Recently, MTV News put out a video titled “Dear White Guys,” where several people discuss some New Year’s resolutions they believe all white men should have. While its intention was to help stomp out racism, it ended up becoming a paradigm of racism in 2016. Even as a POC, I see the blatant racism, and as such, I would like to shed some light on the points addressed in the video.
America was never great for anyone who wasn’t a white guy.
It’s true — American history has more than its fair share of racism, sexism and bigotry; however, people have been able to, and still can, leave America at any time. If it weren’t great at some point, the U.S. wouldn’t have the third largest population on Earth, and it wouldn’t be continuously growing. Additionally, there are minority men and women who have reached major success, and white men and women who have missed out on success. Clearly, it's been great for some people and not so much for others, regardless of race.
BLM isn’t the opposite of ALM.
This year marked the creation of the “All Lives Matter” movement, which showed that while black lives do matter, so do other lives as well. Some people support this movement because it is more accepting of all races, some support the BLM movement because it focuses attention where it needs to be, and some don’t support either movement. White men can and do fall under all three of these groups, not just the first one.
Blue Lives Matter isn’t a thing. People aren’t born blue.
The point of the “Blue Lives Matter” movement wasn’t to say that “blue people matter.” It was to direct attention to the innocent police officers that were being killed out of “retribution” for the black men and women that had been shot and killed. "Blue Lives Matter" is as much of a thing as "Black Lives Matter," since both movements are meant to draw attention to the injustices faced by a group of people.
Stop bragging about/saying “woke.”
The concept of being “woke” means “to be aware of racial/social injustice.” If you wanted someone to be aware of these injustices, wouldn’t you want some way to designate that they’re aware? What difference does it make what word they use?
“Mansplaining” is the concept of invalidating someone's opinion solely on the basis of their gender. This is blatant sexism against men. Disregarding an opinion simply because it came from a man doesn’t help address the actual issue at hand, and only divides us further.
The Brock Turner case has been regarded as an atrocity by all of society, black and white alike. Additionally, only Judge Aaron Persky was a judge in this case. Attributing Persky’s decision to all white men would be akin to attributing the 9/11 attacks to all Muslim men, which we all know is ridiculous.
Having black friends does not mean you’re not racist.
Again, this is true. You can have black friends and still make bigoted comments about every race on Earth. But unless MTV News has proven that all white men are racist and make the “I have a black friend so I can’t be racist” comment, they’re making yet another generalization that, at best, will remove some meaning from the ever-important social justice movement, and at worse, will paint a picture that all liberals are racist, sexist hypocrites.
The video initially received so much backlash that MTV News deleted it. Not even a day later, the video was reuploaded and taken down once again due to the insane like-to-dislike ratio. The video has since been reuploaded by other YouTubers, and received hate from Conservative YouTubers and even Independent YouTubers.
MTV News was right when they mentioned that 2016 has been bad, and we must make improvements for 2017. Throughout 2016, we’ve seen so much more violence, racism, natural disasters, environmental issues and all-around negativity than we’ve ever needed to see. While we address those issues, we need to address the issue of our own unity. The issue that MTV News might not understand is that the video was an example of the exact discrimination it intended to combat. Replacing “White” in the title with “Black” or “Latino” would amplify the absurdity tenfold. MTV News made the mistake of hurting our unity in an attempt to help it. By alienating an entire group of people, they create the white nationalists and bigots that they wanted to get rid of in the first place, and further the current divisions instead of helping to heal them.
Lead Image Credit: Plainview via YouTube
Editor's note: This is an opinion piece and does not reflect the overall opinion of Fresh U or its writers.