Diagnosing the epidemic of hatred for straight white men
the epithet “dead white males,” social justice activists have
been demanding that we revise our political and literary history to
limit the influence of supposedly racist, sexist, and Eurocentric
patriarchs of the past. Denying the dominance of male thinkers,
writers, and artists in previous centuries by shunning their
contributions does not rewrite human history. It does, however, rob
our civilization’s collective knowledge of its most meritorious and
truths are lost on a deeply political campaign preoccupied with
questionable, albeit in vogue, racial and sexual ideologies that are
giving voice to ugly impulses of society. The growing trend toward
open and unabashed anti-white racism and prejudice against straight
masculinity derives from this movement.
February, Scaachi Koul, senior writer at Buzzfeed Canada, tweeted a
call for new writers, specifying that white men need not apply.
Expectedly, she received significant backlash. More expectedly, the
left-leaning media (Huffington
Review, and a myriad of blogs)
came to her rescue, denouncing the opposition for “harassing Koul.”
Rather than condemning her overt racism, the so-called progressive
faction applauded Koul for taking a brave and urgent step to check
the privilege of, and induce necessary guilt in North Americans of
A cursory glance at Koul’s published writings evidences an obvious disdain for “white people.” Interestingly, as an ethnic member of the Brahmin caste in the northern-most Indian state of Kashmir, Koul possesses light skin and Caucasoid features not unlike many Europeans. She claims to identify with an imagined, global brown community, yet she looks as white as any Italian or Greek woman. Thus, contrary to her claim, she does not construct whiteness based on appearance alone.
she sees herself as non-white because of her ties to India, i.e.
whiteness then becomes a feature of a shared European ethno-culture.
But this understanding is also flawed because European ethnicities
and cultures do not constitute a monolith.
In the United States, the
WASPs in the Northeast, Scots-Irish of Appalachia, English
Southerners, the Irish, the Italians, and Midwest Germans possess
diverse immigration histories, cultural traditions, and economic
spurious beliefs mask a dishonest attempt to portray white Americans
as a single, historically privileged and oppressive class in order to
justify hateful bias against them. Worse, those who hold influential
positions in our culture share the same problematic position.
Consequently, these elites promote myths and half-truths to
wrongfully single out and indict whites (particularly, rural and
right-leaning) and straight men for America’s slavery past, white
supremacist groups, and for clinging
to guns and religion. Ta-Nehisi Coates, who rose to intellectual
fame following his counterfactual magnum
opus defending slavery reparations and won the MacArthur ‘Genius’
Grant in 2015, serves as a salient example of the above trend.
proliferation of anti-white racism and misandry are indeed symptoms
of a larger social ailment, i.e. fashionable society’s en masse
repudiation of the religion, mores, and art of Western civilization
in general, and the quintessential American spirit of optimism,
purpose and independence in particular. In its place, it has embraced
militant atheism and the meaninglessness of life (moral nihilism), which
trace their origins to the works of modern French and German
philosophers like Jean-Paul Sartre, Michel Foucault, and Friedrich
the mid-20th century, American elites (especially on the left)
had adopted and spread these ideas through the cultural institutions
they controlled – academia, entertainment media and the press. As a
result, espousing a subversive stance toward cultural convention and
revisionist view of US history became the mark of creative and
intellectual sophistication by the 1960s.
Today, the cynicism and
prejudice not only persists, but has also taken a more sinister turn
by specifically targeting white heterosexual masculinity. Rhetoric
with titles such as “White men must be stopped,” “The
unbearable whiteness of being,” and “The pettiness of the angry
white male” is commonly found in mainstream publications, and
evidences this phenomenon.
typical of this genre (published by The New York Times no less),
Charles Blow postulates: “Donald Trump’s campaign slogan is in
fact an inverted admission of loss – lost primacy, lost privilege,
lost prestige. And who feels that they have lost the most? White
men.” Irrespective of one’s opinion of the real estate mogul,
speculating that Trump supporters embody the “unfiltered primal
scream of the fragility and fear consuming white male America” is
decidedly vile and hateful.
systemic maligning and shaming of white heterosexual masculinity is
exacerbated by its instigation of identity crisis in young men, and
retaliation from the alt-right (a faction that supports white
nationalism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and other alternative
ideologies rejected by the right). Thus the trouble begets trouble.
And unfortunately, diagnosing the problem, though valuable, marks
only the first step in the thousand-mile journey towards possible
Hansen is a cultural critic based in Windsor, Vermont. The Vermont House
Republican Caucus consults with her communications firm, Pierson A.
Harleth & Co.