The Old White Dude Problem
Written by a non-conformist, unique but cuddly, crazy but caring person who isn’t a movie star or winner of a Pulitzer Prize or looking to profit from your enjoyment of my creativity:
In 1776, our forefathers established and signed the Constitution of the United States Of America. Did you notice per history books who these men were? A bunch of old white dudes, of course !!! No women, no minorities, just a bunch of old white dudes who had a vision that would provide liberties and freedom. And back then, it made sense, and we had to start somewhere so it was what it was.
Except for John F. Kennedy (the only Catholic president and we all know how that turned out!) and Barrack Obama (the first and only Black president and we are about to to see how that turned out!), did you ever pay attention to who has held the job as president/leader of our country. C’mon, get out your history books and get a kick out of those photos of dudes like Martin Van Buren, and John Quincy Adams and Chester Arthur with those funky beards and wigs. Well, well, they were all older white dudes. Some of which did great things, and a majority of them are good answers to trivia questions, and that’s about it.
Unless you are fortunate to work at one of these forward thinking companies like Facebook or Apple or Virgin (of which there are not many and don’t kid yourself that there is still work to do in these places also!), you are probably working as a cog in a large machine that has been around a very long time who had their best years during the Reagan years and riding on those profits. Take a look at the CEO and board of directors of your company. With the exception (maybe!) of a woman who is perhaps VP of Human Resources (the least important area but necessary to business owners), again it’s probably a bunch of old white dudes. And you wonder why you see all of these great signs up in the workplace about “the people matter” but nothing changes and people continue to walk out the door either by choice or because the dollars no longer add up?
We all love sports and entertainment. Per what I contribute to Facebook and bar conversations, you know I do. There are a wide variety of athletes and musicians to watch and worship and buy your kids their action figures. But have you ever noticed who is really pulling the strings? Of course, it’s the old white dudes. They are the sports franchise owners and movie/music studio owners who are raking in the profits sitting in their suites away from us common people? Even all of the commissioners who do the old white dudes bidding! And can you honestly tell me that today’s movies, music, and sports are as entertaining as they used to be when creative people were at the forefront in the 70’s and 80’s (before the hippies became yuppies!). And it’s no wonder people rip music from youtube, and profits are inflated to make up for lackluster quality on most things (remove Breaking Bad and Game Of Thrones from this idea, btw!)
House Of Reps, Senate, Governors? Mostly all old white dudes! CEO’s, Wall Street Guys, Real Estate Bigwigs! Mostly all old white dudes!
We do see young upstarts changing the world with new ideas and concepts and not conforming to the status quo. But we talk about them very little compared to talking about the old white dudes! Here are a few of many examples: Mark Cuban, Elon Musk, the guys from Google, Steve Jobs (RIP, okay not a nice guy, but also not an old white dude!), Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Sheryl Sandberg, Elizabeth Warren etc. All have been successful with new ideas and the ability to experiment and think outside the box. But not enough!!!
So why do the old white dudes keep thriving? It just happened again on Tuesday, and we were starting to truly evolve a bit! Instead of moving forward or at least trying, we keep reverting back to the golden ages which again only benefits the old white dudes! I understand we should respect our elders and can learn a lot from them. But it should also be a two way street and they should listen to us even if we aren’t their offspring with all to gain? But it seems all of these major old white dudes really aren’t concerned about creativity or new ideas, they are about the status quo and money, money, money and rules that benefit them because once again, money, money, money!!! Shame on us! Instead of doing anything about it, we just complain on Facebook and at the water cooler, we share political jokes and memes and GIFS and more news articles to remind us of what we already know. And yay we have freedom of speech, so what? What’s the saying, opinions are like assholes, everybody has them. Yes, but my spin on that quote as that some are a lot cleaner than others. (I’ll be here all week!)
Isn’t it time to get rid of all the old white dudes in these positions of power? How do we do this? I have some ideas, but I’m sure there are people out there a lot smarter than me, and I’m open to anything. Let’s go out for some drinks or a Starbucks and put our heads together?
Wouldn’t it be cool to give a black woman like Michelle Obama a shot? Or the young 40 year old political upstart hopeful a chance? Or allow creative people to run the entertainment businesses like the old days instead of old businessmen who are completely out of touch with what’s hip?
Again, let’s stop talking and let’s start doing! It’s evolution (or should I say!) revolution baby!!! Old white dudes are great to love as our grandpas, and listen to their stories about when they were our age. Other than that, do we really need the old white dudes running the show? When I become an old white dude, I hope all of the young kids and others I engaged when I was younger take what we started and make it work with the times!!! Life is too short to be miserable!