It's very common to see people complaining
about how say, there's gay pride
, or African-American Pride
, or other minority groups
celebrating themselves, but it's considered wrong
for there to be talk of white pride
or straight pride
. I can understand the reasoning. At first glance it seems like reverse racism
, that you're not allowed to be proud of who you are if you're not a minority.
But there is one big difference between the two, as I see it, that some people seem to miss.
Being part of a minority comes with it's problems. Whether it's explicit racism against someone for being Arab in the weeks after September 11, 2001, having fewer opportunities in life because you're African American, or being on the receiving end of screams of "faggot", minorities often get the message that they are somehow inferior. That they're not as good as the people in the majority, and should "keep to their own kind", or be "fixed" when possible. That they are lesser people.
The whole point of the minority having pride in themselves, having a pride celebration, is to fight back against that. To say, "I am PROUD to be (part of X minority)". That they're not ashamed of being a part of it, because there's nothing wrong. It's a way of telling their detractors that those people are wrong. After all, who would openly celebrate something they should be ashamed of?
This is why pride movements for the majority don't get accepted as well. Nobody is being given the message that there's something wrong with being white, that they should be ashamed of being Christian, that they're inferior because they are straight. Yes, I know, fringe groups may suggest that, but they aren't really taken seriously.
Because there isn't that message of being a lower form of human, there's no need for people in the majority to admit to being there. No inferiority to shake off.
And since there's no need to defy people giving them a negative message, there is a question of what purpose majority pride really serves. If you don't need to say "I'm just as good as anyone else", then the perception becomes that you're actually saying "I'm better than everyone else" - even if that's not the message.
I suppose the answer for those people who want to be proud of themselves when they're in the majority is to find an event for celebrating all forms of whatever attribute you're talking about. If you want to be proud to be straight, do it at a gay pride parade - yes, there are plenty of straight people there, either in support (such as PFLAG), or just to enjoy themselves, and by supporting minority sexuality, you're supporting the freedom of sexuality, and thus your own sexuality. If you want to celebrate being white, see if there's an event celebrating racial diversity - as you'll get to celebrate yourself in the process, since you fit into the picture of diversity also.
The point is that movements or events to celebrate minority pride are usually not exclusionary - you don't have to belong to the group to give them your support, and in the process, you show your pride in who you are. Majority pride, on the other hand, is almost always exclusionary - and this is why they're often seen as negative to the minority. By excluding those minority groups, they're once again implying they're not as good, since they're not welcome.
Note that I feel any group that celebrates pride in themselves while excluding people who are not part of that minority, yet wish to offer their support, or supports pride in a way that suggests they are "better" than others groups, is sending the wrong message, and should not be looked upon as being a positive influence, but a negative one.
Addendum: Note that I don't see ethnic pride such as "Irish Pride" as fitting into the category of "majority pride" (at least here in the US). They're not a majority, and they're not celebrating the attribute that puts them in the majority. Sure, they're white, but they're not having pride being white, they're having pride in being Irish - being white isn't really relevant there. Just wanted to clarify that, as some people have expressed concerns I was suggesting that those kinds of pride were also harmful.