Ijeoma Oluo, Medium - May 2018
"... white male anger is steeped in a lie. It is fighting for what they were never going to have. For the promises that were never going to be fulfilled. White men are the only people allowed to fully believe in the American dream and perhaps that is the cruelest thing to have ever been done to them and the world that has to suffer their anger as they refuse to let go of a fantasy that we were never allowed to imagine ourselves in.
White men who shoot up schools and workplaces are not murderous monsters, or mindless thugs. They are “lovesick” or “misunderstood” or “tragic.” Hundreds of thousands of words are dedicated to finding the reasons why someone with so much promise could have fallen so far.
But how much promise was there really?
How much promise is there in a life where you are told that all you have to do is exist in order to inherit a kingdom. How much promise is there in a life where your mediocrity is constantly applauded and every hero looks like you and every love interest is a supermodel, but at the end of the day you will be working in a cubicle with everyone else and your only consolation is that you will be making $1.50 an hour more than the women and people of color in your office?
How much promise is there in being told that your culture is the only one worth knowing, and that your language is the only one worth speaking? How much promise is there in never having to say you are sorry, never having to say you are wrong, never having to say you don’t know?
Many Americans love to laugh at the ridiculousness of monarchy. At these backwards countries who believe that simply by being born, these bluebloods deserve to rule entire populations. But what is white male supremacy in America if not an overabundance of kingdom-less monarchs who can’t even speak French?
A few weeks ago I was sitting at a stoplight and realized that I wasn’t quite as sure how to get home as I’d initially thought. As I punched the “home” button on my Waze app on my phone I heard shouting to the right of my car. I looked over and there was a white man in an SUV waving his arms at me and yelling. He was furious that I’d dared to look at my phone in my car. He was oblivious to the fact that I was trying to actually be a safer driver by knowing where I was actually going. He just knew that he had pulled up next to me and I had my phone in my hand and he had to do something. He leaned out of the window of his SUV and spittle flew out of his mouth as he angrily shouted.
I looked straight ahead as he screamed, becoming angrier and angrier. I was afraid that he might be armed, he seemed out of control. The light turned green and I pulled forward, but the man next to me was too busy yelling to notice right away. Then, angry that I had pulled forward before him, he sped ahead with such force that I could hear his tires squeeling. He peeled in front of me and then had to swerve out of the way at the last minute to avoid hitting a car that was stalled around the corner. I shook my head in wonder at the absurdity of it all.
I wrote about the weird event on facebook, figuring if anything, it would be entertaining to my friends. Within a few seconds a commenter, a white woman, said, “Let me guess, this was a white man?” She had her own story about being yelled at for driving in a way that a white man disapproved of. Soon, many others were sharing their stories. Women who had been threatened. One woman who had been yelled at by the same man twice on two different occasions, a man who apparently yelled at women so often that he was unable to recognize her the second time. One woman talked about a rock being thrown at her car because a white man didn’t like how she drove. One white man tried to drive a friend of mine off the road. Another rammed a woman’s car. ...
Read full article at Ijeoma Oluo, Medium