Check out an excellent read about the “unmarked category” from Paul Campos over on “Lawyers, Guns & Money” sent to me by a friend after reading my commentary on the bill to equalize the number of men and women on certain state boards and commission.

Campos explains that an “unmarked category is present when the category is considered so normal or ordinary in a particular context that it goes unnoticed.” This is one reason why, Campos explains, white people keep calling the police on black people doing everyday tasks, such as picking up trash, taking a nap or selling bottled water in areas that may be primarily occupied by white people. These individual acts of racism are part of a larger problem of widespread bias.


Campos goes on to point out how current politics are shifting “social expectations” and people are beginning to notice more and more when white men monopolize positions of power. The result is fear and hurt feelings on the part of white men. People like President Trump and the leaders of the white nationalist movement know how to exploit these feelings to their benefit.

What “identity politics,” so-called, has done is to slowly and painfully and partially transform being a white man in America into a marked category.  And makes a lot of the people who have become white men rather than members of society’s invisible default category very uncomfortable.  And when people get very uncomfortable, they often get mad at whoever they blame for making them feel that way.  And then they vote for Donald Trump.

My advice to white men and white women who are upset about the changing status quo? Get over it.