Weird History 15 Groups of People White Men Have Tried to Keep from Doing Things  

Jen Lennon
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Sensitive white guys, you might want to back away from this list. It’s no secret that there are a lot of groups disenfranchised by white men. From women to basically every race other than their own, there are a lot of people white men have discriminated against.

This list offers a small glimpse into some of the most egregious, oppressive things white dudes have done. There are so many people white guys have kept from doing things that this list is in no way definitive; we probably don't even have enough server space to list every atrocity, discriminatory law, and straight-up horrible thing white men have committed, enacted, and done. But for all the minorities held back by white men, this is a necessary eye-opener on how discrimination continues to affect us every day.

Women


Women is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 15 Groups of People White Men Have Tried to Keep from Doing Things
Photo: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

What White Men Did: Prevented women from voting until 1920.

There are so many issues, both big and small, that we could focus on here, but this one is particularly terrible. In the US, women first gained the right to vote in 1920. By contrast, land-owning white men had the right to vote since the inception of this country in 1776.

African Americans


Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

What White Men Did: Enslaved them.

This country was built by slave labor, something white men will try very hard to make you forget. Just watch the people in the clip above try to say that slaves were actually treated very well and slavery wasn’t as terrible as everyone makes it out to be.

Slavery wasn’t abolished until 1865, and Jim Crow laws kept the country largely segregated for nearly 100 years after that. Many schools weren’t integrated until Brown v. Board of Education forced them to do so in 1954, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was enacted because even though the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments guaranteed the right to vote for everyone, many places still wouldn’t let black people vote.

Today, black men and women still face serious discrimination from the police, something the Black Lives Matter movement is working to change.

Gay People


Gay People is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 15 Groups of People White Men Have Tried to Keep from Doing Things
Photo: dirvish/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

What White Men Did: Denied them the right to marriage.

Years of institutionalized discrimination made being openly gay a dangerous thing for a very long time. But even after depictions of gay people became more common in pop culture and Americans slowly got used to the idea that - gasp! - gay people are no different than anyone else, they were still denied the right to marriage in the US. The landmark Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states in 2015.

Transgender People


Transgender People is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 15 Groups of People White Men Have Tried to Keep from Doing Things
Photo: NCDOTcommunications/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

What White Men Did: Denied transgender people the right to use the public bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

Along with every other group on this list, there are so many other discriminatory things that have happened and continue to happen to transgender people as a group and as individuals, but the 2016 North Carolina law known as “the bathroom bill” is representative of the collective misguided fear many people have of individuals who want nothing more than to be themselves.

HB2 mandates that transgender people use public bathrooms that correspond to the gender listed on their birth certificate, not their gender identity. The Federal government quickly pointed out that HB2 violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and sued the state to get them to repeal it; instead, North Carolina filed a counter-suit.

Many musical artists and comedians cancelled shows in the state in protest of the bill, but transgender musician Laura Jane Grace performed with her band, Against Me!, in Durham on May 15, 2016, in protest of the law.