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  • elk_1l elk_1l Nov 7, 2013 4:30 PM Flag

    OT: WHY AMERICA'S ANGRY WHITE MEN CAN'T STOP OUR MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY FROM FLOURISHING

    Today's angry, white men look backward, nostalgically at the world they have lost.

    Huffington Post / By Michael Kimmel | November 1, 2013

    Remember Howard Beale? Played by Peter Finch in the movie Network (1976), the deranged former TV news anchor Beale tries to generate a social movement by admonishing viewers with a simple sentiment: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" Three decades later, there are still a host of Americans who feel mad as hell, and who are refusing to take it anymore.

    Like Beale, a lot of them feel blindsided by history, and their rage is turned outwards, towards scapegoats and unseen forces, but rarely, as in the film, at the cynical elites who profit from Beale's descent into madeness.

    And, like Beale, a lot of the current crop of the outraged are a lot of white men. Not all of them, of course. There are plenty of angry men of color and plenty of angry white women. Just look at those Tea Party rallies! But as a political movement, as the rank and file of America's fulminators -- whether the Tea Party or organizations on the extreme right wing, or the guys, always guys, who open fire on their classmates at school or their co-workers and colleagues at work, or the men, almost always men, who beat and murder those they claim to love, or the young men, always young men, who walk into movie theaters of places of worship with guns blazing -- well it's pretty hard to deny that they're virtually all white men. (And let us be clear: just because virtually all these cases are middle- and lower-middle class white men, does not for a nanosecond mean that all white men are crazed killers or white supremacists. All members of the Mafia may be Italian, but not all Italians are members of the Mafia.)

    Yet deny it we do, often by assuming that these outbursts are motivated by anything at all -- mental illness, access to guns, video games, whatever -- other than gender. We'd notice, of course, if it were poor black girls pulling the triggers in school shootings, or women who walked into their workplaces with semi-automatic guns firing, or all Asians or Jews or Latinos who were shooting up our movie theaters and political rallies. But white men? Must be some other factor.

    It seems so obvious, and yet so startling to see middle-class white American men, arguably the most privileged human beings on the planet (excluding, of course, hereditary aristocracies and the upper classes) fuming with such self-righteous outrage. (The comedian Louis CK gets this sense of privilege: "I'm a white man," he says, "How many advantages can one persona have?"

    So, to research my book, Angry White Men, I traveled the country and interviewed scores of these guys -- from "men's rights" activists who think white men are the victims of the new discrimination, to the "white wing" on the rightward fringes of the American political spectrum, who believe they are watching "our" country being snatched away from them.

    What unites them, I came to understand, was a sentiment I called "aggrieved entitlement." Raised to believe that this was "their" country, simply by being born white and male, they were entitled to a good job by which they could support a family as sole breadwinners, and to deference at home from adoring wives and obedient children. And not only do their kids and their wives have ideas of their own; not only is the competition for those jobs increasingly ferocious; they've also been slammed by predatory lenders, corporate moguls, Wall Street short-sellers betting against their own companies and manipulated by cynical elites into believing that their adversaries were not the ones downsizing, outsourcing and cutting their jobs, but those assorted others -- women, immigrants, gays, black people -- who were asserting their claims for a piece of the pie. The middle class white American man expected to be more Don Draper, all self-made , in control, and upwardly mobile. Instead he's more like William Foster, another fictional character who's fallen off the cliff into that dark abyss of despair, violence and madness.

    Today's Angry White Men look backward, nostalgically at the world they have lost. Some organize politically to restore "their" country; some descend into madness; others lash out violently at a host of scapegoats. Theirs is a fight to restore, to reclaim more than just what they feel entitled to socially or economically -- it's also to restore their sense of manhood, to reclaim that sense of dominance and power to which they also feel entitled. They don't get mad, they want to get even -- but with whom?

    Alas, that multicultural, democratic train has long ago left the station; it's impossible to imagine America rolling back the gains made by women, LGBT people, immigrants, people of color. Angry White Men may still strew some obstacles on that global path to greater equality, making the road bumpier. But its direction is clear. And the loudest screams are coming not from those whose fortunes are rising, but from those over whom the engines locomotives of history are rolling.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

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    • Elk-Don't you live in NYC? this is lame!

    • Elk, how sad it is to see you are resorting back to playing the race card by stirring emotions of gender and race to foment hatred in our society. Have you no conscience or sense of well doing at all? Both you and the Huffington Post should hang your heads in shame. No matter how hard we try to correct society's ills there will always be vermin like you ready to instigate and exploit these problems for their own gain. Human decency has its bounds and with your chicanery and deceit you will never get there. You are reaching new lows, elk and better do some soul searching.

    • As an angry white man I find this par for the course of elk's cut-n-pastes efforts. Ignorant, myopic and disparaging pap that instills prejudices in the drooling masses of morons.

      "A world they have lost"???? They bulk of white men never had it, just like the bulk of people period. Control of a majority of the world's land, resources, industry, media, and governments are in the hands of less than 10,000 people. The game they play is way beyond the comprehension abilities of the troglodytes whom have been conditioned to laugh at the mere thought of it's existence.

      • 2 Replies to cake_monkey_mayhem
      • Right on cake. Elk is showing us his true LWNJ character.

      • Re: "As an angry white man I find this par for the course of elk's cut-n-pastes efforts. Ignorant, myopic and disparaging pap that instills prejudices in the drooling masses of morons.
        "A world they have lost"???? They bulk of white men never had it, just like the bulk of people period. Control…"

        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

        "What unites them, I came to understand, was a sentiment I called "AGGRIEVED ENTITLEMENT." RAISED TO BELIEVE that this was "their" country, simply by being born white and male, THEY WERE ENTITLED TO A GOOD JOB BY WHICH THEY COULD SUPPORT A FAMILY AS SOLE BREADWINNERS, AND TO DEFERENCE AT HOME FROM ADORING WIVES AND OBEDIENT CHILDREN. And not only do their kids and their wives have ideas of their own; not only is the competition for those jobs increasingly ferocious; they've also been slammed by predatory lenders, corporate moguls, Wall Street short-sellers betting against their own companies and manipulated by cynical elites into believing that their adversaries were not the ones downsizing, outsourcing and cutting their jobs, but those assorted others -- women, immigrants, gays, black people -- who were asserting their claims for a piece of the pie. THE MIDDLE CLASS WHITE AMERICAN MAN EXPECTED TO BE MORE DON DRAPER, ALL SELF-MADE , IN CONTROL, AND UPWARDLY MOBILE. INSTEAD HE'S MORE LIKE WILLIAM FOSTER, ANOTHER FICTIONAL CHARACTER WHO'S FALLEN OFF THE CLIFF INTO THAT DARK ABYSS OF DESPAIR, VIOLENCE AND MADNESS.

        Today's Angry White Men look backward, nostalgically at the world they have lost. Some organize politically to restore "their" country; some descend into madness; others lash out violently at a host of scapegoats. Theirs is a fight to restore, to reclaim more than just what they feel entitled to socially or economically -- it's also to restore their sense of manhood, to reclaim that sense of dominance and power to which they also feel entitled. They don't get mad, they want to get even -- but with whom?s"

        Sentiment: Strong Buy

 
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