On the Death of James Rhodes — War Machine
Thaddeus Howze

As a white male, I can’t truly understand what others have had to deal with their whole life. But I do my best to try. I listen and what matters to me is knowing that it bothers someone else. There are a lot of things that would never have occured to me on my own. I can’t believe I never thought about the name ‘Civil War’ in this context. I think a lot of racism is unintentional because people just don’t think about it.

But what really blows my mind is when I try to talk about White Privilege to my friends. Most of them just dismiss it or say people are being over sensitive. This has also come up when discussing the Bury Your Gays trope. My friends say that straight white people get killed or are the bad guys all the time in entertainment. Well, yeah, but we’re hardly in danger of running out of people who remind us of ourselves. And we grew up seeing ourselves everywhere. They also miss the forest for the trees. If you look at an individual story, maybe it seems justified within the context. But when the black man is the first to die in every horror movie, you have to notice.

So yeah, lots of straight white characters get killed, too. But I think that a big part of this is that the main character in a story is usually a straight white person. A writer can have supporting cast representing all colors of the rainbow and think that’s diversity. But the supporting characters are the ones who are a lot more expendable than the main character. So, they can pick a supporting character to do something horrible with and say it didn’t matter if what color they were, that it wasn’t part of the decision process.

But like I said, we’re never going to run out of straight white males in our fiction.

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