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Blue Star


By Scott Sullivan


Blame Game

I’m enraged that “angry white male” is redundant. The whole world’s mad now. Black, brown, yellow, red, white … we all hate each other.

Add to my rage the new Ms. Monopoly game and renaming Columbus Day Indigenous People’s Day. Being born a white guy, I’m already wracked with guilt about what “we” did to Indians/Native Americans/Indigenous People before I was born or had any say in it.

Stereotypes are stupid, but I guess somehow I’m complicit. Nazis were mostly white guys. Same for gender-inequity goons. I’ll pay Michael Bloomberg, Betsy DeVos et.al. reparations if they loan me the money first.

I won’t get it playing Ms. Monopoly. Hasbro, which now owns the board game, has rebranded it. In the new version, rich Uncle Pennybags has willed his empire to his niece Ms. Monopoly, who thinks turnabout is fair play.

In the old game all players, male and female, started with $1,500 and collected $200 when they passed Go. How fair was that? In the new version, women start with $1,900 and collect $240, men $1,500 and $200 disrespectively.

Wait, there’s more. Real estate investments, as in the old game, are replaced by investments in women-made innovations such as chocolate chip cookies and ladies’ shape wear. Ask Leona Helmsley how sexist real estate can be.

Now I’m enlightened I’m game for this new version and replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day. Ten states have already done the latter; ours may soon get on board as well.

Trouble is, Columbus wasn’t just any white male; he was Italian. Making those guys mad is a deal I can refuse. Chris and Leif Erickson may have only “discovered America” for Europeans. But is it fair to blame them for what later whites did to native people?

Why not keep Columbus Day and add a separate Indigenous People’s federal holiday? Another when government workers get paid not to work while the rest of us do to pay them? Because that’s a slippery slope as well.

“The problem,” said Ronald Reagan — one of 43 white male Presidents (out of 44 total) we celebrate each February —“is government.” Regan should have known, being head of our nation’s biggest.

Honoring every ethnic group/special interest with a holiday — Italians have Columbus Day, blacks Martin Luther King Day, soldiers Memorial and Veterans days, union members Labor Day … — soon will exhaust the calendar and taxpayers’ coffers. Not that these bureaucrats work much anyway.

If Italian white guys get special treatment, what about us Irish? St. Patrick’s Day isn’t recognized as a federal holiday, but after enough green beers we recognize little anyway. Aren’t we entitled to reparations?

I’ll play any disadvantaged card I can if it ends up advantaging me with money. But even that has a flip side. What if it turns me from Oppressed Victim into Oppressor?

Take casinos. Nice windfall for native people and I don’t begrudge it. There is no excuse for what “we” whites — collectively; what’s the difference between Italians, Irish, English, Germans, Spaniards …? — did to them long ago. Consequences linger.

But we Irish suffered at other groups’ hands as well. (Not as much as at our own hands. but let’s overlook that.) My forebears, having crossed the Atlantic as O’Sullivans, dropped the O’ thinking that would save them being stigmatized as corrupt Irish cops, machine politicians, “Danny Boy” wailing drunks and so on …

Based on the same illogic, maybe all “I” people — Indians, Irish, Italians, Idiots … — should get casino rights, hence riches. It’s worth a gamble.

No group has a monopoly on stereotyping others or being stupid. King spoke for all in his “I have a dream” speech when he wished his children would “someday live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin (add, if you wish, ‘or sex, age, orientation …’) but by the content of their character.”

You can bet I am game for that.