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View Diary: Did they really think only old white men would hear the dogwhistles? (223 comments)

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  •  There are white male progressives, and radicals, (5+ / 0-)

    in every generation. My father and uncles are in their seventies. My grandfathers and great-uncles were born in the first decade of the 20th century. All of them dedicated a huge part of their lives to progressive activism. In fact so did at least one great-grandfather. My partner, my brother, and many friends are outspoken and dedicated progressives today in their 40s and 50s. Some of my students are inspiring activists in their teens and 20s.

    Some generations have had more such people than others, but the thoughtful, imaginative, compassionate, dedicated white male progressives of the most conservative generations deserve all the more credit for standing up to the cultural pressure around them. Remember too that some white men have faced challenges that that demographic classification does not capture. I think of the "old white men" that I knew of my father's and grandfathers' generation. Some of them were gay, but few were able to live openly gay lives. Some were disabled, in a world that had no conception of "accessibility". Some belonged to immigrant groups that faced fierce discrimination, even though we now call them "white". They taught me so much of what I know and value. Give them credit. We should not be judging people by their demographic categories. Leave that to the people who believe in racial and gender essentialism.

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