One White Male’s Response

Good Morning Mr. Baron:

Joe Davidson and I have had a cordial exchange of emails about coverage and he suggested that I write directly to you after my last email.  I am concerned with the lack of balanced coverage the Washington Post has with regard to many subjects including diversity and the incoming President elect Trump.  I have been a subscriber for over 22 years now and I do enjoy your paper; however as you know many papers are scrambling to find enough people with even center right conservative views to write columns or jump into that arena.  I am an exception to that fear among conservatives who felt they just could not stick their neck out and take the change of damaging their reputation.   As a diversity champion, I have been in the arena for a long time with diversity, cultural competency and race relations in high profile settings including the DoD Equal Opportunity Management Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, corporate America, and now with the Department of Veterans Affairs.  I also feel that there is an overemphasis on negativity and using words and phrases throughout your paper that only serve to justify in some regard, others’ fear and apprehension without enough balance for optimism.

While I do understand that many may feel this way, there are better ways that people need to know which will enlighten them versus increasing fear or other negative emotions.  Far too much coverage of the so called altRight and White Nationalists who do not represent the white race or white males in general are shown throughout news media in your paper and others like the New York Times that I also subscribe to.  The article by Jennifer Palmieri is a prime example in which pure negativity was allowed to be given a platform without an countering platform for readers to have a diverse comparison of thought.  I have included my countering column as an example of what I feel others should be given the opportunity to view.  I certainly would be willing to speak with you and share other thoughts in the future.  Please take a look at my newly published book: America’s Diversity Meltdown: Challenging diversity education and its epic failure to improve race relations.  I believe it will provide you and others a perspective that was demonstrated throughout the election cycle with straight talk many in this country needed.

Jennifer Palmieri’s Washington Post article on December 8, 2016 made me pause.  I really thought long and hard over the weekend to come up with a response that would counter what has become the new normal in the media for attacking versus uniting some segments of Americans.

I am an American and will depart from my own philosophy by stating that yes, I am a white male.  After reading the disparaging column I felt it was time to set the record straight.  Americans who voted for Donald Trump, including me, are not part of the minuscule number of so called white nationalists any more than most Democrats are not hard left anarchists who rioted and destroyed property after the election.  I get that, Ms. Palmieri apparently does not.  I can understand how many Americans who are low information voters or hear each other in echo chambers through social media or associations sharing fake news might feel completely differently from me or were ardent supporters of Hillary Clinton.  Although no one can speak for any race or for white males in general, I would venture to say that what I believe are what many, but not all white males, believed who voted for Donald Trump.

  1. Primarily, we are Americans first and not white nationalists or supremacists.  As Americans, we care about everyone else in the world but our belief in an exceptional America as the light of the world is absolute.  One cannot help others until they have a solid base to act from –  the “put your oxygen mask on first before helping others” statement you hear on airliners.  Project power and maintain peace with all our potential enemies.
  2. The overwhelming majority of white males do not want to round up all people who crossed illegally who have been in this country for years. Yes, we do not like open borders but realize that too many years of lax immigration policies have put our country beyond that doomsday scenario many of these people feel now.   That includes the “dreamers” and hardworking people here illegally who have contributed, committed no crimes, and tried to assimilate with learning English.  What we do want is to eliminate the criminal elements as should all Americans which is what Donald Trump stated and will do.  Then we can work on a humanitarian solution together.  We are humanitarian by nature in this country and that should not change for any race.  America does need a wall whether it be all physical or combination of security since every country needs sovereignty and security at its borders.
  3. No one has ever stated to ban immigration or remove all Muslims as so many wrongfully state.  Only monitor and extremely vet those who are trying to immigrate from terrorist or terrorist sponsoring countries.  Who among us would disagree with that? Until we can finally secure our borders we are in constant danger of allowing criminal elements from other parts of the world to enter regardless of race, ethnicity or religion.  That will change on inauguration day.
  4. White males do want race relations dialogue and work together as Americans. I lead these sessions now and have in St. Louis after the Ferguson tragic event, Detroit, and Philadelphia with many more to follow.  White males want to be heard and want to talk but do not know where to start after decades of denigration in mostly mandatory diversity, sensitivity, and unconscious bias classes that target them with white privilege and making them feel uncomfortable as the “white elephant in the room.”  Dialogue and not blame or insults is the key to understanding.  We find commonalities in race relations dialogues and the courage and compassion to change what is needed.  Otherwise it is just pointing fingers.
  5. We want the Affordable Care Act repaired and work together to create a healthcare plan that is stronger by design, welded and not forced upon us by incompetent designers or the misinterpretation of the Supreme Court. As stated by one of the designers, they relied upon the “stupidity of the American people” to get it passed and even Nancy Pelosi stated that they had to pass it to see what was in it.  Would you want that type of decision made for instance with an auto repair let alone your healthcare?  We “fixed the brakes but did test them so you can drive away and see if the brakes work.”
  6. Palmieri states that they took Donald Trump’s words literally – and she is a communications director? I could list the mountains of words and phrases uttered by Hillary Clinton but the grabber was:  “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it. Does Ms. Palmieri take these words literally?  With her comment, back to Kellyanne Conway the other day stating that Donald Trump gave a platform to white nationalists;  probably.  Well, many of us did take her words literally since they were insults and heartfelt which further drove passionate people to the polls to vote – many of whom did not vote in prior elections.  They had had enough.
  7. Ms. Palmieri should take heart that honorable men will treat women with respect and know that most us are. We also understand that women have had to struggle mightily to overcome what was the normal and create what is becoming the new normal of diversity among all of us.     Most honorable men I know again, no matter their outward color,  who see any type of boorish treatment from men towards women will stand up versus standing down and abhor joining in any type of misogynistic behavior.
  8. We do prefer to eliminate the outlandish political correctness in actions and speech that has permeated our society.  Straight talk with respect is much preferred.  There are too many vocal individuals however who are given platforms which just will not allow dialogue with respect to be the order of the day.  If you disagree with them, you are now branded whatever the phobic of the talk produces.
  9. Even though the Washington Post and those like Ms. Palimeri provide what amounts to exhaustive space to articles and columns highlighting white nationalists who are, as stated, a microscopic portion of Americans, real Americans of any race are not nationalist by nature. Yet, when we hear about communities of color, voting blocks of color or ethnicities or religion, etc., it only serves to separate and not unite.  By the way Ms. Palmieri, the  only white sheets I ever come into contact with are ones in beds I stay at in Hotels.  I prefer sheets of color at home.

Our country needed a wake up call and it received the message.  Our Constitution thankfully does not allow for a few cities or states to dictate the election by shear numbers of popular vote.  Americans should take notice that the House of Representatives did have the numerical popular vote majority and the President elect electoral college by 306-232.    Donald Trump is bringing in superior women (countering countless charges of misogyny), Marine and Army Generals, extremely successful business people, and superb administrators like former Ambassador John Bolton and others.  The world will take notice that America chose to maintain its greatness and make us even greater.

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