Name: Kevin Hostrauser
Social Media Handle/Username: Hostrauser
Introduce Yourself/Tell About Yourself: 44-year-old cishet white male, Wisconsin, USA. Lover of classical music and bowling. He’s just this guy, you know?
What Inspires You Every day? : My wife. Music. The opportunity to have another day to hopefully improve someone’s life, even if just for a moment.
What is some words of wisdom you live by?: Nothing worthwhile can be boiled down to a pithy statement. Which is, itself, a pithy statement. So I guess I created a paradox and contradicted myself at the same time.
What is your ultimate goal in life? : To live as long as I can happy and healthy, and to help others as much as possible.
How have you been during the pandemic and how has it affected you? : I have been extremely, exceedingly fortunate. Both my wife and I have been allowed to work from home and maintained full salaries. My family and friends have stayed healthy. And I’m a natural introvert who doesn’t like to socialize anyway. There have been times when it has been mentally and emotionally difficult, but I live every day with full awareness as to how lucky I have been throughout.
What is a message you would like to give others? : Your worth is not in your bank account or your possessions or in how much you contribute to the economy; your only worth is in how you treat others.
What else would you like to tell others about you or your life?: Nothing has made me quite as angry as when I realized just how much of a mediocre white man I am.
Let me explain. I grew up poor, but not quite in poverty. I graduated high school. I dropped out of college because I couldn’t afford it and had to work full time. I ran up a lot of debt. But “opportunities” continued to present themselves to me. And I never self-sabotaged by fucking up unnecessarily. And so, here I sit: mid-40s, a home-owner, happily married, gainfully employed, and knowing that if I screw up or something goes wrong, I will almost certainly get another chance at achieving “the good life.” Simply because I am white and male. Sure, I’ve had a few trials and tribulations, but nothing that every other human being doesn’t also face during the course of their lives. I have a good life, and it has been relatively easy.
And boy does that make me mad.
I’m not mad that my life has been easy, but that others don’t have it this way. My life is the way it SHOULD be. There is absolutely nothing special or spectacular about me. I have succeeded in no small part because there haven’t been unnecessary obstacles intentionally placed in my way to slow me down. And that is what every other demographic has to deal with: non-white, female, LGBTQ+, recent immigrant–all of those groups have completely unnecessary obstacles placed in their paths (by a society controlled for 400+ years by white men) to prevent them from succeeding and having decent lives with a relative amount of ease.
It is all so unnecessary. I live in the United States, the wealthiest empire in the history of humanity. There are simply no valid excuses. The idea that there’s not enough to go around for everyone to succeed, that some MUST be cast into failure is a lie. The segregation is INTENTIONAL, the poverty is INTENTIONAL, the starvation is INTENTIONAL; the fix is in, the game is rigged, and it infuriates me. And I will work until my dying day to poke holes in that system, in the hopes that I can contribute to the efforts of millions of others in dismantling it, in removing all the unnecessary obstacles, so that EVERYONE can achieve a decent and comfortable living. Because I am not special. Because I am not “better than.” Because that’s what everyone deserves.