Difficulty level: White

A couple of people sent me this post and asked what my opinion was: Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is.

I thought the cover picture was  good, and overall, I thought that the analogy was good in that it speaks to our video game generation. I also like the idea of “difficulty” as a word to describe what he’s trying to describe. Among Asian people, being a White male male provides privilege like no other in the world, especially in terms of career and social life. But when writing about life in America, the analogy is not 100% on target.

For one, in America wealth means more than race for the average person trying to survive. It’s MUCH easier, for example, to be the black or Asian son or daughter of an upper-middle class family than a poor white kid living in the sticks. The super-rich have their own problems, of course, but wealth, in general, is a bigger determinant of one’s “difficulty” in life than race, and being middle class usually means that life is much easier when compared with the life of a poor person, regardless of race.

Where I think the difference in difficulty lies is at the highest levels of wealth and influence. It’s very hard for a black or Asian person to become the next Dick Clark, Ryan Seacrest, Brad Pitt, or even Bill Gates. It’s very hard for a black or Asian person to become the main star on the Bachelor. So while I appreciate the analogy, I think it may be somewhat outdated for people in general. However, it becomes very significant at the highest levels of wealth and influence.

12 thoughts on “Difficulty level: White

  1. If difficulty “Asian” is the hardest and difficulty “white” is the lowest, I wonder what difficulty “black” and “latino” is?

    Just being a smartass here. I must say though your counterpoints are valid.

  2. good points bww. If you are poor, it doesn’t matter what race you are, difficulty is high.
    but upper middle class to high class – race does affect your opportunities. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way. And sometimes, being white is not always the best race to be for some opportunities. Yes, it’s far and few between, but race always affects circumstances to some extent.

  3. When I play games, I always choose the hardest difficulties. Why would I play something that’s easy?

  4. Median incomes for Asian men in the USA is higher than that (on average of white men). Same goes for Asian females compared to the white female. So you are saying that Sian people have an advantage?

  5. @ X1Z1X

    Median income level is not necessarily the only (or best) measure of ethnic advantage. You can be a small but wealthy minority in a country and have people spitting on you because they feel that you must have gotten your wealth by taking advantage of others.

  6. @X1Z1X

    My memory is a bit sketch, but I have read a study where if you only look at education level, ie, compare college white with college Asia, PHD white with PHD asians, etc, white income is higher than Asians.

  7. Ei, interesting. And I have read studies where the gap in earnings between the races virtually disappears once IQ is controlled for.

  8. It’s very hard for a black or Asian person to become the next Dick Clark, Ryan Seacrest, Brad Pitt, or even Bill Gates.

    Dick Clark? Ryan Seacrest? Choice of “role models” is curious.

    It’s very hard for a black or Asian person to become the main star on the Bachelor.

    On the grand historical scale of oppression and stuff to be concerned about, this is probably the “lowest difficulty setting” compared to the persons who had to be concerned about things like starvation, being fed to wild animals in the arena, burned at the stake, pogroms, lynched, or sent to a concentration camp.

    Let’s have some sense of proportion here.

  9. You don’t think Dick Clark or Ryan Seacrest are good role models? They were both entrepreneurs and figureheads. They were/are both leaders in their own right.

    And sure, we can always worry about the starving and oppressed, but if one’s goal is to be on the Bachelor, why should that dream should be hindered by race?

  10. Dick Clark is a great role model!

    Ryan Seacrest – hey, whoever produces and creates “the Shahs of Sunset” is a role model… lol. I saw him once on the street in NYC….before he became super famous. He was much smaller in person. Ryan Seacrest got so big b/c he followed Dick Clark’s career advice.

  11. “And sometimes, being white is not always the best race to be for some opportunities. Yes, it’s far and few between, but race always affects circumstances to some extent”.

    Like what? I would like to know.

    If you say being a pretty White women and trying score ugly White men or other similar guys out there, then don’t bother.

    Non-Whites will never be recognized equally as Whites in a Eurocentric society simply because they are minorities.

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