It's 2019 and apparently some people still have to be reminded that for our nation's 243-year history, old, white, cisgender, straight men have had control over the cultural narrative. It seems that one county official in Tennessee has clearly forgotten this nugget of history.
Warren Hurst, who sits on the county commission for Sevier County, TN, has made bigoted and homophobic comments, complaining that "we have a queer" running for president, and that while he's "not prejudiced… a white male in this country has very few rights, and they're getting 'took' more every day." (Clearly, this man needs a lesson in Standard English, as well as American history and current events.) You can see his full comments and watch the video clip here.
This man, and so many who hold such warped beliefs as him, are part of the social, political, and cultural problem that America is facing, with regards to how citizens are being treated and how the power struggle for the mainstream voice in American culture is shifting.
Below is a brief, but nowhere near complete, mini-history lesson, so these individuals can learn a thing or two.
For the 243 years that we have officially been considered a country, men have been in most, if not all, positions of power. This includes, but is not limited to, the positions of president of the United States, vice president of the United States, cabinet members, government officials, state officials, county officials, landowners, business owners, CEOs, executives, and managers.
Let's not forget that it wasn't until 1920 that women in our country were able to cast a vote, and it also wasn't until 1973, with the Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade, that women were given control over their own bodies. Truly, all of you old, white, powerful men have been so kind to us. It also wasn't until the year 1981 that the United States Supreme Court appointed Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Conner, making her the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Let us not forget that persons of color in our country have been the targets of hatred since our country was founded on the horrors of slavery. The 1998 racial murder of James Byrd, Jr. in Jasper, TX, is a horrific and gut-wrenching example of how toxic these pro-white male views can be. James Byrd Jr. was targeted by three white supremacists and viciously murdered simply because of his skin color. These white supremacists tied this man up in chains and then proceeded to drag him three miles down a country road, ultimately killing him. The full story can be read here, and it's worth noting that one of his killers was executed in 2011.
Members of the LGBTQ community have also been victims of hate crimes, and it wasn't until 2009 that former President Barack Obama, our country's first African American president, signed the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law. You can read the bill here.
(Shepard was an out college student who was brutally beaten and killed in rural Wyoming in 1998, simply because he was gay.)
Another recent case of cisgender white men in our country who promote this warped ideology is the 2017 "Unite The Right" rally, in which a neo-Nazi drove his car through a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, VA, killing counter-protestor Heather Heyer.
What old, cisgender, straight, white men seem to forget is simply the fact that America, and the world itself, does not revolve around them. News flash: Our country has many more diverse voices, viewpoints, and stories that deserve to be heard, other than the same, whitewashed narrative that's dominated our culture for hundreds of years.
While what Hurst said might not seem so bad on the surface level, underneath the guise of "good ol' boy" talk, this comment further promotes the ideology that old, straight, white men are the only men in this country who deserve to have a voice, run for public office, and carry on the social, cultural, and political narrative of this country.
Those stances and this ideology can kindly GTFO.
So, to the men who happen to think like Warren Hurst, I would like to say this: Please take your 1950s, good ol' boy, the world revolves around me attitude, and leave it in the past. It's 2019, and your bigotry is canceled.