You start out in 1954 by saying,
"Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968, you
can’t say ‘nigger’—that hurts you.
Backfires. So you say stuff like forced
busing, state’s rights, and all that stuff.
In the Book of Revelation, the Lamb of God opens four seals, summoning forth the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The White Horse rides in the name of conquest and pestilence. The Red Horse for war; civil war and the assault on Christians. The Black Horse is, of course, famine. And the Pale horse is Death, the destroyer of empire.
Our esteemed ruler places mouth to microphone and calls the caravan of Central American asylum seekers, “an assault on our nation”. He calls it “a ploy to destroy America...to bring us to our knees.” He describes it as “an invasion”. He tweets, “Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan.” He calls it “a national emergency.” He declares a national emergency. He tweets, “They [Democrats] want Open Boarders for anyone to come in. This brings large scale crime and disease.” He accuses Democrats of planning the caravan. He accuses George Soros of funding it.
These dog whistles pierce and burn the ears of Trump’s base. They hearken to biblically and historically instilled fear.
In a recent interview with Christian Broadcasting Network, Sarah Sanders said she believes god placed Trump in the White House to uphold Christian values and concerns.
Consider Ellis Island. The Irish, the Jews, the Poles, the Italians were all said to be out to destroy this White Evangelical Christian Nation.
Christian values are constantly threatened; whether it be from Super Predators, crack cocaine, AIDS, communists, video games, Tupac, Harry Potter, etc.
The War on Christmas justifies the Muslim Ban.
And these are hardly fringe opinions. In fact, the opinions need not be extremist at all. When our ruler decries ‘Sharia Law’, he doesn’t need calls for the destruction of Islam (though he’ll take them because they are useful to him), all he needs is to stoke the flames of doubt. It’s not hate, it’s fear he needs. He needs his low-income white voter to see change in their homogeneous community as an attack on their way of life; difference as accusation; their values and thus identities, on the precipice of extinction. This positions him as a crusader for truth and a martyr for morality and positions them as victims of a cabal-like conspiracy.
In the ninth book of the Republic, Plato posits the tyrant is the most fearful man in the kingdom. What happens when this fear engulfs a nation?
The ruler addresses the Union. He says, without irony, “Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight, upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments from birth.”
He provokes and the Left becomes outraged, which only solidifies his base, only strengthens their confirmation biases. Pointing out, how it makes no sense that anyone, Democrat or otherwise, would wish to bring an apocalypse upon their own children is precisely why it is believed to be occurring. It is a biblical evil. Evil for evil’s sake.
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing us that he does not exist. His second greatest trick was allowing racists to hide behind the veil of advocacy. As Pete Holmes reminds us, “The Prince of Darkness does not need an advocate.” The greatest trick the Right ever pulled was convincing the Left evidence is necessary.
Moments later, the ruler says, “And then we had the case of the Governor of Virginia saying he would execute a baby after birth.”
The Left are a bunch of snowflakes, who can’t take a joke, who are weak in the face of opposition, who put America second, who are triggered over the cloth and dye of a flag but apparently they also drink their old-vine bordeuxs from the skulls of babies because Alex Jones told me so.
The Southern Strategy continues to work because of the eye wink. When critics call the ruler a racist (because of all the racist shit he says), all he has to do is tweet a photograph of himself, on Cinco de Mayo, smiling and giving the camera a thumbs up, “Happy #CincodeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!” All he has to do is go on talk radio and say, “I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.” The portion of his base that do not believe themselves to be racists (which is the majority) will point and say, “See? How could one possibly read that as racist?” while his white supremacist soldiers thrown an eye wink back, acknowledging that in order to be elected and run this PC country into the ground, you just can’t say nigger, nigger, nigger anymore.
Locker room talk. Boys will be fucking boys.
For everyone else in the Continental United States, it has always been the end of days. And yet we survived, though I try not to confuse this with hope; most did not survive.
Migrant women will give their daughters birth control before they begin the journey to the US boarder, for it is likely they will be raped and assaulted along the way. Still they choose to leave their home, everything they have ever known, to make this impossibly dangerous journey.
Jumping from a burning building is not hope, nor is it its absence. I recognize hymns are survival tactics, yet, slaves still married. Still, they taught themselves to read.
Human resiliency is beyond the words I have.
It truly pains me to know that countless people read change as the weaponization of an agenda. It pains me to see them so afraid—and how quickly defense turns to hatred.
I’ve tried writing an ending to this thing for a few weeks now. It’s not coming. I don’t have advice. Coded language is garbage and we need to keep calling it out but if we (cause the burden will always be on the tired and weary) don’t figure out how to quell these fears, then those horsemen will come.
By now we’ve all heard of, read, and/or seen the tweets about Esquire’s March issue.
In the cover photo, sits a white kid, on his regular-ass bed, in his regular-ass room, his face holds a scowl or confusion or maybe he has a fart. He wears a flannel, a hoodie beneath, and is
fitting his socked-foot into a fashionable sneaker. It’s tagline reads, “What it’s like to grow up white, middle class in the era of...#MeToo, and a divided country.”
You can guess the reactions. The Left made assertions about representation. Fox News ran the story ‘The Left Decided It Hates Young, White Men’. We all know our roles in this dance.
When I saw the cover, I laughed--because it was connected to this tweet by Fran Tirado “finally, the representation we’ve been waiting for”. That is objectively a well written joke—and it basically ends there for me. And I knew for the internet it wouldn’t; that all these voices would ‘weigh-in’ and do what they do to get views/likes/clicks. It would keep showing up on my feed, in the news I read, so I decided to read the article.
Drumroll...it was uneventful. It was boring.
Probably cause it’s not for me. It’s for Esquire’s market, which according to David Granger, Editor in Chief, “Esquire is special because it is a magazine for men...a magazine about the interests, the curiosity, the passions, of men.”
Also, this isn't some quote buried in the recesses of the internet--I found this on Esquire's sit. We're men. We're loud. We're here and when we got here we pretended to 'discover' here because here did not exist pre-men.
It was also written for those of the Left, the wealthy, white Clinton voters, to shake them, to show them the forgotten America; the land and its peoples between the coasts. This is not a new conceit. It’s a perfectly fine conceit in fact; and somewhat necessary. However, it’s not easy.
A number of years ago, I attended a lecture by George Saunders. At some point, he said, the hardest book to write in America would be a sympathetic rendering of a Republican. It’s certainly one of them.
The article’s intention was to humanize this kid, who holds views that particularly under this administration are hard to swallow: he’s a fan of Trump, he’s anti-abortion, he’s fairly entrenched in genders role; he he got into a physical altercation with a female peer, “she smacked him in the face. He smacked her back.” The kid’s explanation being, “I hit her back because I didn’t know how to react.” At some point he reasons that a woman can do whatever she wants to a man, without fear of punishment and he ends with, “I still don’t really understand. I know what I can’t do, I just don’t know what I can do.”
Well, that was a lot. I should mention the consequences for the assault were as followed: he spent a couple hours in detention. He got a ticket sending him to municipal court. End of story.
I used to work with this white guy in LA. This guy had grown up in liberal LA, he liked hip-hop, liked basketball, had a college degree from a liberal California college, and all he ever did was say out of pocket shit.
At this particular job, conflict mediation and resolution played a big role, which meant, I had to sit and listen to a bunch of veiled, dog-whistle racism and xenophobia because he didn’t know any better and was trying to learn and how was he suppose to learn, when people kept criticizing him? He, like the Esquire kid, expressed that he felt targeted as a white man--that the world was against him.
I did say to him, in one of my less-patient moments, to cry me a fucking river.
In order for him to do this work, I had to bite my tongue, coddle fragility, and listen to nonsense. It was also expected that I practice patience. For when I exhibited anger, I was out of control, I was lecturing, I was being unfair; I should’ve known better. When he exhibited anger, it was necessary for his progress and growth.
We are consistently asked to turn an offense into a teachable moment. We are asked to not be offended.
In his defense, he tried hard and grew because of it; he even apologized to me, on a couple of occasions. However, I’m not sure what I got out of my interactions with him.
These are important questions for young white men to be asking—and they have every right to a safe space. They’re just asking the wrong people.
Consider your dream career. One of the first steps, you might take, would be to find someone in the position you want and ask them how they got there. Maybe young white men should be doing that. Go find an older white man, who you believe isn’t being attacked for his white male-ness, and ask how he escaped our wrath. If you cannot find a mentor, perhaps try the library. Either way, it’s not my fucking job. I really do believe and commend this work and I simultaneously believe, it’s not my fucking job.
One last freebie: Hey Esquire boy, here's something you can do that no black or brown man could ever do, you can smack a white woman and get nothing more than a parking ticket for it.
This article’s pitfall was its inability to humanize this kid. It held him up as a banner for young, confused white men, trying to find their footing. It even makes an interesting play towards analyzing the white default, that is, how difficult it can be for someone deemed to be a part of the default (privileged white male reality) and still feel he does not fit in. I imagine that’s not easy but I wouldn’t know because I live in your world. I don’t say that as a slight. I mention it because it’s no longer inherently interesting—maybe it never was. What is it like to be middle class, white, and male? Turn on the television. Open a magazine.
This story has always been told and will continue to be told—and that’s fine, I guess. Think about how many spin offs there have been of the CSI franchise. People still watch them.
Same story, different cast. But with each season the ratings have dropped. Maybe ratings are just dropping for middle class white men .