Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of the Era

“Heaven help the God-fearing, law-abiding, Caucasian middle class, Protestant or even worse evangelical Christian, Midwest or Southern or even worse rural, apparently straight or even worse admittedly [heterosexual], gun-owning or even worse NRA card-carrying average working stiff, or even worse of all, male working stiff. Because not only don’t you count, you’re a downright obstacle to progress.” Charlton Heston

The above quote, which was quoted in Angry White Men, provides introspection onto what white men in America see as a problem. These men feel as though what they deserve or have earned is being slowly ripped away from them in the name of equality. However, equality is not threatening their rights, they just feel unsettled by the fact that they wouldn’t be allowed to do what they wanted without repercussions anymore. People who are against the concept of “political correctness” or anti-sexual assault laws aren’t against things that would hurt their rights, it just helps improves the protections of others. However, as the book suggests, history was built for white men by white men, so obviously they are not going to take other people’s equity lightly. The angry white men of the United States are prevalent everywhere– I went to high school with these people, I have been neighbors to these people, and we watched people just like those Kimmel interacted with storm the Capitol building. Today, Donald Trump was acquitted for a second time, and that acquittal shows that the angry white men have nothing to fear, as white men still control the history and narratives we get to tell.

As someone who has read both Columbine and A Mother’s Reckoning, I think Kimmel’s analysis of the angry white boy was very interesting. The most important Kimmel makes in this section is something we have heard recently time and time again, if it wasn’t white men the reaction would be way different. If it wasn’t white men at the Capitol, would they have been able to make it into the building? If it wasn’t white men last January in Richmond, would they have been allowed to be armed? Many people, me included, believe that this is not the case, white men fear their rights taken away, but they are blind to the fact that so many of the things they are able to do or feel comfortable doing are not things others can do.

In the last part of the reading, Kimmel quotes something that says “the time for all aryans to attack is now not later” which is aggressively reminiscent of Donald Trump’s “stand back and stand by” which was directed towards the Proud Boys. These quotes parallel each other and shows that what Kimmel was seeing in the time it took him to write the book didn’t go away. The relationships between these quotes also alarmingly connects Trump to the Extreme Right which he has been connected to time and time again. The members of the extreme right see themselves as the defenders of our democracy, but they are the ones truly threatening our democracy.

Alex Lagon

1 Comment

  1. You have done a good job discussing the texts relevance to other readings and the current political landscape, but I need you to demonstrate that you have completed the reading. I can’t actually tell based on what you have written here. Check minus.

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