You could be forgiven for thinking that we’re witnessing the end of the era of the white man. Headlines saying such are not hard to come by, after all, and media and academia are captivated by the notion that we white men must soon give way to women and people of color and, like, gray ace demisexuals or some such. So funny, then, and so profoundly American, that some of the most successful self-marketers of the 21st century are white men. They are, in fact, Good White Men.
These are the guys who have carefully crafted personas as ALLIES, as the good ones, as the right kind of white guy. These are the dudes whose every engagement on social media functions to let you know how very sorry they are, but always seem to come out on top in doing so. These are the guys who always stand behind women, ready to catch them when they fall, which they will inevitably do because of fucking patriarchy, man, and if people would just read their bell hooks maybe we’d be getting somewhere!, please like share and subscribe. These are the guys who think all complaints about identity politics, political correctness, and cancel culture are just the dying gasp of reactionary old men, which is why they lie awake at night praying to god that they never get canceled. These are the guys who put their pronouns in their bios in hopes that doing so might get them a little pussy. These are the guys who will harangue you about how white dudes do this and white dudes do that, speaking to you from their blameless white dude mouths in their righteous white dude faces. These are the guys who look at the discourse about white supremacy and patriarchy and see market opportunity. . . .
Second, standing up and demanding that everyone pay attention to someone else sure is a good way to monopolize attention for yourself. If you go on your podcast, blog, cable news show, or social network as a white man and tell other white men they need to shut up and listen, you are definitionally not shutting up and listening – and, of course, doing so in such a way as to receive credit for doing it. Put another way, Good White Men constantly tell other men and white people to step back and listen but absolutely never shut the fuck up themselves. Each of these guys could walk the talk by just unplugging and no longer filling the airwaves with their opinions, and in so doing cede space to POC and women and whoever else. That they don’t is the most damning indictment of their project.
Plus: “Now Chris flatters people who have a favorite ‘podcatcher’ app for a living, telling the world’s Sarah Lawrence graduates that when they feel better than everyone else, they’re right. He’s a living, breathing laundromat for the post-collegiate elite’s ugly feelings of superiority, reassuring them every day on his show that their snobbery and self-obsession are justified thanks to their superior moral virtue. (Politics, for Good White Men, is always assumed to be perfectly coterminous with moral hygiene.) This is the basic financial transaction of the Good White Man, selling back to his audience their own feelings of smug righteousness through the unconvincing application of desultory political framing. . . . I genuinely cannot remember the last time this man made an argument on his show that risked offending subscribers to the New York Times. He has tweeted 160,000 times; I challenge you to find one that dares to be anything less than perfectly anodyne to the median suburban liberal Democrat.”
Also: “This man is the basic bitch of Good White Men, a computer-generated NPC of a Noble Ally. Everything about his performance (and, if you’ll forgive me, his face) is so perfectly in the center of Good White Manness, I half suspect he’s been created by a creepy machine learning algorithm designed to mimic embittered social studies teachers who always told themselves they were destined for more.”
And: “I’m sure he’s cooking up an endless jeremiad about how most dudes just don’t know how it feels to be a woman, man. He would almost be charming if he didn’t use’“white dude’ as an insult so habitually. Doctor, heal thyself – I have never seen a whiter man than you.”
Many more biographical sketches at the link.