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It's "Get On Your Knees and Thank a White Man Day" in the Men's Rights subreddit [UPDATED]

King Leopold of Belgium brought the gift of death to ten million Africans
King Leopold of Belgium brought the gift of death to ten million Africans

 

NOTE TO AVFM READERS: See UPDATE 2 at bottom of post.

Over on the Men’s Rights subreddit, a dude named unkleman wants us all to remember the debt of gratitude we owe to the white men of the world:

 

unkleman 27 points 21 hours ago (42|15)  You should ask her if she is ashamed of the burden of original sin or should blacks feel like the burdened sons of Cain.  Here is my response to that attitude, but it is sure to inflame further-  People are quick to blame white people for historic wrongs, but that is because they developed technology in more barbaric times. Do you think the Zulus would have been more kind with muskets? For every white person you want to unload on for historic wrongs, you need to get on your knees and thank a hundred first for the renaissance, the age of exploration, the industrial revolution, the atomic age, and the information age we live in. Take a look at your life and ask yourself how much of current civilization would exist if not for the white man. For all I know, whites are the only reason that we all are not currently as barbaric as the very people that are decried with rants against historic wrongs. These accomplishments have given you the luxury to decry the effort they were built upon and you would have been no better but for what the founders of this world have allowed you, so allow them the thanks you owe in spades.

This message went over pretty well with the overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male, overwhelmingly self-pitying and self-congratulatory and maybe just an eensy teensy weensy bit racist demo in the Men’s Rights subreddit. I guess it pays to know your audience!

Men’s Rights and White Supremacy: two … tastes that go together.

Thanks to the folks in the AgainstMensRights subreddit for pointing me to this lovely comment.

UPDATE: Apparently, Unkleman’s comment was meant as sarcasm. That is, while he seems to think that his version of history is accurate, he thinks that the notion that individual white people today deserve credit for things other white people did in the past is stupid.

Interestingly, when he pointed out that this was what he actually meant, he got downvoted below zero, a stark contrast to the reception his original comment got. Take a look:

ishm 5 points 1 day ago (10|5)  I am in agreement with the majority of your statement!  But the "owe to white men" stanza going on for a multitude of sentences triggered negative feelings in me. I do not believe we "owe it to white men", yet I would be much more complacent with "we should appreciate the MEN and WOMEN who discovered them". Owe should be excluded as there was no damned contract signed. Minorities and other whites do not owe anything to whites who discovered various technologies. Appreciate is the word you meant I hope.      permalink     save     parent     report     give gold     reply  [–]unkleman -1 points 1 day ago (4|5)  Yeah, it was entirely meant to stir negative feelings and the premise is ridiculous. It is just the other side of the coin of the thought process for people who use such excuses to be "politically correct" racists and meant to show that their justifications should lead to a reverse conclusion.  If I actually believed I am owed kudos for racial reasons, one should assume that I literally have nothing else going for me in life and that would be sad.

 

Evidently, the Men’s Rightsers liked his comment much better when they thought he totally meant it.

UPDATE 2: Evidently my point in posting a picture of King Leopold of Belguim was a bit too subtle for the not-so-great minds at A Voice for Men to understand. So here is the point, in plain English: If you’re going to talk about all the good things done by white men in history, which have been considerable, you should also be prepared to talk about the bad things they have done, which have also been considerable. Since the fellow I quoted gave examples of the good things he sees as white male accomplishments, I thought I would provide an example of a white man who was not such a good fellow as a counterexample. I hope this helps!

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Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

genderneutrallanguage tries to be as gross as the OP, but fails, because the OP is the grossest, most racist thing that ever grossed. Better luck next time.

thebewilderness
8 years ago

It is really just a version of the abusers refrain. If you are going to complain when I kill you then you have to give me praise when I fix my own brekkie.
Exploitation is what the white male has excelled at over the years. I give them credit for that.

thebewilderness
8 years ago

However, there will be no kneeling or bowing.

grumpycatisagirl
8 years ago

Does GNL believe that non-white non-male people have no impact on climate change? It would be kind of cool if I had no ill effect on the environment. But I don’t actually believe that.

And the dudebros say women never take responsibility for anything . . .

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
8 years ago

GNL really is desperate to feel important by association, isn’t he? It seems to be a vital part of the MRA condition.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

I’m still kinda boggled that GNL apparently things the world is a binary of White Men and Everything Else.

Wait, no I’m not. Because it’s GNL.

Robert
Robert
8 years ago

Without smallpox and firearms, the European invasion of the Americas would have gone VERY differently. Cf., the Vikings, who were quite adept at the ‘let’s kill them and take their stuff’ game, did not do very well. I’ve read “Guns, Germs and Steel”, and yes, there were many factors.

Also, look up the history of the Mound Builder myth. XIXth century Americans could not believe that the “primitive Indian savages” could have constructed such remarkable earthworks, and invented an entire imaginary civilization to explain them. The only survival of this academic delusion today, AFAIK, is the Book of Mormon.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
8 years ago

Well, you see, that’s because white men are JUST THAT IMPORTANT, and also the only actual humans. The rest of us are malfunctioning servant-bots.

R. A. Stark
8 years ago
Reply to  takshak

I for one am grateful that the Arab and Hindu scholars who preserved and expanded upon much of the ancient work—most of it by ancient people who probably would not be viewed as white if teleported into modern society, and certainly not the sense of just 5 decades ago—took the time to become white before beginning those studies! Phew!

ollyoxen
ollyoxen
8 years ago

[blockquote]The thing is, the White Man DIDN’T come up with this shit. That’s what everyone’s talking about. They claimed credit for a lot of other shit OTHER PEOPLE did. Gunpowder was China. Printing press was China again.[/blockquote]

To be fair, it wasn’t like Johann Gutenberg saw a Chinese printing press at a World’s Fair and pretended he came up with it. He was inspired by wine presses in his region. But it is true that both China and Korea independently developed printing presses before Gutenberg did.

However, both Chinese and Korean are languages that have thousands of variable characters, making printing presses nice, but not that useful. Languages that used the Latin alphabets only had 26 interchangeable characters to deal with, making the printing press much more valuable.

I would argue that it is this innovation, the (relatively) cheap and easy access to books and printing that accounts for some of the reasons that Europe got such a head start in the whole ‘let’s take everyone else’s stuff’ race.

tealily
tealily
8 years ago

Supposing for just 10 seconds that everything that MRAs think about white men building civilization and inventing everything important is true, so what? Considering that since the beginning they’ve saddled women, children, servants and slaves with the shit-work of everyday life, they damn well should have done something!

But not only do we know that isn’t the case, I’m willing to bet that they’ve taken credit for many of ideas that others have come up with. After all, it only makes sense that the people that have to do the work think about how things could be done more quickly and efficiently.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
8 years ago

Even in a society that has slaves, assuming that the enslaved people weren’t part of the process of creating new stuff only works if you assume that they were brainless automatons. This no doubt seems like a reasonable assumption to dudes who can’t see anyone who doesn’t look just like themselves as people, but it’s not.

Bina
8 years ago

The Real McCoy. White men didn’t invent THAT. A freeborn black Canadian did.

katz
8 years ago

I didn’t know the real McCoy was a real person! Is Pete’s sake also a real Pete?

Bina
8 years ago

Possibly! If St. Peter was a real person, then “For Pete’s sake” refers to an actual person.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
8 years ago

Who in the Sam Hill is Sam Hill, then?

To blame “The White Man” for all of the horrors that this tech has wrought with out also crediting “The White Man” for all the benefits it’s brought is simply sexist racist bigotry.

So every time someone criticizes someone else, they have to immediately balance it out with a compliment? That’s pretty childish.

kittehserf
8 years ago

Buckley of “you’ve got Buckley’s chance” is also real.

samantha
samantha
8 years ago

I don’t understand how white men have been able to achieve anything, what with constantly being abused by women giving birth.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants, you forgot to mention that the very act of giving birth is abuse. Really. I have read comments by ob-gyns who claim that women should be held accountable for child abuse when they decline the invitation to have c-sections.

Bad mommies. Bad women.

kittehserf
8 years ago

I have read comments by ob-gyns who claim that women should be held accountable for child abuse when they decline the invitation to have c-sections.

… I can’t even

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
8 years ago

This was probably aimed at me since I brought up global warming:

To blame “The White Man” for all of the horrors that this tech has wrought with out also crediting “The White Man” for all the benefits it’s brought is simply sexist racist bigotry.

First, a little background. I’m a white Canadian and have seen countless bigots lobbing the kind of tripe unkleman did at First Nations people. These racists literally demand to be thanked for pulling FNs people out of the “stone age” and they rhyme off all the technology they brought to North America. They especially like to gloat about satellite dishes which are a common feature on houses in remote locations. So I’m not buying unkleman’s backpedalling for a second.

FNs have a spiritual connection to the land and are fighting to protect our waterways and the building of pipelines from the Alberta tar sands. They are literally fighting a predominately white, male government who is all about pandering to oil companies and people like the Koch brothers and the Chinese government who have a large stake in the tar sands. Environmental concerns be damned.

So that’s why I said this:

And who are the ones responsible for destroying the environment in the name of profit and the pursuit of fossil fuels? Why, I believe that’s primarily white men who stick their fingers in their ears and shout “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” when it comes to global warming.

I’m not required to give credit to “The White Man” for technology in general when my point was specifically about the environment.

(Is it global warming or climate change? I can never get those two sorted out.)

Bina
8 years ago

Sam Hill, ladies ‘n’ gents.

Also, re ob-gyns holding women “accountable”, have you heard of symphysiotomy? Now THERE is abuse. But it was done by doctors in the name of churning out unlimited quantities of children in the days when the rule was no more than 2-3 c-sections per woman (and after that no more children, which was a no-no if you were Catholic). So I guess that makes it A-okay (she said, dripping snark all down her bodice…)

kittehserf
8 years ago

Good gods. They took a last-ditch emergency procedure and made it standard …

samantha
samantha
8 years ago
Reply to  Shaenon

It wasn’t until I started following Medieval People of Color on Tumblr that I realized how many white people seriously believe white men invented everything and the rest of the world was some kind of trackless wasteland

I remember what I was taught in gradeschool. I went from first-eighth grades in Maryland and I rarely saw any mention of Native peoples and culture at all until seventh or eighth grade. When they were mentioned at all, the books waxed ecstatic about how they showed the pilgrims how to plant corn and pumpkins. That was pretty much it. They CERTAINLY had no culture, true language, art and philosophy of their own.

Imagine my surprise when I learned in junior high that when Columbus showed up, he found an empty land. I was puzzled, to say the least, considering that in addition to English/Irish/Austrian/Dutch/Polish and a tad of Russian, I am also Mohawk/Cherokee and Penobscot. Sadly, when I asked my family to tell me about the Native ancestry, I was told how shameful it was. That I should focus more on the DAR side and that I should consider my family history as beginning in 1659, when my Dutch ancestors “settled” in New Amsterdam with a land grant from the King of Holland.

Now, imagine how happy I was to learn that most of the US Constitution was lifted from the Iroquois Confederacy and that the cultures and languages of THIS land were as varied and interesting as those of Europe, Asia, Africa and everywhere else in the world. The more I have looked – from the most ancient to the most modern – I see human beings being inventive, creative, brilliant, funny, wise, generous, kind, loving, enlightened…and I also see them being stupid, silly, mean, cold, grim, stingy, cruel, hateful and spiritually asleep. All these things, and many more, are human. They belong to all people, of all ages, races, genders, abilities.

samantha
samantha
8 years ago
Reply to  kittehserf

… I can’t even

I know…I know. It boggles the mind and I find myself shaking my head and shuffling off to…who knows where…

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