The Trouble With Angry White Men

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A reader recently sent me an email in response to my August 10 column. He has obviously given it a lot of thought and I share his opinion. I have given it a lot of thought, too!

The free-floating anger which right wing media and politicians have been able to channel so effectively is not based on any rational understanding of the world and in many cases, not even on any actual events. Much of what the right wingers are screaming about is simply fiction (President Obama's religion and birth place, for example).

The right wing has come unhinged in this country and right now they are making waves. In the future they will be remembered like Joe McCarthy and Father Charles Coughlin — as historical oddities. But for now, they are very present and very loud and a real pain in the national butt.

Read what this reader had to say. And if you doubt that the right wingers are crazy as bats in the sunshine, read the responses to this post!


I’m starting to think that the present problems with paranoia and extremism go deeper than just the “Tea Party” phenomenon. Who is the core audience for all the right-wing screamers? White males. Who’s addicted to weaponry? White males. Who favors violent aggression and harsh revenge as the obvious solutions to all conflict? White males. Who’s falling rapidly behind in every measure of educational achievement? White males. Who has wet dreams about Sarah Palin? White males. Who provides the most toxic bluster on Internet commentary threads? White males.

Violent vices tend to afflict men of all colors in this country, but black gang bangers, drunken Native Americans, or Mexican drug traffickers don’t have the tradition of assumed authenticity and entitlement claimed by white males. The collapse of American military and economic pretension, the election of a black President, and the increasingly diverse nature of American life, however, have challenged that entitlement big time. White males (predictably, given the characteristics I mentioned above) have responded with delusionary resentment, bullying, and threats, which, because of their traditional clout with the media and politicians, are becoming the lingua franca of political and social discourse these days. Politicians, both male and female, fear looking “weak”; the media fear “liberal bias.”

(Fourth District Congressman Bob) Inglis not being “conservative” enough was just a euphemism for his real problems. He’s a wimpy-looking wonk; he thinks too much; he’s not a “real man.” Look at the hasty retreat John McCain has made from any former position of his that might be interpreted as compassionate or tolerant. He’s shamelessly pandering for validation as a white man. He can’t let sand be kicked in his face like Inglis.

I’d like to think that white males like us are trying to evolve beyond the simplistic and vicious mindset of our demographic, and you guys certainly have the “cajones” to stand up publicly to the knuckle-scrapers, but a lot more of us, including the President, have to do so.

In fact, here is one of those AWM messages that was emailed directly to me, rather posted on the site. I thought I would share it with you here.

What is wrong with getting angry over the way this country is going into the crapper? You are the angry, racist man!! I have two words for you Tim Scott. I support him totally and do not buy into your explosive remarks.

...Who’s addicted to weaponry? White males. Who favors violent aggression and harsh revenge as the obvious solutions to all conflict? White males.

What the hell is this? If you were to say this about blacks....you would be deemed as racist....but it is ok to claim whites are likes this. If anything you have got your skin color wrong.

This country is going is in the toilet....we have the worst president ever....congress does not listen to the people...we have the supreme court not following the Constitution....unemployment is at 15-20%...deficit through the roof....Iran going nuclear....trips to Spain....I can go on.....and we ...whites....and everyone else is supposed to just roll over? I think not. If we are angry white men...then now you know why.

Good day to you sir. FBD

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