White Men Deserve Gratitude, Not Demonization

Their goal is to erase white men from the workforce, as punishment for doing everything so well, for so long.

Antonio Garcia Recena. Getty images.
Antonio Garcia Recena. Getty images.

If you’ve ever worked in some capacity on procuring a federal government contract, then you’re familiar with maybe the single most obvious and grotesque form of affirmative action that exists in this country.

It’s been around for a long time. As far back as Nixon’s administration, gender and racial affirmative action became mandatory for federal construction projects in the city of Philadelphia. Any federal contractor that hired fewer than 80% of the local share of “any race, sex, or ethnic group” risked losing their contract — and being barred from working with the federal government entirely. Within a year, those requirements applied to contracts with all federal agencies, nationwide.

As an attorney named Michael Toth pointed out recently in the Wall Street Journal, those rules are still in place today, half a century later. In fact, they’ve only expanded in scope. Now the federal government can award no-bid contracts to so-called “minority-owned” businesses in many cases.

The end result of this policy has been exactly what you’d expect. For one thing, contractors know that they need to employ a token number of women and minorities in order to get any kind of government grants. Additionally, so-called “minority-owned” contractors often get government contracts, and then subcontract them out to contractors who didn’t meet the diversity quota.

This is all highly inefficient — it’s fraud, basically — and it’s resulted in taxpayers being forced to waste a lot of money. As City Journal reported recently, some government projects cost nearly 20% more than they would have without these affirmative action programs. Multiply that by hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of federal government contracts every year, and you begin to see the problem.

Instead of ending this social engineering, and simply allowing markets to work without crude demographic manipulation, the Biden administration’s allies in state and local governments are doubling down. They’ve decided that they know exactly what the demographic makeup of each industry should be — and it just so happens that white men aren’t wanted in any industry.

I’ll start with Maine, where this week, Democrats have determined that the field of construction — where blacks and hispanics make up nearly 40% of the workforce — simply isn’t diverse enough. Specifically, the governor, Janet Mills, has determined that more women need to be construction workers. And therefore, Mills has signed an executive order that, among other things, will use state and federal funding to prioritize construction projects that involve women. Watch:

“We need construction workers, especially women, now.” Why? Why especially women? This is odd coming from Janet Mills, who spent her college years traveling through Europe and learning French, before going to law school and spending the rest of her life in government. What does Janet Mills know about construction, exactly? How is she qualified to say anything about what the construction industry needs, or who’s most qualified to fill those needs?

As always, this DEI initiative is a solution in search of a problem. There is absolutely no reason to believe and not a single shred of evidence to suggest that the construction industry was in any way suffering due to a lack of female representation. There isn’t one problem in the construction industry that you can point to and say: “You know what will solve that? More women!” That’s because no problems can be solved by involving more females in construction. And on top of that, there is no evidence at all that any qualified female has ever been denied a job in construction due to her sex. By all accounts, fewer women are in construction for two simple reasons: First because most women don’t want to do construction. And second because men are generally much better at it.

Of course, it’s completely rational for women to dislike the idea of working in construction. It’s one of the most dangerous jobs you can have.

Source: bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. AEI.

Source: bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. AEI.

As you can see from this chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s among the top 20 most dangerous jobs, along with roofers, police officers, truck drivers, miners, farmers and ranchers. And you’ll never guess what all of these top-20 most dangerous jobs in America have in common. They’re all overwhelmingly done by men. Construction is more than 97% male-dominated, and it has a fatal injury rate of 15 per 100,000 workers. That’s on par with cement and concrete manufacturing, which is also more than 97% male-dominated.

These jobs can be very dangerous — and in fact would be even more dangerous for women.

That’s not just because women are weaker and more injury prone — though they are. It’s also because a large percentage of the deaths on construction sites are caused at least in part by heat exhaustion. It just so happens that women are more sensitive to temperatures — both hot and cold. Any married man is very familiar with this phenomenon. One minute your wife is complaining that she’s freezing to death, you adjust the thermostat by one degree, and now she insists that the house is a sweltering desert.

WATCH: The Matt Walsh Show

So that is just one of the reasons why men tend to do most of the physically demanding jobs outside. Men tend to do most of the physically demanding and dangerous jobs everywhere. This is not a privilege that men have but rather a responsibility they carry. The takeaway from this shouldn’t be that we need more women doing these jobs. It’s that men (and white men in particular, historically) have had a unique and essential role in building and maintaining our civilization. We would not have this civilization without them.

Rather than this constant drumbeat of scolding and lecturing and guilt and resentment — and treating the presence of this group as a problem that must be solved or a cancer that must be treated — the appropriate attitude is one of appreciation and gratitude. Men built every building you’ve ever been in, every bridge you’ve ever crossed, every road you’ve ever driven on. Sure, if you’re a bitter, resentful little brat, maybe that fact will make you feel somehow diminished. But if you’re a smart, mature, decent person, instead of demanding that we kick men out of these industries, you will instead have some gratitude. You will say, “Thank you men. Thank you for everything you’d done for civilization, and for me personally.” That should be our answer to the Janet Mills of the world. Rather than going on the defensive and justifying ourselves, men as a group should say to her: “Hey you ungrateful child. The correct response is thank you. Didn’t your parents teach you manners?”

This same logic applies to race as well. These days, of course, as noted, it’s not just white men in the construction industry. But historically speaking white men have been uniquely indispensable contributors to western civilization. Most modern technology was invented by white men. Most of the great discoveries were made by white men. Most of our wars were fought and won predominately by white men. Most of the advances in medicine and science have been achieved by white men. Most of the great leaders, artists, thinkers, and philosophers in western history have been white men. And yet this is the one group most demonized — most hated for the sin of providing us with so much of what we value. A sane society would be finding ways to get this group more involved in things, given its incredible track record. Instead we go the other way.

Outside of communist countries, modern western societies are the only ones in the history of the world that go out of their way to identify the people most responsible for building and maintaining their societies — only to villainize and alienate those same people.

And we’re doing it more and more. This isn’t just happening in the federal government or in Maine. It’s also happening in the most populated city in the United States. Officials in New York have just proudly announced that they’ve awarded more than $2 billion in contracts for the purposes of renovating JFK Airport. And all of that money has gone to so-called “MWBE’s,” which is short for “Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises.”

As the governor’s press release reads: “This is the largest participation of MWBE firms on any public-private partnership project in New York State history. … With today’s announcement JFK surpasses the LaGuardia Airport redevelopment, which set the previous New York State record for MWBE participation.”

In other words, no one wanted reparations. Even in New York, it wasn’t a popular idea. So the state government just decided to do it anyway by handing out money on the basis of race and gender. They’ve chosen airports as their preferred vehicle to launder this money, evidently.

If you watch the New York Port Authority’s press conference announcing this funding for the JFK renovation, you’ll see exactly what’s motivating these officials. It’s basically an hour of various New York officials, including a sitting member of Congress, celebrating the fact that they excluded white-owned businesses from receiving taxpayer funding. Here’s how it began:

This is the head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announcing — to applause — that JFK’s renovation involved as few white men as possible. He’s not proud of the quality of the renovation. He doesn’t talk about how the airport is going to be better as a result of this work. Instead, he’s just happy white people didn’t have a role in it. Never mind the fact that white people — white men, specifically — have pretty much single handedly built the entire aviation industry, beginning with inventing the airplane. Now we need to get them all out, for some reason.

And then he goes on to explain that the government did everything it could to ensure that non-white people secured the government contracts for JFK, by preparing specialized, segregated “boot camps” to help them along in the application process. So he’s acknowledging that this was not a remotely fair or merit-driven process at any point. It was the purest form of affirmative action. He’s not celebrating that these minority businesses earned the job; he’s celebrating that the government rigged the process.

This is illegal, obviously, and it gets worse. Here’s Congressman Gregory Meeks explaining why it was so important to discriminate against white male contractors:

The congressman says it’s important for racial and gender discrimination (in the form of DEI) to be a part of everything New York does, but he doesn’t really say why. He gets some applause when he says it’s good for “business,” but he doesn’t elaborate on that point.

That’s probably because, as I’ve outlined before, it’s demonstrably false that DEI is good for business. The only time DEI is good for business is if you’re a non-white business and you’re looking to get a government payout. In that case, DEI is good for business. For everyone else, it’s a massive economic drain at a minimum. It’s probably also a safety risk.

Even if racial discrimination were somehow profitable, that still wouldn’t justify it. And it’s pretty remarkable that a sitting member of Congress would imply otherwise. Only a deep-seated hatred of white men would explain what we’re seeing here. As if there was any doubt about that, the next speaker at this press conference — a New York assemblymember named Alicia Hyndman — came right out and admitted that, yes, that’s what’s going on. Watch:


So, the woman can’t figure out how Zoom works, apparently, but she’s in charge of renovating the airport because, with apologies to white people, the airport isn’t for them anymore. It’s for people who look like Alicia Hyndman now: “We knew it was for us. For us, by us, to make sure this community that we represent looks like us.”

To be clear, she’s talking about an airport. This is a public facility that isn’t “for” or “by” any racial group. And Alicia Hyndman is a public official. She supposedly represents a “community” that includes white people. But here she is, proudly declaring that the airport is “for” black people. And her “community” doesn’t include people who don’t “look like” her.

So white men don’t get to build airports anymore. The airports aren’t for them. Neither are construction jobs. You have to wonder what, if anything, these politicians want white men to do. Should they ever receive any funding from the government? Should they be allowed to compete for government contracts on a fair and equal playing field? Should would white men build, maintain, and run their own airport? I’d be quite happy to use that airport, personally. I think most people would be.

Really, though, everyone knows what’s happening here. Her goal, and the goal of her party, isn’t simply to erase white men from history. Their goal is to erase white men from the workforce, as punishment for doing everything so well, for so long. This isn’t a secret at this point. As conservatives spend all their time talking about college campuses, their enemies are being very methodical and explicit about what they’re doing — one airport renovation and construction job at a time.

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