Much like modern Germans, lower class white males in America have been granted a shame about their past. We’ve been told the History we learn in school is Eurocentric, but as a former social studies teacher, I can tell you that most Americans cannot tell you who Louis IV was. Or John J. Pershing. Or Eric Blair. Or Henry David Thoreau. Or countless other people of historical significance who are left behind in public thought as “old, dead white guys.” For white males who are better off, they benefit from private schools, trust funds, and documented family history. For poor, white males, the same benefits aren’t shared, although the affluent stereotype of the fraternity kid in croakies and dockshoes lives on.
As politics swings more radically in both directions, this mass of working class whites find themselves in very similar situations as minorities in the same social-economic class, but have nothing to pin the blame to about their plight; they have no voice loud enough to suggest a fix, and no ability to conspire about tough times. They don’t benefit from affirmative action. Their past has been denigrated to a label of rich oppressors. They find themselves needlessly humbled in the face of progressive ideology, and even fear speaking when they desire to be an ally to the cause. They’ve lowered themselves to self hate, that extends beyond satire, but actual belief. The mental imagery of their working class fathers are calloused hands, sullen eyes, and silent breaths smelling of cheap alcohol, and to honor their fathers must stay a personal event. They’re finding their complaints ignored and their opinions disenfranchised. I, myself post this diatribe under a pseudoname and I do not doubt if this were to be published, the patronization I’d receive in the comments would be scathing. We live in a tandem of fear and acceptance, and beyond getting this off of my own chest behind anonymity, we will still be unable to proudly look to our pasts or be hopeful for our futures.