Include me out!

Did you hear the news?  White men were not affected by the economic downturn engendered by the pandemic!  Readers – at least those of you who belong to the Caucasian caucus – don’t you feel fortunate?

How do I know that white men were left untouched by the pandemic?  The Texas Rangers baseball team told me so!  And Comerica Bank corroborated the assertion!  A major league sports team and a bank with assets of more than $85 billion would never lie to us, would they?

You see, the Rangers and Comerica (headquartered in Dallas) teamed up for a program called Rally Back With the Rangers to help “small businesses in our area [North Texas] get back on their feet.”  Since the program is reserved for minority-owned or woman-owned businesses, that must mean that small business owners deficient in melanin but not testosterone completely sidestepped the pandemic.

All right, I’m being cynical here, but after a while it’s second nature.  We have arrived at the point where it can be posited, overtly or tacitly, that white men operate under optimum conditions at all places and at all times.  Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable to prohibit them from certain types of competition where they might better themselves.

I don’t know how many white men nationwide do business with Comerica but I’m sure the bank would be in big trouble if they took their business elsewhere.  From attending Ranger games, I can state that the dominant demographic – a plurality if not a majority – is white males.  Of course, that was not the case in the season just past, as attendance was nil and true demographic equity reigned supreme.

The Rally Back With the Rangers Grand Prize, if you can call it that, includes:

  1. Four social media posts on Rangers social media feeds.
  2. Ten 30-second radio spots during 2021 Ranger games.
  3. A half-page advertisement in the Rangers 2021 scorecard/magazine.
  4. Four tickets to a 2021 game.
  5. A private suite night (presumably for entertaining customers/clients).

As you can see, the Rally Back program is small potatoes, a low-budget low-risk public relations gambit.  But you have to wonder…why not open the program to all small business owners?  Well, that’s all well and good, but gosh darn it all, it’ll never win any prizes in the corporate wokestakes competition.  So the white man is the odd man out.  As Samuel Goldwyn, legendary movie producer and purveyor of malaprops, once said, “Include me out.”  OK, Sam, if you want out, consider yourself out.  But thanks for the title of this essay.

The Rally Back With the Rangers competition invited entrants to submit essays (1,000 words or less) or videos (5 minutes or less) expounding on what struggles and obstacles they had overcome to successfully build their businesses and how those businesses support and add value to the community.  This narrative accounts for 60% of the score.  Originality/Creativity is worth 20% while “connection and experience with the Rangers” accounts for 20%.

The second and third-place winners will get their names mentioned on social media in the final video and four tickets to as 2021 Ranger game.  Well, whoop-de-do!

The female video contestant who displays the most pleasant disposition will receive the Miss Congeniality Award.  (Just made that up to see if you were paying attention.)

Now the Rangers and Comerica don’t come right out and say white men need not apply, but they do say you have to be a woman-owned or minority-owned small business owner.  And they want to know if your business has officially been certified as WBE (Women Business Enterprise), MBE (Minority Business Enterprise), as well as the traditional SBE (Small Business Enterprise).

No word at all on transgenderism.  I guess if you identify as a female, they will give you the benefit of the doubt.  Of course, any number of “female” businesses have a (pardon the expression) titular CEO with a female name, but the real boss is a father, husband or brother.  If that’s what it takes to get some lucrative contracts for a family business, then that’s what it takes.

The official rules of the contest are largely boilerplate, saying you have to be over 18 and you have to live within a 50-mile radius of the Rangers’ ballpark, Globe Life Field; in other words, somewhere in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  It is possible to nominate someone other than yourself, but the rules state the nominee must be “currently living.”  I don’t know that I go along with that.  The dead need a helping hand, since they cannot nominate themselves.  Paradoxically, though they cannot be nominated, the dead have been known to vote in Texas elections.  In some squeakers, they can make all the difference.

As I said above, the payoff for winning this contest is certainly rather paltry given the resources of Comerica Bank and the Texas Rangers.  As manosphere issues go, the contest is hardly worth mentioning.  But, damn it all, it’s the principle of the thing.  They could have had a contest for all small business owners.  After all the contestants had entered, then they could rig the outcome any way they wanted and no one would be the wiser.  Still, I guess it saves time to rig the contest up front…not so many entries to sift through.  And if no one objects…

Unfortunately, we’ve come a long way, baby, when it comes to what the public will accept without pushback.  Let’s take a brief glance backwards.

Believe it or not, kiddies, in the bad old days, it was perfectly acceptable for newspapers – even the most “progressive” of the bunch – to run employment ads saying “female help wanted” or “male help wanted.”

Then along came the civil rights revolution.  So we had generic help wanted advertisements.  As a corollary, we had a change in terminology.  No more jobs for cameramen but for camerapersons, for example.  No more stewardesses, just flight attendants.

In government and private industry, the call went out – we want “the best and the brightest.”  Regardless of your “race, color, or creed,” a very popular phrase in the old days, but rarely heard today.  They hadn’t gotten around to adding “or genitalia,” but everyone got the idea.

One of the finest things you could have said about some public figure a few decades ago was that he was “color-blind.”  In other words, he judged people not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.  Now where have I heard that before?

Color-blindness was one of the most marvelous honorifics that could be added to a person’s name: You, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar – and color-blind to boot!”  Go directly to sainthood, do not pass Go.

Then they came up with affirmative action, which was a policy but not a law.  If you didn’t follow it, no one could sue you; but if you repudiated it, you were vulnerable in the court of public opinion.

I don’t know what policy wonk or think tank came up with the phrase “affirmative action,” but it’s a corker.  After all, if you don’t practice affirmative action, you must be practicing negative action.  In other words, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem – another popular phrase in decades past.  A more modest version of the contemporary “Silence is violence.”

Affirmative action was supposed to provide a little nudge to those who were underrepresented in whatever endeavor the policy was applied to.  Theoretically, it was supposed to be a tie-breaker.  In a given situation, if the minority or female applicant was the equal of a white male applicant, said minority or female would be given preference, supposedly to rectify the wrongs of centuries of past discrimination.  But – again, theoretically – it was not supposed to mean that a lesser qualified minority or female applicant would be picked over a better qualified white male applicant.

Proponents of affirmative action were adamant that it was not tantamount to quotas.

Then came demands for equity – in essence, quotas.

Unfortunately, in a contest there can be but one winner.  In an objective competition, wherein the scoreboard or leaderboard clearly ranks the contestants on the basis of results, the outcome takes care of itself.  But in more subjective competitions, such as the Rally Back campaign, the judges decide who the winner is.  By banning white males from the competition, they have already decided who the winner will not be.

White man, you might have the most kick-ass small business in North Texas, you might employ dozens of people – many of them women or minorities – who support families and spend money and pay taxes.  Hell, you might have Ranger season tickets and commercial and personal bank accounts at Comerica.  For good measure, you might even put up a “Black Lives Matter” sign at your front door.  A fat lot of good it will do you when it comes time to hand out the goodies.

Now if this were just a ballclub and a bank going rogue, it wouldn’t be such a big deal.  Unfortunately, it’s not about going rogue; it’s about going mainstream.

When Joe Biden was asked about his choice of a running mate, he stated flat-out he was going to pick a woman of color.  A bold statement…true, it eliminates maybe 80% of the people in his party, but remember, we’re no longer operating under the “best and brightest” banner.  Color-blindness has been cured!  The scales have fallen from our eyes!  Praise the Lord and raise the rainbow banner high!  All hail the Woke WOC Veep!

Well, it wasn’t surprising that an old white man like Biden would attempt to appeal to the deep left of his party.  And he damn sure did as he promised.  Why would he do otherwise?  How could he lose?  He knew that no male Democrat would raise a voice in protest.  No op-ed page or talking head in any of the corporate media would dare criticize his criteria.

Then when Ruth Bader Ginsburg ascended to dwarf heaven, President Trump announced that he was going to name a woman to take her place on the Supreme Court.  Now he wasn’t as restrictive as Biden.  He didn’t say it had to be a WOC.  Like a horny drunk in a whorehouse…any woman will do.  And I’m not surprised that Trump picked a woman.  After the Kavangh ordeal, it makes perfect political sense.

But I am surprised that Trump announced in advance that he would pick a woman.  According to the corporate media, Trump is a misogynist, right?  If that’s the case, he sure has a strange way of showing it.  The disturbing thing is that he felt there was nothing amiss in announcing his preference for a petticoat justice publicly and in advance.  Best and the brightest?  Maybe, maybe not.  How can you tell if you exclude male judges?

When a President so vilified by feminists announces he is, in effect, offering such a high-profile position to a woman only, you know we’re in uncharted (and troubled) waters.  When Joe Biden and Donald Trump can both exclude men from their short list of selections for high office, the triumph of identity politics is obvious.  And I guess that’s why the Rangers/Comerica contest excluding white men attracted no criticism.  It just isn’t controversial.  It just isn’t news.

All of the above offers proof, if more proof were needed, that rank-and-file men have no allies among men in high places.  Might as well consort with men in low places.  You’ll never get invited to go yachting, but at least you won’t have to put up with virtue-signaling, grandstanding, and moral posturing.

But it’s not all bad.  At least now we are in a position to pose the greatest Zen kōan since “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”  Namely…

How can inclusivity be exclusive?