Dear Angry White Guys

Man shouting with chalk speech bubbleLet me start by saying I know a hell of a lot of white men across the board who do right every day, men who don’t just give equality lip-service, but show it in the way they live their lives.

This message is not for them. This is for the angry, white men.

I am so freaking tired of hearing and reading your rants and raves. It is difficult for me to dredge up even a minuscule amount of sympathy for what you are portraying as white, male oppression or indignant, righteous rage.

Spare me.

Even worse? As the cult of the angry, white male thumps its chest into the spotlight, YOUR anger is given a legitimacy almost never afforded the rest of us.

So, yes, spare me.

I’ve never seen such posturing on behalf of a group of people who, historically, have had the best of everything: laws, jobs, wages, life choices, education, privilege. Frankly, it’s been like watching my toddler pitch a fit in Target because I wouldn’t buy him the Lightning McQueen to go with the 25 other cars he already had at home.

So, yes, spare me.

Women’s anger consistently gets buried in innuendos of baby killing and femi-nazis, of whining and hysterical overreaction. Black anger gets buried in stereotype and misguided statistics, in using the actions of lone wolves to justify systematic racism. How about the anger of immigrants, or gays? Atheists? Muslims? It gets mired down in everything above it, the unspoken rule being if you live outside the tightly bordered box of ‘norms’ your anger is your own problem and probably your own fault.

So spare me the righteous indignation when even your anger gets more coverage, justification, and legitimacy. 

Look, I understand that things aren’t as great for many white men as they were twenty, thirty, fifty years ago. There are legitimate and immediate concerns. Suicide, addiction, alcoholism, job loss, class inequality, massive student debt. But these things are NOT going on because white men are being discriminated against or ignored.

And honestly, I resent the fact that a group of angry, white men think they are going to be the ones to ride in and save the fucking world. Because guess what? You’re the ones that got us into pretty much every, single mess we’re in right now. I resent the fact that Bernie Bros. own the discourse on economic inequality and wow, isn’t what everyone outside the box of white hetero male has known for years so shocking?? Where was that anger when white men stood unchallenged at the top of the food chain?

White men are not being discriminated against. It’s just that the rest of us, all those who make up the box ticked “OTHER” are starting to catch up.

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So spare me the righteousness. Angry white hetero men will be the ONLY ones left unchanged in terms of rights no matter who gets elected on November 8th. The rest of us–all those boxes ticked “OTHER”–we’ve had to make do with imperfect choices for decades. In many instances, we’ve had to choose the person least likely to literally kill us.

Spare me your tantrums, bros. Women, Black, Brown, Latina, Immigrant, Gay, Trans. Minorities have always had to adjust their expectations, adapt, change and make the best of a shitty situation, choosing between the lesser of two evils because there’s been no one looking out for us for most of that time.

Minorities don’t have the luxury of voting against their own survival.

So spare me the lectures.

You don’t own anger, and it should not be seen as more legitimate just because you’re a bunch of white guys ranting about social and economic injustice.

YOU want a revolution. I want change. I don’t want a revolution for one simple reason: The cannon fodder in a revolution? Not the angry, white guy, but all those boxes ticked “OTHER”.

If you want the rest of us to start taking your more legitimate concerns seriously–loss of identity, income inequality, anger at being squeezed out the middle class–start by listening to the experiences and concerns of OTHERS. Don’t insist that what is best for you is best for everyone. Don’t act like social injustice is suddenly validated because all of a sudden you saw it and lent your voice to it, or worst of all, don’t pitch a fit and dig your heels in to prove a fucking point when your life won’t change with the outcome.

screaming-manIf you feel misunderstood and marginalized, if you feel like you’re not being listened to, that your experiences are being invalidated?

Welcome to the club.

Quit your bitching, put your head down, and start working toward a viable solution that helps the most people, not just you. That is to say, what the rest of us have been doing all this time.

 

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43 thoughts on “Dear Angry White Guys

  1. insanitybytes22 July 25, 2016 / 3:25 pm

    Interesting. I can’t say I disagree, I too read and observe all this angry white guy energy and keep wondering, what the heck? But I think as a culture we’ve made a real mistake, we’ve decided that being white and male means you run the world. We forget how many poor, working class, and disenfranchised men there really are in the world. So when we blame “white men” for oppression what we’re really doing is kicking people who are down and oppressed themselves. Eventually they’re going to get resentful.

    Like

    • Dina Honour July 25, 2016 / 3:43 pm

      But who decided that? I always feel like the rest of us weren’t really given a choice, we were patted on the head and told, this is the way it’s always been and ever shall be (even though that in and of itself isn’t true). I guess at times it is hard for me to feel bad about what so many others have been fighting against for years. I understand white males of a certain demographic being resentful–their way of life is under threat, this is likely the prolonged death rattle of the total white, male supremacy in government–change is scary stuff. But it’s still hard for me to muster up any sympathy. I’m wiling to accept that probably makes me not the nice person I thought I was in exchange for allowing myself to feel it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 1reddiva83 July 25, 2016 / 3:45 pm

      Im sorry this is BS. White poor men dont get looked at…Yes they’re white men who are poor. Yes, disenfranchised , not really. Many white people are now taking advantage of HBCUs like Lincoln who were majority black is now 60% white from students who can not afford or get into more prestigious schools. . They get more scholarships and the department of financial aid is saying Caucasian students receive a disproportionately greater share of private scholarships and meritbased grants. Caucasian students receive more than three times as much in merit-based grant and private scholarship funding as minority students. (http://www.finaid.org/scholarships/20110902racescholarships.pdf) Did you know why Lincoln’s party wanted to end slavery or at least stop it from going west . It was because of poor white men. Their cheap labor could not compete with free labor.
      so this idea that poor whites didnt run the world. you are right but they got to join in and make some money off the discrimination of minority.

      Liked by 1 person

      • insanitybytes22 July 25, 2016 / 3:52 pm

        I think that shows a lack of empathy and understanding for what it means to be white and poor. Twice as many white men get shot by cops in wrongful shootings. Poor white men are likely to be homeless, unemployed, suffering from addiction,depression. Their suicide rates are through the roof. Then we come along and blame them for slavery and oppression? It’s a bizarre dynamic, one rooted in envy and a lack of understanding of the world around us. We’re demonizing white men, stereotyping them, and than declaring them the enemy.

        Like

      • 1reddiva83 July 25, 2016 / 4:03 pm

        they enjoyed it… poor whites benefited from blacks being held back and treated like second class citizens.You have no empthay on what it means to black in this country and no mattter they statitics that blacks are systematic and sistemic held back . oh slavery ended so many years ago except for the black codes and jim crow that kept blacks back in slave like positions til the late 60s .do you know about redlining, do you know that whites kept us out of unions and out collective bargaining. welfare and unemployment insurance kept blacks out of having a piece. The american dream is the white mans’ dream. Yes, you have issues but people are more likely to believe you like the heroin epidemic. Now, they want to bring out measures to help people stop overdosing and help them with treatment. The crack epidemic that happened to Blacks in the 80s was targeted for mass incarceration. Come on

        Like

      • insanitybytes22 July 25, 2016 / 4:12 pm

        Meth and heroin were introduced into poor white communities,too. If you look at the statistics, those drugs are all over poor rural areas, inhabited by mostly white people with little or no economic or political power. Rather than separating and dividing ourselves into envious groups,we should be working together, because there is a lot more power in a united people.

        Like

      • 1reddiva83 July 25, 2016 / 4:12 pm

        welfare and unemployment insurance excluded blacks because most were farm and domestic service workers in private homes.

        Like

    • 1reddiva83 July 25, 2016 / 4:15 pm

      you are not targeted for mass incarceration. About 14 million Whites and 2.6 million African Americans report using an illicit drug 5 times as many Whites are using drugs as African Americans, yet African Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of Whites
      African Americans represent 12% of the total population of drug users, but 38% of those arrested for drug offenses, and 59% of those in state prison for a drug offense.
      African Americans serve virtually as much time in prison for a drug offense (58.7 months) as whites do for a violent offense (61.7 months). (Sentencing Project)

      Like

      • insanitybytes22 July 25, 2016 / 4:30 pm

        Perspective is everything though,isn’t it? Those I know who have become addicted to meth and heroin, best thing that ever happened to them was jail. Otherwise they tend to overdose, commit suicide, or kill other people in pointless acts of violence. It’s all those pointless acts of violence, black on black crime, that is really taking it’s toll on black people.

        Like

      • 1reddiva83 July 25, 2016 / 4:43 pm

        You are in true denial. You brought up black on black crime. Really, white on white crime is almost as high. 86% percent of white commits a crime against whites. The toll is the privilege that whites don’t commit crimes like blacks do and that all this violence is pointless. Yes . Sandy hook was pointless, the shootings in utah pointless. You called white men disenfranchised. that statement was pointless.. white men have never had their right to vote or privilege taken away. your argument of dividing ourselves is pointless since white men are the great divider.

        Like

      • insanitybytes22 July 25, 2016 / 4:48 pm

        You’ve gone and declared white men the enemy, the root of all evil. That’s a pretty blatant stereotype, racism really, that unfairly places all white men in the same category, one you seem to have targeted for annihilation.

        Like

      • 1reddiva83 July 25, 2016 / 5:00 pm

        LOL. Do you know what racism is . You could say Im prejudice, I am not. white men are actually kind of cute but I see you have reach the end of your mental capacity so you call me a racist. Black people can not be racist, infact you calling me one just says that you know racism exist yet you are dismissive of the plight and generational effects. How can I target you for annihilation, I have no institution or law to back up this claim or racist view. when the justice system as I pointed out with research shows you the exact opposite. Mass murder is also not a black thing. White men are infact the leaders on that . See stats here http://www.statista.com/statistics/476456/mass-shootings-in-the-us-by-shooter-s-race/

        Like

      • insanitybytes22 July 25, 2016 / 5:16 pm

        I’m not calling you a racist nor am I at the end of my mental capacity. I was just pointing out the truth of what you are doing, stereotyping an entire group of people based on their race and gender and than blaming them for all the evil in the world.

        So, that is the kind of flawed thinking that has now led to the phenomenon of the angry white male.

        Like

      • 1reddiva83 July 25, 2016 / 5:22 pm

        history has done that. not me.

        Like

      • insanitybytes22 July 25, 2016 / 5:38 pm

        You and I don’t live in history, we live right now. The last thing we want to do is inspire a bunch of angry men of all races, to run about half cocked making a mess of things.

        Like

      • 1reddiva83 July 25, 2016 / 7:19 pm

        you dont live in this history, you live in the one that i read in the history books where they excluded everyone else except for a few paragraphs (like blacks were brought over , they were slave, martin luther king jr, rosa parks, the end). . I dont blame you. Its your educational system, the people you hang around.

        Like

      • insanitybytes22 July 25, 2016 / 7:31 pm

        “I don’t blame you. Its your educational system, the people you hang around.”

        But see, that’s just it. You know nothing of my education, the people I hang around, or my history. You presume everything based on these stereotypes you hold about yourself and others.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 1reddiva83 July 26, 2016 / 3:11 am

        I do. You know nothing about american history or the effects. You believe slavery ended and we were all good. You even used white men as disenfranchised. This is laughable that’s why I question who were around and your education system. Please use Google. Like for example blacks vs white same crime consequences. Or is police shooting and black on black crime mutually exclusive

        Like

  2. South of the Strait July 25, 2016 / 3:33 pm

    My favorite recent battle started when I said that the republican platform was fear and their motto was things were better in the past. One angry dude said, “Things were better.” That mind frame confuses me. I certainly have my moments but I understand how privileged I have been. I haven’t pulled myself up by my own bootstraps, I took advantage of my head start.

    Like

    • Dina Honour July 25, 2016 / 3:39 pm

      Things WERE better: for Christian, white, hetero men ;-). But that misguided sense of nostalgia for something we can never go back to (nor do I, as a woman, want to) is a dangerous thing. I understand the difficulty of having lived or expected to live life a certain way and having had that opportunity seemingly ‘snatched’ from underfoot…but the argument is invalid, because it’s working on the assumption that only that person was entitle to those things. As I saw the other day, when you are accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression. Hell, I’m privileged as hell as a white woman–but I still know enough to know my enemy when I see him. And this year, my enemy’s name is Trump.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. aviets July 25, 2016 / 4:24 pm

    I’m not surprised to see that this post is getting a lot of traction – these are important words, and the elicit a lot of visceral reactions. I’m on board with every word. “isn’t what everyone outside the box of white hetero male has known for years so shocking?” Absolutely. What an eye opener to suddenly realize not everyone gets to enjoy the spoils they’ve hoarded for generation after generation. I’ll be right beside you when the revolution comes, sister.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dina Honour July 25, 2016 / 7:35 pm

      I just find the whole notion of ‘it wasn’t a legitimate problem until the angry, white guy came along to talk about it’ maddening. But more than that, I find the notion that the liberal white male thinks he is still in the majority loud enough to demand his way. Whites men tend to vote Republican. We need young, white liberal men to vote in a block this year and not throw a hissy fit because their guy wasn’t nominated. But it’s hard to convince them because their lives won’t be affected as much the recognized minority—so there you go. Even though the liberal, white male is actually a minority, he’ll still manage to be respected as part of the majority no matter which way it goes. He’s really got nothing to lose. A privilege in and of itself.

      Liked by 2 people

      • aviets July 25, 2016 / 8:06 pm

        You’re absolutely right. I have a brother in law who thinks he’s an awesome far-left voice, but he really needs to hear what you’re saying here.

        Like

  4. Melanie McNeil July 25, 2016 / 8:51 pm

    “If you feel misunderstood and marginalized, if you feel like you’re not being listened to, that your experiences are being invalidated?

    Welcome to the club.

    Quit your bitching, put your head down, and start working toward a viable solution that helps the most people, not just you. That is to say, what the rest of us have been doing all this time.”

    If I read this right, you’re saying, “Grow up!”

    Like

    • Dina Honour July 25, 2016 / 9:10 pm

      Pretty much ;-). I go pretty much between fear and anger these days. Sometimes I like to throw a bit of incredulity in there as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. urbanmanusa July 26, 2016 / 6:55 pm

    When things are bad for a woman, a muslim, a black, a gay, oh how terrible. They have every right to kvetch. When things are bad for a young white hetero man, however, he needs to shut the eff up and deal. Lovely thinking.

    You’ve posted some wonderful stuff, D. This one, however, is weak.

    Like

    • Dina Honour July 26, 2016 / 7:24 pm

      Fair enough complaint. I was pretty pissed off when I wrote this yesterday.

      That said, my main point, which I guess was too tied up in my righteous pissed off ness, is not that white, hetero men don’t get to be pissed about the situation they find themselves in, but that they, like minorities, will have to find a solution that likely involves compromise. So many men talk about loathing Hilary Clinton, but it is the only real option available (assuming one is not voting GOP regardless). They can kvetch all they want, as long as the pull the lever come November.

      The other issue I have is the legitimacy given to the white, male anger. Again, there are real, valid reasons for it to exist, but a lot of it (on the far right) stems from equalization. They are losing things in order for others to gain–so while things are on an equalization scale, the white male is going to find himself in a position of ‘less’ while the minority finds him/herself in a position of ‘more’. It’s hard for the person on the upward swing to feel bad for the person on the other side if they, historically, have always had the best of it.

      On the left, it stems from the idea of Bernie or no one (and men aren’t the only ones guilty of this by any stretch, but they get the most press, a la the Bernie Bros.)–these are the ones who will be the least harmed in either administration in terms of realtime change. So to take the high road for themselves is coming from the highest place of privilege imaginable. Sometimes it has to be not so much about what the individual wants, but what’s going to be the best solution for lots. And that is what I don’t get from the narrative of the angry white male.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. urbanmanusa July 26, 2016 / 7:55 pm

    Okay, that was a good reply. Hats off.

    When people use the word “historically” I always think this – what does it matter to someone in the prime of their life today, that someone of their skin color and gender had it great in the early to mid 20th century? it’s almost as if there is a payback aspect that makes some happy. 35 year old White Joe is supposed to suffer, cuz great great Grandpa had it good?

    Fix the current state so it is somewhat approximate to level.

    I am personally not optimistic about discrimination going away. We’ve had it for 1000s of years. Perhaps its innate to us, and therefore as ugly as it is, it won’t go way. And its refined, isn’t it? People who visually from 20 meters away look exactly alike, often dislike and in fact might want to kill each other based on religion or nationality. Happens between whites, Asians of many descriptions, blacks in various areas of Africa, and so on.

    Like

    • Dina Honour July 26, 2016 / 8:44 pm

      I take my readership seriously!

      I think you’re right in the sense that is naive to expect people to expect racism and sexism and all the other ‘isms’ to disappear completely. I think we’re hard wired to notice difference, and sadly, to exploit it. But, I live in hope that we will find a way to celebrate those differences and use them to our advantage rather than use them to tear ourselves apart. Like if there was ever a real zombie apocalypse or alien invasion.

      See, at heart I’m just a soppy romantic (pissed off feminist) ;-). Thanks, not only for reading so insightfully, but for taking the time to comment as well, I really appreciate it.

      Like

  7. Alice August 1, 2016 / 2:58 pm

    Not a big enough “L I K E” button for how I feel about this post.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Alice August 1, 2016 / 3:08 pm

        Oh yes. As an oft-times fellow rager, I can spot that flavor of pissed a mile away.

        Like

      • Dina Honour August 1, 2016 / 3:10 pm

        I am trying really hard to channel the rage into some sort of positive discourse but sometimes it is like banging my head against a brick wall.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Alice August 1, 2016 / 3:23 pm

        Trying to get through to people who have “Power” — but not necessarily “power” — often feels like that, I think.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. insanitybytes22 August 1, 2016 / 5:29 pm

    “I am trying really hard to channel the rage into some sort of positive discourse but sometimes it is like banging my head against a brick wall.”

    I know, I hear you! I do appreciate your efforts to get the conversation going, however. In the end that’s really all we can do, get people talking and thinking about things.

    Like

    • Dina Honour August 1, 2016 / 6:01 pm

      I truly think it is the way change is wrought. May not be the most glamorous it the quickest, but I bet it’s the longest lasting.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dina Honour August 4, 2016 / 6:34 pm

      I truly think it is the way change is wrought. May not be the most glamorous or the quickest, but I bet it’s the longest lasting.

      Like

  9. littlewolf December 20, 2016 / 7:45 pm

    The comments on this article highlight what the Bernie Bros. and actually a whopping 74% of voting-eligible Americans feel…that is that they are not likely to be seriously targeted in a Trump administration.

    It is so hard to prove to poor white males that the power of patriarchy or white privilege do exist-because currently they can’t see that they are personally benefiting from it. They honestly feel that policies like affirmative action or college scholarships for historically disadvantaged minorities are not only unnecessary-but actually hurt poor white men. While I have my own qualms about equalizing policies like affirmative action-I know when I apply for a job that although I have a background that is considered very disadvantaged by most-I will be more likely to get the job than an African American candidate with the exact same qualifications but maybe from an inner city neighborhood. I chalk it up to being white and speaking the money language (appropriate English) as taught to me by a decent public school.

    Like

    • Dina Honour December 20, 2016 / 11:19 pm

      Already I’m seeing headlines talking about how women’s rights will likely take a backseat ‘for the greater good’. Sigh. Like I said, minorities and women on the front lines as cannon fodder.

      I think it’s actually a good thing to have qualms–I think it means we tinker and question and fix and adjust as we need to. Nothing in life should be static. Institutionalized ideas about race and sex are difficult to overcome–and as evidenced by this election, even difficult to SEE at times. But, I think once you do see them, it’s impossible to un-see.

      Sometimes my male friends and even my husband get frustrated with me asking if everything needs to be filtered through the lens of gender for me. But of course it does, I tell them. When the defining characteristic of your person is ‘other’, when everything you do or don’t do is bordered by that otherness, it is impossible NOT to look at it through that filter. The same is true for race, for class, for religion and sexuality. The only ones who generally don’t view the world through any filter? White heterosexual males. Because the world IS their filter. It reflects their reality. The rest of us are seeing that reality from very different angles.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave such a well thought out comment, I really appreciate it.

      Like

  10. Lindsay M Davis December 20, 2016 / 8:49 pm

    I would put my favorite quote from this here, but I’d have to basically repost the whole damn thing! You’ve summed up my frustrations (and the frustrations of many others) so well! Now, if only we can get people to listen…

    Like

    • Dina Honour December 20, 2016 / 11:12 pm

      Yup. I was angry. I’m still angry. But now my anger has gone from still raw around the edges rage to rational ‘let’s do something’ about it determination. If nothing else, it has lit an artistic fire under my ass I wasn’t expecting, but am grateful for nonetheless!

      Liked by 1 person

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