“Pale Male” is the name of a red-tailed eagle that has nested in the tony upper east side of Fifth Avenue Manhattan, in the arguable world-center of New York City. The name was immortalized as a phrase in the 2008 Democratic convention when former Republican Virginia Governor Mark Warner, now running for a United States Senate seat, endorsed Barack Obama as the first United States Presidential candidate who was not a “pale male.”
The conservative white man endorsing a liberal black candidate is the beacon of light for America to go forward in a global world when a privileged “pale male” dominated global society comes to terms with a reality in which neither “pale” nor “male” dominates.
European-descended white men have ruled the world for the 2,000 years since semi-white Egyptians were conquered by dark, southern European Romans in the Cleopatra days after defeat of blond Greeks for domination of the most fertile parts of the world. Aggressive manly attributes led to the dominance that began with the conquering of lands for agriculture, which led to production of exportable goods and then to the financing of those exports.
Europe grew rich by developing the means and mechanisms to enable dominant white men to grow in power through subjugation. Women, biologically charged with the physical demands of carrying on the domestic end of facilitating men’s advances into the greater world, fell into place with moving upward in society through men who operated by pitting countries, regions and peoples against each other. The formula has long collapsed as the world has grown to its present global stage.
It has long been known that climatic conditions no longer dictate the limitations for cultivating and disseminating products needed the world over, which includes cotton for clothing, food for eating, energy sources to fuel activities, medicines to fight diseases that don’t recognize borders and rogue elements who don’t recognize the rule of law in maintaining international order. Developing and implementing the tools to make the new global economy work, however, requires the world to make peace with the ramifications of the global “pale male” phenomenon as it stands at present.
An irrigation system for Africa or the parched Middle East could provide a big boost to American industry and jobs, along with America’s financial industries. No such system can start to get off the ground without recognition of global weaknesses and strengths at the racial, gender, regional, national and ideological levels.
Europe and America, for example, have an industrial and developmental advantage. Asian and Middle Eastern countries have the edge on the longevity of cultural strengths, including financial prudence. Africa has the vitality of youth, openness and opportunity for growth. South America is teaming with Russia and China in purported social advancement for their people through alliances while women make great strides in gaining power in countries at the most and least developed levels, in the United States, Finland and Libya, among many others.
All those actors operating beyond the presently dominating “pale male” standard of global relations are, nevertheless, dealing with the “pale male” mindset adapted by non-pale-male contemporary leaders, including those of North Korea, Iran, and no telling how many others at what levels of government in Russia, Israel, the United States and every country. The female US Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, for example, has anti-choice views she would impose on American women if put in a position to do so.
That “pale male” phenomenon of imposing views on others no longer works, but it is the “pale males” like former Governor Mark Warner who need to lead the transition away from the outdated seeming advantages of rule by force that non-pale-males have adopted as the formula for getting ahead.
The 2008 US election has brought that outmoded way of dealing with the world to global public attention. A resounding successful election will put America back into the leadership role in getting the world beyond the crippling “pale male” mentality.
Helen Fogarassy is a New York based internationalist writer who has worked on a contract basis with the United Nations for nearly 20 years. She is the author of a suspense novel, The Midas Maze, about murderous hijinks in UN/US relations. She is also the author of The Light of a Destiny Dark, a novel about the Euro-American cultural gap through Hungarian eyes, and a nonfiction eyewitness tribute to the UN’s work, Mission Improbable: The World Community on a UN Compound in Somalia. All are available on the major web bookstore sites.