I just finished "Stupid White Men", by Michael Moore. It's a political commentary book. He's about as liberal as it gets, which is nice these days. It was an interesting read.
It brought me to thinking about my place in the ranks of stupid white men. My skin is white. But, Joel Fleishman from Northern Exposure would say that I'm not white because I'm Jewish. I'm certainly not looking to join the ranks of people like Kenneth Lay, George W or Adolph Hitler.
But, I feel it is disingenuous to protest my being white. I've certainly had a lot of the benefits of white folk. It's easier to get an apartment, people talk to me on the bus, old ladies don't cross the street to avoid me. I don't experience the bigotry that people of color (yes, this includes Asians) feel. I've had the higher education, the indoctrination into the culture of European white folk. It's been pretty good to me, especially since I didn't earn it or ask for it.
But, what do I do about it? I certainly didn't ask for Enron and Ken Lay. I didn't vote for W (who did?). I've taken advantage of some of my unearned benefits, but only a chump would turn them down. I used to vote democratic, but I've been voting green since the 2000 election. I contribute to charitable causes, occasionally.
So, do I console myself with the (false) knowledge that I didn't cause the suffering in the world? Do I recognize my role in the world as one who drinks Pepsi, drives a car and is adding to the misery? If so, what do I do about it? Stop drinking Pepsi? How do I come to terms with being a rich white guy, even if I'm really only a middle class Jewish dude?
*sigh* Maybe I should just quite whining.