Douchebag Decree: FMAE's Scholarships for White Men Only

douchedecree

Brace yourself, partners in Bitchdom: this week's recipient just might be a real-life incarnation of the now-defunct Privilege Denying Dude.

Never fear, young "Caucasian" guys: someone has heard your plea! Declaring scholarships awarded to women and racial minorities "exclusionary," two students at Texas State University have founded the Former Majority Association for Equality to financially assist white men. Yes, only white men, because according to co-founder William Lake, they are "one group that just doesn't have any support." He went on to tell Talking Points Memo that "[Co-founder Colby Bohannon and I] don't have enough money to solve all the world's problems, so we thought we'd start by solving this problem." Bohannon says "It's time in our society to look at the way our culture views race. It's time to give everyone an equal shot."

Read on once you've picked your jaw off the floor.

Colby Bohannon, via "The Austin American-Statesman"

What's wrong? I'm just trying to solve the world's problems!

What's in a name? Well, when you're a group specifically for white people with the name Former Majority, it says a lot. Presumably in response to the U.S. Census, which reported that Texas citizens are 46.7% "white persons not Hispanic," the moniker Former Majority Association for Equality reeks of aggression and misplaced nostalgia. This incident plays into a repeated racist tactic of depicting non-white people as a threat possessing magical privilege by virtue of being a U.S. minority. Has anyone told Lake and Bohannon that white people, let alone white males, are not the original majority of Texans?

The founders of FMAE (or maybe it's the FMAFE, since the initials change repeatedly throughout their website) freely admit that their own grades aren't high enough for scholarships in the first place. That's strange considering the sad story they keep telling about being "excluded," but maybe it's why they've failed to notice that there are, in fact, Texas scholarships for low-income students with no race specifications, not to mention federal loans. (That's aside from financial aid for veterans, of which Colby Bohannon is one.) So... what exactly is FMAE doing here? Here's how their offical Mission Statement begins:

Our goal: To financially assist young Americans seeking higher education who lack opportunities in similar organizations that are based upon race or gender. In a country that proclaims equality for all, we provide monetary aid to those that have found the scholarship application process difficult because they do not fit into certain categories or any ethnic group.

Hold on. Let's read that last part again: "[...] they do not fit into certain categories or any ethnic group." White people do not belong to ethnic groups, apparently! I don't think it's a stretch to extrapolate that this is because Lake and Bohannon see whiteness as the norm. Also, do I need to point out the obvious irony in protesting scholarships "based upon race or gender" by creating a—no, I don't think I do.

FMAE

This is the background image on fmafe.org, presumably because smart white guys understand the philosophical value of reading empty books.

Most alarmingly of all, FMAE has raised more than $3000 since they began getting media attention several weeks ago. Despite the fact that even articles that aren't labeled "opinion" are oozing with mockery of the group, they clearly have supporters. But even while thriving on attention for their own wrongheadedness, the group is running around in circles trying to reassure us that they aren't racists. (If you want to know all of Lake and Bohannon's Bingo-esque self-defenses, see the links below, but it might be too much douche for your browser to handle.) In addition to spouting cringe-inducing, Microaggressions-esque lines on MSNBC, FMAE has this to say on their official site:

One obstacle that we immediately anticipate is to not appear racist or racially motivated. We do not advocate white supremacy, nor do we enable any individual that does. We do not accept donations from organizations affiliated with any sort of white supremacy or hate group. [Note from Deb: anonymity. 'Nuff said.] We have no hidden agenda to promote racial bigotry or segregation. FMAE's existence is dedicated around one simple principle, to provide monetary aid for education to white males who need it.

No worries, William 'n' Colby: I don't think your agenda is "hidden" at all.

 

Read more:

Texas Group Offers Scholarships Exclusively for White Males [Colorlines]

Texas Group Will Offer Scholarships to White Men Only [Huffington Post]

Nonprofit Gives Scholarships to White Males Only [ABC]

The Whites-Only College Scholarship [The Daily Beast]

Concerned White Man Starts Scholarship For Guys Like Him [Jezebel]

Texas Student Defends Scholarships For White Men [Talking Points Memo]

Texas State students offer scholarships exclusively for white males [The Austin American-Statesman]

College Scholarship Is for White Males Only [The Root]

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Comments

37 comments have been made. Post a comment.

I think I just had an

I think I just had an apoplexy

If they want to only offer

If they want to only offer support to people exactly like themselves they need to be more specific. The Former Majority Association for Equality needs to add a B. For Busted. Ugly is as ugly does.

I remember reading one

I remember reading one article that stated to be considered for the scholarship you had to be at least 20% white. If you go on their website there is very little mention of how white one has to be. 

 

Another Side

I think the main point here should be that "exclusive" scholarships for women and for other races do not actually exclude anyone. A "Black Female Only" scholarship can and has been awarded to anyone of any gender and any race. They merely use the idea of an "exclusive" scholarship to draw in applicants of that demographic. As any preference given to one race is inevitably racist (the same goes with sexism) these institutions these men are fighting against do NOT give preference. It isn't about how white men whine about their "hard lives", it's about how THESE white men are idiots.

As a white man I felt a need to clarify that I do not feel I need a scholarship just for my demographic (I get those for being intelligent and poor).

Very well put

Thank you for your imput. Well said and BRAVO!!!!!!!

Well said!!! Lending agencies

Well said!!! Lending agencies pay people who are more likely to pay it back. Being poor isn't enough.

Rethinking "douchebag"

I love Bitch. And thanks for this post.

And I need to say that using "douche" or "douchebag" feels to me like using "pussy" or "sissy" or any other word that derives its culturally-deemed repugnancy and put-down status from its association with women.

Why is douche an insult in the first place?

Because of where it's put and what it's used for, I'll wager.

For me, anything associated with vulvas calls for respect and honoring; not denigration and mockery.

And did I mention I love Bitch?

Beingpeace,
Shae

Thanks Shae!

Thanks Shae!

For a bit more info on how we arrived at the term douchebag and why we feel it's appropriate in this context, check out our Douchebag Decree Decree: http://bitchmagazine.org/post/hear-ye-hear-ye-the-douchebag-decree-decree

Hope that helps! And we love you too!

____________
Kelsey Wallace, contributor

Ask me about our Comments Policy!

re: douchebag

Aaaahhh...

I see!

This is the first blog post I've read, so I didn't know this was a frequent debate. Thanks for clearing it up. I can get down with turning that shit on its head. Of COURSE my beloved Bitch wouldn't become a linguistic turncoat!

hearts and flowers,

I love it. Absolutely! Could

I love it. Absolutely! Could bitch be any cooler? Fantastic explanation! I am just constantly riding this intellectual feminist wave where I am in awe of smart, strong women. There is a magazine being launched in my town (Bristol, UK) called 'That's what she said. ' Haha.

Oooh yeah!
love love love xox

I am not sure what all the

I am not sure what all the fuss is about... obviously the guys starting this are a little simple minded, and we can laugh at their attemp to explain themselves and their peculiar idea, (of course trying to fight the preferential choosing of bursaries by creating one of their own is preposterous) but trying to undermine the idea of scholarships given only to white males will prove very difficult if the idea of giving scholarships only to women or only to disabled people is believed to be morally acceptable.

I believe Bitch has bitten more than it could chew on this one: although it is right in its claim that the founders might be douchebags and dim witted, the idea of a scholarship that is geared towards one specific group in society cannot be said to be intrinsiqually wrong or racist. Unless we want to argue that all the scholarships aimed at specific groups are wrong... but that is a totally different debate.

I learned something the other day

I was talking to someone about jobs. she had mentioned her brother several years ago was involved in the construction of the Bonnivile damm in oregon. What was significant about this conversation was that while i was intrigued and wanted to know more, this woman told me her brother was miserable,why? He was forced to work with 2 women who had equal positions to him. he was an engineer they were not. they didnt even have degrees and they did not earn their positions the right way. apparently this was part of an effort to level the playing field the wrong way in my opinion.

It is fact the media has sprinkled delicatly that white men are officially a minority class in california over the past 5 years or so. other states have followed the same suit. In my opinion this is nothing more than a loophole to get the federal funding that so many other minority classes get. I do think that for white men to do this is low, underhanded and plain ridiculous..................................I am a female Electrcian and am very familiar with femminism and what men think of it..................I do wonder one thing.

Have we as a society gone so overboard with minority rights that we have aced white men completely out of the playing field? If this is the case then i think its wrong if we have completely wiped men out of the picture.

If this is how we are gaining the play field it is wrong there is nothing to be proud of and there is no honor in it. dont get me wrong i am always first in line to break the rules and go for what i want but to completly destroy and obolish an opponent is just wrong.

this would be like taking the chess pieces off the board and burning them never to be used again. there is no stategy to it and no reward.

No.

Have we as a society gone so overboard with minority rights that we have aced white men completely out of the playing field?

No.

If this comment was written in seriousness, I encourage you to spend more time with this or any of these blogs. As for your anecdote, putting aside that you apparently heard about these workers thirdhand, I can pretty confidently say that unqualified women are not being handed out jobs willy-nilly for the sake of their genders.

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Spot on Deb. The point is

Spot on Deb.

The point is that structural inequalities (such as hiring practices that privilege continuous service over demonstrated outcomes which place women who take maternity leave at a disadvantage) put all sorts of people at a relative disadvantage to white middle class men from developed countries. Targeted programs (scholarships and otherwise) are intended to help us see beyond these structures to the kinds of other experiences/skills that we might benefit from as educational institutions or workplaces. When programs look specifically for women (for example) they are forced to look beyond their 'applicant must be exactly like me' preconceptions and they find amazingly talented applicants to fill their positions.

Of course there are going to be isolated incidents of incompetence, but that's true of any workplace and isn't limited to particular gender/ethnicity etc.

check your facts

In oregon around 1990 the industry was begging for women to go to school to become engineers to the tune of free. Prior to this women were in fact given jobs they were not qualified for. I have been in the elctrical industry for 20 years. I have actually seen women being given elctrical tasks to do as recently as a year ago who were not anywhere near qualified. I get around and i see what goes on live and in person. What sources do you rely on?

P.S. on the last post

I should also add here i am a feamale electrician. The woman who was doing the work wanted to be the center of attention for one reason or another. It is illegal in the state of oregon to perform non-licensed electrical work. I assure you I had plenty to say to my union rep. in regaurd to this woman. I had to go to school for four years to get my license. I also went back for another year while i was getting a divorce and working 60 hours a week to get my associates degree in industrial technology. I always am very personally offended to see women doing electrical stuff because it makes them feel cool and they are not licensed. now a days you dont see that often but it does happen.

The reason certain

The reason certain scholarships have been set aside for African-American or Latino students is because students from these backgrounds are more likely to come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, may not have access to a college education as easily as many of their white peers, and are much more likely to experience racism. Many of them may also be first-generation college students.

I understand that white students from disadvantaged economic backgrounds do not have access to many of the privileges that their middle-class peers have. I can understand starting a scholarship fund for white students who are economically disadvantaged, that's one thing. But to argue that students who are white and male are at any disadvantage whatsoever due to their race and gender is something I cannot understand. I know you mentioned that white men are techinically a minority in some areas, but just because they are a minority does not mean that they are not benefitting from white male privilege. I live an area that is predominantly Latino and I can assure you that white male privilege is still alive and well here.

I completely agree

I completely agree with your statement. This is a very new thing with white men claiming to be a minority. My thoughts are that if this sticks and this becomes a normal trend, I think we will abolish the competition. What i am saying is:

As a woman i take great pride in the fact i am where i am. I earned where i am fair and square by going through school and completing my apprentaship just like the men did. I pull my own weight just like the men do and most times i work much smarter than the men do because I am subject to rules that only apply to women in the trades. I personally would much rather show up the competion rather than abolishing them".

I am sadly very aware that it is a white mans world. I learned this brutal fact at the begining of this month when i was ultimatly fired for refusing to sleep with the fat ugly white boss. What the company has yet to learn is that the fat ugly boss whom i recorded sexually harrassing me is going to court and they will pay dearly for their actions. this company just got done 7 months ago settling out of court for pretty much doing the same thing to yet another woman. So I am well aware.

I think the real question is here: Will the government actually allow this to go on? Ultimatly that is what we are talking about here. it is my understanding that if you say the word minority you are talking about dipping into the federal fund. correct me if im wrong.

I completely agree

Sorry didn mean to post twice

really?

The real question should be why is this argument not hypocritical? Yes they made a scholarship for only white males. Why is that a problem? This would never have received media attention if the scholarship was only for black males. Apparently anything to target benefit white males is racist. But anything to target non white males is perfectly normal. Hypocrites.

I have to say I agree with

I have to say I agree with you on this one. The article brings up great points about the state of mind of these men and their lack of clarity on the issue, however there is not anything inherently wrong with a demographic focused scholarship. The particular attitude and reasoning behind this scholarship may be tainted, however I can imagine scholarships I have benefited from based upon my female status may have had a similar mentality behind their creation.

I also agree with the post regarding the "Douchebag Decree" in general - it is childish to me. I recall being impressed with the level of intellect and wit when I first encountered the magazine (late 1990s). In the last 3 years or so I find myself taking issue with the level of writing and critique of pop-culture more so than ever before.

Agreeing with Laurent

I agree with everything "Laurent" has said and can't really add to it. The way the organizers are going about it is certainly wrong, but just because the scholarship is offered only to white men doesn't make it racist or sexist. As Laurent said, if we condemn one exclusionary scholarship, we have to condemn them all. Should we condemn scholarships that require someone to have a 3.5 + GPA because they exclude people below that GPA, possibly because they have a learning disability and couldn't reach that GPA? Like I said, I can't add much to what Laurent said, since they summed up my feelings exactly.

Have to disagree

As Laurent said, if we condemn one exclusionary scholarship, we have to condemn them all.

No, we don't. Check out the fourth chart, just to begin. (Note: I don't support some of the terminology in these reports.)

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exactly right- it is the

exactly right- it is the difference between equality and equity. One has to take into account privilege and thus accessibility... it isn't a matter of grandstanding "equal rights"

I just wanted to say that I'm

I just wanted to say that I'm prone to agreeing with some of the other commenters here. Although they are going about this in completely the wrong way, poor white Americans are grossly underrepresented, who do tend to get shafted from the scholarship/financial aid perspective because the don't belong to an ethnic minority. After all, isn't the assumption that all white men can afford college is just as racist?

Obviously there are class

Obviously there are class factors going on here- I don't think anyone is saying that all white men can afford college. There are scholarships which exist for anyone from a low income background in an attempt to give people advantages which they would not normally have access to. I would advocate for both men and women receiving these scholarships.

...bring this back to the article...

I think if you are feeling 'left out' because who can't have access to a scholarship cause you are Mr average, white, America (or whatever country) I think you need to investigate further as to why that might be happening as opposed to getting all 'this is unfair...where's mine' etc. If everything was fair and equal, education would be the same across the board and, well it isn't. I am sure you know this already. If you look at the type of primary and secondary education people receive and the types of people who go there... I am just saying. There is a link between schooling opportunities and higher education.

AND at the end of the day IT IS white men with the large, large, majority of power, money and property in the world. We need as much diversity in higher education as possible to shake it up.

People hate confronting privilege! It is uncomfortable- you are having your power taken away.

Who says they are entitled to

Who says they are entitled to that place in school or that money anyway? I beseech them to consider that maybe they aren't getting those scholarships/loans because someone else deserves them more, and that financial institutions would rather place their bets on someone more likely to pay it back.

Also don't call yourself "Former Majority" anything and expect us not to see through that very thin veil of contempt.

WTF? Seeing as WGTs (White

WTF? Seeing as WGTs (White Guys in Tees/Ties) are already favored by being assumed to be more learned and more experienced than women, how the hell could some guy call his sex the one that doesn't have any support?!?

unqualified women workers

So there are some women working at jobs for which they have no qualifications ... o-o-o-o-o that's scarey! In my 30+ years in the work force, every place I've worked had numerous men doing jobs they were not qualified to do, including (the worst case) a computer network manager who didn't have any knowledge of computer networks and caused endless shutdowns and screw-ups and lost data; a college instructor who had no degree in his field -- I admit, when people complained they did get rid of him. One company I worked for had two top tier officers who spent only a few hours a day "working", the rest of the time they had "business meetings" at a local titty bar. So spare us the outraged reactions to untrained or unqualified female workers. I'll get upset about it when I see men actually get fired for coming to work drunk or high, or for sleeping at work, or stealing tools from the company, or any of the hundreds of little stunts men get away with every day that would get a women fired on the spot. As for their special scholarship fund, for years every open scholarship fund has been aimed directly at male students. Poor little weeping willies!

Honestly as a white male in

Honestly as a white male in high school I completely agree with their idea. I have been stressed that I have to be smart since I was like 5. I'm watching kids run around with full rides and scholarships because they're a minority be it race or gender while I'm probably going to have to take out loans even with being valedictorian and "poor". This just needs changed. End minority scholarships and make everyone work for them. It's no longer an equalizer.

Well, I can honestly say that

Well, I can honestly say that I am extremely disappointed in the so-called "woman" who wrote this. You obviously have no connection with the real world, sweetheart. I have always believed myself to be an objective participant in society and have no hard feelings (wish I could say the same for you) against anyone, regardless of color or sexual orientation. However, I do have some feelings of aggression toward boneheads like you. That label can go with any color, by the way. How dare you make assumptions about these people when you yourself have pre-conceived notions regarding their mission? This is the kind of ideological bullshit they are fighting - talk about a douche bag - you couldn't be more accurate and apparently were looking in the mirror when you chose this moniker.

I will give you a very real world description of the reason these young men have the right idea. My husband, a very hard working gentleman, went to apply for a job locally. Although highly qualified, he was told they could not hire him because he wasn't a 'person of color'. Shame on anyone who hires based on color instead of qualifications. This is wrong no matter how you slice it, and no matter how many socially slanted studies are performed. The fact of the matter is that none of us owes the other anything except giving of ourselves and being responsible members of society. Having said that, it is extremely clear to me and other Americans that there are certain groups who have received more than their share of allowances. How long is long enough for generations of Americans, who had nothing to do with slavery and holding women back, to make it up to those groups? How long are we going to fool ourselves into believing that we (white people) are going to be beholden to these groups for the rest of our lives and our children's lives? I say it is high time that people realized that there has been a total switch in polarity here? There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a scholarship for underprivileged white males. If it were specifically for blacks or hispanics there would be nothing but slaps on the back and celebration.

Looking for the LIKE button ...

I couldn't find a LIKE button for your comment ;)
Very thoughtfully written response.
Wise people always find themselves in the minority.
Blessings.

almost right

didn't read the entire article since it was a middle of the road type comentary but i did notice two things on what i did read. First while they might have scholerships that aren't race specific, try getting one if you're a white male. Second is you quoted the Texas census, any census only takes into account those who respond. it will in most cases not be anyone here illegally, or in other cases; so there's no way its accurate. However, your article does point out how stacked the deck is towards white guys these days by pointing out the fact that out of all the help our young can get in getting a college education, its not there for white guys but is for everyone else.

I think everyone's being

I think everyone's being really hard on these guys ... I mean they aren't trying to be racist. This article sounded like someone went through and picked apart everything that they said to make it fit into the agenda being pushed by this article. The poor guys might not have been smart enough to protect themselves from this. Where did we get the idea that the validity of your point or stance is subjugated to your ability to use the right word choice and grammar?
Secondly, I happen to be a white Protestant male--the most discriminated against group in America. I say this not because white people are a minority. Contrarily, I say it because we are the Majority. Well you may ask," If this is true, how could you say you are discriminated against?" To which I would answer," We live in a country that is ruled by minorities." We have realized the evil in our past in the forms of racism and prejudice and have attempted to polarize ourselves away from it. In the pursuit of our equality and in pursuit of repairing our past sins we have actually done the same exact thing as our past. We have discriminated against the majority. That's why our government is riddled with special interests from every minority group there is.
As all this relates to the scholarships, however, the white Protestant male is considered the majority. Therefore he is the subject of this reverse discrimination. All these guys are trying to do is give this group a fair hand. All the other ethnic groups had scholarship opportunities based on academic, need, and abilities as well. So, these guys were obviously not saying they had no opportunities for scholarship. They were saying that they didn't have opportunity for ETHNIC based scholarships like Blacks Hispanics or Asians would have.

i think these guys have a

i think these guys have a valid point. i am a young white male trying to get into college, and i have very little money. i am applying for scholarships but most of them only apply to women or people of other specific races. i am not racist at all but if these guys want to start a scholarship organization for just one race then so be it. the NAACP does the same thing for colored people.

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I’m a white male and I don’t

I’m a white male and I don’t have any assistance in paying for school from my family, I don’t have any money personally because I have a hard time even keeping a job for six months. I want to do better and get an education, but when I look for grants for school almost every one is ONLY for a certain group that I don’t belong to, women, blacks, etc. If people are the same then treat people the same, don’t insult this group trying to provide for peoples education. Just because you’re a white man doesn’t mean you’re at any advantage going to school, that’s a really racist idea. It’s not like people are helping me “because I’m white”. I wish we lived in a world where every scholarship was available to every person regardless of race gender or creed, but that’s not how it is people. There are white men who need additional financial assistance just like everybody else. Saying it’s OK when it’s black people and not white people is racist, you get that, right?