Entitlement, Misogyny and Racism: White Male Rage Is America’s Biggest Threat
On this episode of democracy-ish our hosts address the single greatest threat to America: “crazy fucking white men,” says Danielle. “If you look at everything that is wrong, it comes back to white, right-wing, gun-toting Christian zealots.”
There’s a common thread in so many recent headlines, whether they’re about mass shootings, police violence or suppressing peaceful protests = white male violence.
What’s behind the aggression of so many men, who inherently have more power in our society? Who’s to blame for their behavior, and will it ever change?
Toure and Danielle discuss two captivating videos that came out this week that couldn’t be more different, but are equally enraging: HBO’s new docuseries on QAnon, and a viral clip of a white woman slinging the N-word at a Black cashier in Queens.
Months after the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, white male rage continues unabated.
White men perpetrating mass shootings and white cops who emphasize with them. White police suppressing peaceful rallies, and white cops getting away with murder.
Danielle thinks she needs “a year sabbatical” from America.
“You can't escape America,” says Toure. “It’s the lone superpower.”
“What’s super about it?” she replies.
He’s not saying super like it's great: “When folks say America is the greatest country in the world –– it’s definitely not. But that doesn’t matter.”
For him, the important question to ask is: Is America as great as it could be?
“The answer is absolutely not, he says. “Not even close. But I don't think you can leave America and escape the impact of America. America's mistakes and its troubles bleed into the rest of the world in a way that no other country’s do.”
Toure thinks of a brilliant TikTok Neil deGrasse Tyson posted the other day, in which he observed that some states require you to wear a mask, and some states do not.
“So it’s like having a pool where there’s a designated area where you can pee,” Toure explains. “It’s like American lunacy, violence, rapaciousness –– they have an impact on the whole globe.”
Blame the white moms
When we see mass shootings –– which are overwhelmingly committed by angry young white men –– we inevitably talk about mental health and gun safety, says Toure.
“But maybe we need to talk about why there are so many angry young white men.”
Imagine if most of the recent mass shootings were perpetrated by Black men, Danielle says.
“Can you imagine what would be being said about Black and Brown mothers, and how they’re failing their sons? Can you imagine how we would be pathologizing what is happening in this community that’s clearly troubled?”
Anger and violence –– and whiteness –– is the common thread between most of these tragedies, but we don’t even ask the question –– “the same way we would about any other fucking community: What is going on with white families?”
Toure says he doesn’t want to “lay it all on the doorstep of white women,” but Danielle wonders why not.
“We don't lay enough on their doorstep,” she says.
White entitlement is a ‘golden ticket’
If he were to hazard a guess, Toure thinks white male rage comes from a sense of entitlement.
“They may not be fully able to articulate this,” he notes –– but it seems they have a thought process that says, I should be in the center of things, I should be powerful. I should be having life go my way.
When it doesn’t, guys get depressed and angry, even though not getting what you want is just... part of life. But so many of them are too young to know that yet, or maybe they have a chemical imbalance, he adds.
We should talk about why that entitlement exists, says Danielle: “America has reflected back to you that you are a golden child if you were born white and male and straight. That is your golden ticket. You are in Willy Wonka's factory, and everything is going to be at your fingertips. And then when it's not, you d