Friday, June 19, 2009

Michael Savage Is Not Fly For A White Guy

"The white Christian heterosexual married male is the epitome of everything right with America, and yet it is the white Christian heterosexual married male who has been made the beast of America."

Is anyone else capable of getting so much wrong in two minutes?  Savage would prefer if marginalized bodies stop speaking truth power.  He aspires to have the world return to a time when Whiteness was never challenged and its fitness to rule was considered normal and proper.  While he is decrying the few small gains made by various minority groups he fails to acknowledge that power still resides firmly in the hands of White males.

The government, captains of industry, doctors, lawyers, the supreme court, military, clergy, higher education, and media are all largely controlled by White men.  Women and people of color often face a glass ceiling when we attempt to progress socially and this is hardly because heterosexual male masculinity is a victim identity.

There is no social identity more privileged than the White heterosexual male.  Regardless of what social position he occupies relative to any other body in his economic class, he will be offered exclusive opportunities. While he shakes his fist decrying programs like affirmative action, he fails to acknowledge that affirmative action has always existed, it just has historically been the preserve of Whiteness.

So much has Michael Savage  (Weiner) internalized what it is to be powerful that he focuses in on Christianity.  This is interesting commentary coming from a Jewish man.  Even by stating his preference, he is acknowledging that if he were to accept his identity he would face discrimination.  Savage promotes a White, heterosexual Christian identity not because he believes it is ultimately the saviour of all but because he has identified with the group most likely to be able to oppress him.

I would love to be able to ignore the commentary of Savage as that of a deluded man but unfortunately we have already seen what occurs when language reifies power dynamics that are harmful.  In a time of economic retrenchment when Whiteness is even more likely to blame marginalized bodies for strife reifying that it has a right to privilege is ultimately a dangerous act.   Equality means not demonizing anyone for their race and it also means not praising them for it either.

H/T Shakessville (Melissa has excellent commentary on this as well)