Some white guys are upset that Nancy Pelosi noticed they were white guys. (More)

“The five white guys I call them”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi noted the lack of diversity among the leadership group who were negotiating a DACA deal:

“The five white guys I call them, you know,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference. “Are they going to open a hamburger stand next or what?” Pelosi said, complaining that minority members of Congress were not involved in deciding the fate of Dreamers.
“That could’ve been done four months ago. The very idea that this week they’re saying, ‘Oh why don’t we get four white guys and General Kelly to come and do this,’” she continued. The lack of minority involvement only serves to delay a deal, she argued, since it would need sign-off from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and others.

Predictably, that hurt the fee-fees of some of those white men:

“That comment is offensive. I am committed to ensuring DREAMers are protected and I will welcome everyone to the table who wants to get this done,” [House Minority Whip Steny] Hoyer said to POLITICO in a statement.

And Pelosi was ready with a response:

“Leader Pelosi has every confidence in the leadership of Whip Hoyer and Senator Durbin, which they have demonstrated on this topic for years,” [Pelosi spokesman Drew] Hammill said. “It’s not a question of who’s there but who’s not there.”

You can cruise the intertubes for other reactions, but I’ll save you the trouble. Some white guys really, really don’t like it if anyone notices that they’re … umm … white guys.

But here’s the thing. Pelosi is correct. As happens so often – in government, in business, and elsewhere – representatives from roughly one-third of the U.S. population are talking amongst themselves … as if they have the life experiences and perspectives to speak for the other two-thirds of Americans.

The irony is that, when anyone points this out, we’re accused of “identity politics.” As if “white male” is not an identity … in a nation whose culture, commerce, and politics are and have always been dominated by white men.

We’re supposed to ignore that dominance and pretend that white guys are just people, say the overwhelmingly white male voices of ‘populism.’ While those same “populists” object when women or people of color demand to be heard.

And that’s all that Pelosi demanded. White guys aren’t the only people affected by DACA and other immigration policies, and those other people deserve a place at the table too. It’s not enough that white guys talk about them, or try to speak for them. Those other people affected by immigration deserve to speak for themselves.

If Hoyer truly “will welcome everyone to the table who wants to get this done,” how about acting like it? Bring women and people of color into the negotiations, and don’t complain that doing so would be “identity politics.”

Is that too much to ask?


Photo Credit: Andrew Harnik (AP)


Good day and good nuts