THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 409, March 11, 2007
"She's real fine my 409!"
Hope For the Future?
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise
I admit itfrom time to time I am pessimistic on the prospects for liberty in America. Sometimes I linger too long over the editorial pages of the mainstream press. Depressing. On a regular basis you can find our basic rights under attack there.
Strangely, I don't get total relief from the "libertarian media." Sure, I frequent the websites and journals, and they are important, but I know that it's mostly one libertarian talking to another. A visitor to this website, for example, is likely already a disciple of freedom.
I'm much more inspired by American youth. Despite the yoke of a government education system and the allure of leftist ideology, there are young men and women who embrace the notion of limited government. If you tap into forums like Facebook and MySpace you can eavesdrop on groups as they chatter about liberty and take on socialism.
One such group is "White Heterosexual Male Pride" started by Ryan McKeen, a college student from Minnesota. McKeen introduces his site with an insightful broadside against left-wing activists who cast straight white males in the role of society's arch-villain. It takes a certain amount of courage to start such a group and there are times when posters on the site are mostly people condemning everyone as racist. Yet the group continues to grow and its creator maintains that it is designed only to challenge the status quo.
If the Republic has a future, the Ryan McKeens of the world will have to keep speaking up and keep taking unpopular positions. I contacted McKeen and he granted me a brief interview.
Scott Kauzlarich: Where did you get the idea for your group "White Heterosexual Male Pride?"
Ryan McKeen: For a number of months leading up to the point that I created the group, I had been in periodical debate with a friend of mine on the topic of social justice. She is a minority, and is very liberal in her political views. She is a member of many different activist groups concerning all issues related to social justice. She would be very argumentative and stubborn when we debated and this would drive me to be even more defensive of my more conservative views. She would speak of how the White Heterosexual Male has everything his way, how I would never know the extent of the persecution she has to face on a daily basis, and how it would be wrong of me to suggest that I had a disadvantage in any area of life. She attacked the WHM from every angle; how women are oppressed, gays are persecuted, and that minorities still face large challenges.
She put me in a corner, saying that if I wasn't with "them" as an ally, than I was against "them" and was a bigot.
While I am for equality, I don't see how someone's race, gender, or sexual preference should even come into the argument. I have a close friend who is a minority but I never view him differently because he doesn't do anything to make himself stand out flamboyantly. I believe that he is an example of how all non-WHMs should present themselves. I think this country is beyond the point where we judge by ethnicity or sex. But if someone draws attention to themselves, people are going to make judgments about them.
I made all of these points in my debates with her, yet she continued to belligerently promote her agenda with no regard to my opinion. She even went as far as to contradict herself in saying that by not recognizing that my close friend is a minority, I was disrespecting his heritage. I say she was contradicting herself because she tells me I shouldn't draw conclusions about him based on his skin color (so ignore his skin color right?), but that if I didn't at least conclude that he is different, I would be disrespecting his heritage. Now I know for a fact that he doesn't care either way, yet she was telling me how to treat him.
All of this discussion with her and others who did/didn't agree with her got me thinking about all of the unfortunate WHMs out there who have to make sacrifices every day so that non-WHMs won't feel discriminated. Us WHMs can be ridiculed and no one stands up and says it isn't fair, yet we bend over backwards to make sure that we don't say anything offensive in the least.
I decided that WHMs needed a support group more than anyone, to come together and display what little pride we have left. I realize that there are some WHMs who discriminate, but it is my belief that percentage-wise, more non-WHMs discriminate. That is why I created the group.
SK: Why weren't you afraid of being labeled a bigot?
RM: I clearly state in the group that the group is only rebutting those who put WHMs in a box. There are plenty of women, minorities, gays, and lesbians who don't discriminate against WHMs, but there are even more that do.
I feel that since I label myself as only fighting those who pick a fight; it would be completely unreasonable for them to label me as a bigot.
SK: Aren't you just saying "Quit acting black, gay, etc., and act like me? Act like a White Heterosexual Male?"
RM: I am not saying they should act like WHMs, I am saying that when they act differently, they shouldn't be surprised that others make judgments about them. Humans will always be judgmental of each other. It is not fair to ask one group of people (WMHs) to never be judgmental of anyone, when non-WHMs make judgments (many times very audible and publicized) and minimal, if any, ramifications stem from it. So go ahead, act unique/flamboyant/loud. Just don't have a conniption when someone makes a neutral or negative remark about it.
SK: Tell me about your politics. Where do they stem from? Who do you vote for?
RM: Up until my creation of the WHM Pride group, I had little interest in politics. I was raised in a Baptist Christian household, brought up to be very conservative in my political views.
I first lost interest following all of the criticism of the Bush Administration by the media. After witnessing most people my age become staunch liberals, I decided to become neutral and quiet on the topic of politics. But when I started debating with my aforementioned liberal friend, I came back in touch with my conservative roots.
Although I don't affiliate myself with any political party, I would have to admit that I would be inclined to vote Republican or Libertarian. Politics shouldn't be about party loyalty, but about personal conviction.
SK: What kind of activist group do you want for WHMs?
RM: I don't think an activist group is even necessary. I would prefer that other activist groups become obsolete.