Monday, August 3, 2015

An Online Safari: When Toxic White Masculinity Talks Back on Youtube

My recent open letter to White America about the perils of toxic white masculinity has caused some upset. I have apparently broken some unstated rule in American public discourse. "There is no such as fight club!" has apparently been replaced with "there is no such thing as white masculinity!"

Moreover, there is especially no such thing as toxic white masculinity.

The open sewer that is the Right-wing media and their thrall trolls who pollute and muck up the comment sections of many websites has provided much entertainment in response to my piece on toxic white masculinity. Writing online is a type of anthropological fieldwork: those who are enraged and upset by some basic truth-telling about toxic white masculinity are providing wonderful examples for study.

This response on the Right-wing trough urinal known as Red State is typical:
On the liberal sites, and increasingly on conservative sites like Breitbart, I am finding a preponderance of click-bait such as this horrific piece on Salon titled “Dear White America: Your toxic masculinity is killing you.” I linked to it out of a sense of journalistic accuracy but I implore you not to click and read this clearly trolling fragment of flotsam floating down the storm drain of Salon’s liberal sewer. 
There’s no point to this open letter other than to present a racist view of America that would make David Duke blush with embarrassment, where “White America” is filled with brainwashed, testosterone-overdosed rednecks who blindly follow the GOP (which, from its author’s point of view, is the effluent of Hell). The only point is to induce people to click on the post to read it, and either cheerily agree with it or violently disagree. A post like that has no middle ground, and no call to action or thoughtfulness other than if you’re white, you must agree that you are trash.
We have a great opportunity when someone who is angry about your online work records a Youtube video where they attempt to read and respond to it. I am not "punching down". No, this clip by "Jim Doug" is a wonderful and rare chance to hear the white racial frame and white fragility attempt to process reality through the white racial paranoiac gaze.

Jim Doug's video is instructive. It is much of what scholars and those others who study whiteness, white privilege, and systems of racialized power write about in the abstract, but rarely have a chance (except for social psychologists) to hear in process from a given white individual. As Jim Doug reads Dear White America: Toxic White Masculinity is Killing You, you can quite literally hear the gears turning in his mind as he misunderstands and misinterprets the words and concepts in front of him in order to default to the dominant white victimology frame.

This Youtube video is a type of safari, it is one that is very helpful and illuminating for those of us who want to understand the power of white racial ideologies in what is supposed to be a "colorblind" age.

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