The (Not-So-Secret) Angry-Old-White-Man Agenda
By Craig Taro Gold,huffingtonpost – Our country’s Mitt Romneys, Pat Robertsons, and Rush Limbaughs killed my father. I’ve never spoken publicly about it before, but now as I witness supposedly “conservative” rhetoric spewing across America, it’s time to do my part and shine some light on it.
I grew up in a conservative Republican family, my father a full-fledged Reaganite. Growing up, I heard countless stories of liberal “secret agendas.” It seemed that anyone who dared challenge the angry, old, white men’s power monopoly had a secret agenda. The list of suspects included poor people, teachers, unionists, Jews, communists, gays, blacks, Muslims, Hispanics, hippies, and, of course, any woman who thought she was equal to a man. I’m sure at some point there was a Native American agenda, too, because we all know how devious those Injuns can be.
As I matured, I realized all the talk of “secret agendas” was simply a propaganda tool for oppressing minority rights. Now that times have “evolved” and the poor-liberal-teacher-unionist-Jew-commie-gay-black-Muslim-Hispanic-hippie-women-Injuns are the majority, there’s another agenda I’d like to talk about, the only agenda that was ever real to begin with, the one that took my dad from me: the angry-old-white-man agenda.
From an early age, I got to see how things work when you are born a white male, as I was, especially with the privileges I enjoyed including a private education, international travel, and a supportive family. My dad and I were best buddies; I was his only child and the only male offspring among his close friends, so I was treated as somewhat of an heir to the angry-old-white-man agenda.
However, I soon began to feel that I was different from most of the men around me, not only as my awareness of being gay emerged, but because I was happy while they were often angry. It fascinated me that men who seemingly had everything — money, power, privilege — could be angry about anything, especially about minorities wanting to be treated equally. “Why aren’t these guys the happiest people on Earth?” I wondered. “Do they really think equal rights are the end of the world?” I sometimes asked such questions in carefully worded ways. I wasn’t ready to blow my cover yet, either as a gay youth or as a critically thinking human being. To summarize in basic terms, I was told “other = bad.” Why they felt this way, though, confused me, and it became my personal quest to find an answer. Sometimes I felt like a spy, born behind enemy lines, going unnoticed thanks to my uniform of pale skin and a Y-chromosome. I could sit in on closed-door discussions, listening to unsubstantiated fears and slander of anyone different, the ominous “others.” If you guys only knew that one of those “others” is right here with you now, I often thought. I wondered how many of them secretly harbored feelings of “otherness” in their hearts, too.
Then, an epiphany.
I realized it’s not any “other” that scares them or triggers their anger. It’s the fear that their true self does not fit inside the narrow ideals set by those they follow: their parents and grandparents, their politicians and media hounds, their cavalcade of false prophets. What they fear most are the consequences of not fitting in, of being revealed as even partly “other.” So they band together to bully minorities in an attempt to conceal their own otherness, fueled by the paradoxical belief that all differences are the same — bad — and that, if they try hard enough, maybe someday their own otherness will go away, too. Read more…