would be little cause for friction. I must quibble with “The good news is, there is no organized opposition to firearm registration, not from the NRA nor anywhere. ” I think it’s true that no opposition to background checks is out there. Registration is a different business however. In fact I think the background check process is required to specifically NOT function as defacto registration. Although in 2013, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced legislation to eliminate the requirement that the FBI destroy the records of approved NICS checks within 24 hours. The gun rights groups were rather inflamed about that one and it didn’t pass.


  2. I am one of those that would rather people not have or provide an abortion. Having been on the side that needed medical intervention to have a baby in the first place, I find it painful to think that something we so desired and worked for is so detested and disposed of by others.

    Having said that, I understand that as much as I wish people to believe and behave differently, I cannot force them to.
    What I would like though, is for any person undertaking such an action to be given the full and not-white-washed picture.
    Are they aware of their reason?
    Aware of the alternatives?
    Aware of the potential consequences (medical and emotional) of such a choice?
    If they don’t want to know, I guess that is their choice too, but as with all things, only presenting the pro-abortion side (if that is what is done) when they are seeking help in my mind is as criminal as forcing a doctor to perform them.


  3. These articles are great, Willis! I love reading them. I agree that blaming others for one’s own troubles is a good fraction of what ails our society today. But I learned the other day that the creation of all this “victimhood” mentality (and political correctness, too) was not just an accident. Apparently the Cultural Marxists created and strongly promulgated both of those philosophies, starting a century or so ago. At the risk of blaming others for the whole phenomenon of blaming others for our troubles, I blame the Cultural Marxists for this one 🙂

    (I know you have no problem blaming socialists for lots of society’s ills too – I am with you on that one also. I think the socialists and the Cultural Marxists overlap quite a bit, and so do the eco-fascists and the liberals.)

    Specifically on the subject of women blaming men for their troubles, since the whole topic of the “Glass Ceiling” seemed to come to the forefront again in this election cycle for some reason, I thought about that a lot and came to a realization. Women like to blame men for not allowing them to occupy the highest positions of power in business, corporations, and politics. As a slowly-becoming-old white guy myself, at first I bought into all the false guilt and figured maybe they had a point. But then I learned something important about women, from a woman who has studied this phenomenon extensively. She pointed out that groups of women do not behave the same way as groups of men do, for very ancient biological reasons. Groups of men naturally get together to achieve a common objective, such as creating products, providing services, governing people, etc. Groups of women, on the other hand, naturally get together to squabble and catfight. This means that women cannot, on their own, create organizations consisting *solely of women* in which they could even have a high position of power to occupy. They can only occupy positions of high power *when surrounded by men*, who have to go out of their way to put women there, and only if there are no other women around to squabble with. So I don’t see any reason to allow women to continue to complain that there is any glass ceiling at all, until they can breed out of themselves this inability to cooperate with each other. (Admittedly, we men might have to help them with that; it is a direct consequence of the natural inbuilt competition for male attention, so we would have to remove the need for the competition in the first place.) It will take generations, but it could be done! I like to think of the big picture…


  4. I don’t know if I can stand idly by and let near-full-term fetuses be aborted. I am talking about a fetus that could survive outside the womb, in other words, a baby human (who happens to reside in utero). I don’t have a problem with an abortion if done early, and I mean very early… ASAP. I don’t know where to draw that line, but to look the other way when someone wants, for convenience sake, to push scissors into the brain of a fully-formed fetus (baby human) that could survive outside the womb strikes me as barbaric. One of the candidates for president would not speak out against this practice. She lost.


  5. 1) Let the gay community live in peace

    I abhor the lifestyle, but will not oppose it on Liberty grounds.

    2) Let each woman choose her own reproductive future

    I would still consider partial birth abortions murder,restrict them to first and Second Trimester abortions,limit third trimesters to of evidence serious problems or protect the health and life of Mother.

    3) Let Americans keep and bear arms



  6. Let Americans wear arms:

    If they choose to do so, okay.

    But as a European – Dutch – to be precise, it is a mystery to me why Americans are so fond of guns. Do you really not see that a society where everybody owns a gun is a more dangerous one?
    It really baffles me.
    Is it perhaps that you folks still feel like the immigrant that is subconsciously so insecure in his new found land, that owning a gun gives you a feeling of comfort?
    Must be so, considering the stories that i see as being typically American: Rip van Winkle waking up in a strange land, Alice in Wonderland, wizard of Oz and then all those science fiction and fantasy stories of going to other planets. Those are all an indication of a sense of being out of place.
    I wonder how long it still will take before that feeling fades away.


    • Thanks, Jan. Many Americans don’t own guns. Regarding your question “Do you really not see that a society where everybody owns a gun is a more dangerous one?”, guns are here, they are allowed by the Constitution, millions of people own them … so in fact, we have no choice. It’s the way things are, like it or not.

      As to whether it is because we “feel out of place”, let me invite you to take your psychological fantasies, and gently put them in a dark place … look, Jan, I grew up with a forest full of food on all sides of our cattle ranch. When I was 12, like most kids I knew, I got a high-powered rifle and commenced brining home food for the table. We also used guns to protect our herd from coyotes. You seem to think this indicates some deep mental problem … in fact it was driven by a physical problem … hunger and a desire to protect the herd.

      So no … I don’t need any amateur psychology, thanks.



  7. Willis – yep, as a melanin-deficient, age-challenged guy this all makes sense.

    “And then let the whole gun issue go, unless you want to start banning hammers and clubs. If you don’t believe in private citizens keeping and bearing arms, I cheerfully suggest that you don’t keep or bear a single one.”

    I don’t have a gun. I never felt the need. I am however surrounded by things that could be used as lethal weapons at need since engineering tools, carpentry tools, and farm equipment are often pretty dangerous. If you ban guns, then logically you should also ban cars and trucks which have been used in terrorist attacks. If you want to stop people killing someone else then you also need to ban 2x4s and indeed anything that may be used as a club. Then again, banning guns wouldn’t stop me if I felt the need to have one, since I have the tools to make one.

    Back in the Middle Ages in England, it was a hanging offense to own a quern for grinding your own flour. You had to go to the mill to turn your grain into flour, and of course they levied a tax on it. Swords were expensive, and only owned by the rich and powerful who could thus ensure that they could take what they wanted. The main thing about guns and the USA is that it precludes that level of despotism happening. Whereas a robber may attack an unarmed person with relative impunity, if they are aware that that old lady tottering down the street can pull a gun and shoot him then maybe they won’t do it. And if they do, maybe they get a Darwin award. As Heinlein said, an armed society is a polite society. Since it’s obvious that you can’t ban all weapons (the Japanese martial arts came to be because weapons were banned, so they used rice-flails, well-handles, pitchforks etc.) then it follows that you can’t stop the occasional unhinged person from committing some atrocity, but maybe you can reduce the impact when it happens by allowing the common person the means to stop it when it does.

    “2) Let each woman choose her own reproductive future”

    Once something is known to be possible, it can’t actually be banned. Prohibition never works for long. Abortions will happen whether or not they are illegal. It’s surely better to at least make it safer for the women who decide they need to do it. They will after all be the most knowledgeable of their own circumstances.

    “1) Let the gay community live in peace. 1a) And on the gay side, let the Christians live in peace.”

    It would be nice if everyone lived in peace. What consenting adults do together isn’t my concern. It only becomes my concern when they push it in my face to get a reaction. I’ll even discuss things with the Jehovah’s Witnesses who visit occasionally, but I’m not going to join in. One thing I don’t tax them with is that if there are only 144k places in Heaven, then converting me isn’t in their best interest….


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