Let's ditch the “rich old white dude” trope—and similar slurs « Why …

Cue Andy Rooney:

You know what really bothers me? Hearing people and their opinions dismissed because they re seen as rich old white dudes. I see this everywhere on the Internet, especially from the Authoritarian Left. (That s a term I learned from my friend Jerry Coyne.)

Now the Left is supposed to be against racism, sexism, and ageism, yet, here we see all three combined, and used to silence or denigrate a group of people whose opinions are by no means homogeneous. I mean, Bernie Sanders is a rich old white dude, and the Koch Brothers are two rich old white dudes. Bill Gates is another rich old white dude, too: he s recently turned sixty. Bill O Reilly is a rich old white dude, but so is Bill Clinton: a very rich old white dude. What do they have in common besides a Y chromosome, a big bank account, white skin, and a certain age?

And why does being rich mean your opinion doesn t count? Yes, many rich people are conservatives, but many are not. Many are philanthropists.

Being rich isn t itself a vice, it s what you do with your money, and how you made it, that counts.

What are labels like that used for? Simply to dismiss a class of people, and still their voices, because of the color of their skin, their age, their wealth, and their sex. This is exactly what we re not supposed to be doing.

And here s another thing: the term BernieBros, devised and used by Hillary Clinton s campaign to imply that those who favored Bernie Sanders over Clinton were either sexists or misogynists. Never mind that there are gazillions of women who support Sanders. It s not okay to use the term BernieBros , just as it would not be okay to use the term HillaryChicks.

Now I suppose people might respond that the term is used to show that one group is dominating discourse in the media or on the Internet, and we need fewer of them. After all, it s supposedly okay to punch up like that. Well, there s a case to be made for diversity (though now that we have the Internet, almost anyone can have a voice), but you make it not by smearing or denigrating an entire group, but by making reasoned arguments.

By all means criticize the lack of minority voices on television, but don t dismiss the opinions of people simply because they re the wrong age, race, or sex.

After all, being young, black, poor, or female doesn t automatically make you right.

So let s stop the nonsense about rich old white men, BernieBros, and the like.

When you use them, you re practicing exactly the same kind of bigoted stereotyping that you, as a liberal, find despicable.

Let's Ditch The “rich Old White Dude” Trope—and Similar Slurs « Why ...

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