Perhaps some of you have seen that quote of mine on comments by ElectricStrawberry: “I acknowledge having racist and classist and sexist feelings of white male superiority.” -John Howard
What I was saying there was the same thing that Mark Cuban was saying recently:
I know that I’m not perfect. While we all have our prejudices and bigotries, we have to learn that it’s an issue that we have to control, that it’s part of my responsibility as an entrepreneur to try to solve it, not just to kick the problem down the road.
That is something I think more people ought to acknowledge – that all people, no exceptions, have all sorts of prejudices and prides and underlying biases, and that denying they exist – insisting one is not racist and not sexist, etc – only makes the biases more intractable and harmful. What Cuban said was that, by recognizing that he has these conditioned responses of, in his and my case, white male privilege, he is able to fix his actions and opinions and prevent his biases from ruling his brain. He was not saying, and nor was I, that one ought to be racist, or that white men are indeed superior. What I am saying is that there is such a thing as white male privilege just like the feminists say, an arrogant attitude of class and ownership privilege, and it’s NOT justified or right, and as a white male, I have to keep it in check and not be a dick just by acting like I would by my social conditioning alone. Acknowledging it is necessary, and insisting on being unbiased and purely rational and reasonable, by a white male, itself the surest sign of arrogance and privilege and boorishness.