A phrase that is often bandied about is, “dead white males”. Usually the term is used to disparage the contributions made by caucasian males in the past. In reality there is much to criticize about the masculine gender of humans. They brought us wars with a savagery unheard of. Machine guns, poison gas, germ warfare and atomic bombs have been their legacy. Slavery and colonialism can be attributed to them as well. Yet, do they deserve to be dismissed or belittled?
I would like to suggest that without the contributions of Dead White Males we would continue to be mired in the pre-industrial backwaters of time. Children would continue to die prematurely without modern sanitation and antibiotics. Mortality of women in childbirth would remain high. We should thank scientists such as Pasteur and Semmelweiss for making modern obstetrics and surgery possible. Without dead white males, trains, planes, cars, modern transportation and rapid communication would not exist. Mail would be delivered by pony express.Teen agers would ride to the prom in horse and buggy. We would remain ignorant about our natural world and the nature of our universe. Neither would we enjoy the benefits of modern medicine. We accept all of these modern conveniences without question. We must admit that most of the creators of our modern age happened to be male and caucasian. Hopefully we will not blame them for that fact.
Let us not forget the great works that elevate our spirits. What an impoverished world we would have without the genius of great white authors, musicians and artists. Credit must be given to the philosophers of the enlightenment who so powerfully influenced the political structures of our modern world. No one would argue that the creators were predominantly male. By and large we would have to admit they were Caucasian. Special tribute should be given to Ashkenazim Jews whose contributions in science, music and other fields have been disproportional to their numbers.
There is a present tendency to honor various ethnic groups. In government we have the Black Congressional Caucus. We celebrate Black History Month and have affirmative action for many minority groups. Yet, if we proposed that there should be a White Congressional Caucus, we would be confronted with outrage. Likewise, celebrating a White Male History month would offend many. Yet, white males are a minority in our country and definitely in the whole world. As a minority they deserve all of the recognition received by other minorities. Because they have contributed so much to our progress and national fabric they should be acknowledged and not denigrated. Perhaps having a white male celebratory month would remind us of their historical and present importance. I have recently been informed that June seventh is National Donut Day. If the lowly donut merits special recognition should not the movers and shakers of our civilization be equally honored?