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IPFS News Link • Racism

What Happened to White Male Role Models?

•, By Donald Jeffries

Only a dwindling number of White male role models remain, an endangered species happily being encouraged to go extinct.

When I was a kid in the 1960s, and a teenager in the 1970s, all of my heroes were White males. They dominated the sports I loved. They were all alpha to the core, even the soft-spoken ones like Bart Starr or Joe Montana. When I played baseball, football, or basketball, it never occurred to me to pretend I was even the best Black athlete. Instead, I imagined I was Notre Dame's star wide receiver Jim Seymour, who would be screwed over by the NFL in a precursor of things to come. Or Pete Rose, before he turned obnoxious. I admired the way he ran full speed to first base after being walked. Maybe I was a child racist and didn't know it. I'm sure if the proper Karens had been around back then, I would have been sent to sensitivity training.

I admired many a White pop and rock star as well. The White rock stars of the era were about as alpha as human beings can be. Strong, confident, unwilling to be cucked by anybody. Picture Mick Jagger in his prime. Even into the '80s, while I was turned off by the big hair and pretentiousness of the heavy metal bands, no one could call them anything but 100% USDA choice alpha. And they were all White. While the sports world had already been thoroughly "diversified" by the 1970s, the music industry was being dominated by Whites. The British Invasion of the early 1960s, led by the Beatles, was pure White. Sure, you had Motown, but their sound was an attempt to appeal to Whites. All the Black girl bands tried to look and sound White.

My impressive record collection was a testament to "White Supremacy." The Beatles. The Beach Boys. Bob Dylan. The Kinks. Procol Harum. Roxy Music. The Band. The Byrds. John Prine. Steve Goodman. The Rolling Stones. The Who. Elvis Costello, of course. Graham Parker. The Go Gos. Tom Petty. Electric Light Orchestra. Joni Mitchell. Nick Lowe. Those are just off the top of my head. Sure, I had some Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye in there. I loved Louis Armstrong. The Supremes still sound supreme to me. But, clearly, my tastes were decidedly non-diverse. I never understood the fascination with Michael Jackson, whether he raped little boys or not. To me, he was like a Black Donny Osmond, only a better dancer. And he became a freak show, turning his face into a figurative Halloween mask, in a futile effort to transition into Whiteness. Today, my record collection would be condemned as "racist."

I'm sorry, I just didn't pay attention to James Brown. To me, he was a good dancer who had one crossover hit, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." I didn't respect Aretha Franklin. Never thought to listen to her. I feel like I'd admitting some kind of culpability in saying I loved, and still love, Gary Lewis and the Playboys. Tommy James and the Shondells. The Four Seasons. Jan and Dean. Listen to the soundtracks of any film or TV show, focusing on music from that era. You will not hear these White acts, who had far more hit records than all the R & B Black artists combined. They've been sent down the memory hole. Like all the White running backs, wide receivers, and defensive backs who once flourished in the NFL. They want you to think they never existed. Old White entertainers and athletes have become unpersons.

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