Friday, October 05, 2018

Mascot of the Month: Acceptable Anger?

I listened to a Vox podcast with Rebecca Traister, and I have to say I stopped listening to it in the beginning. I found it to be a bit infuriatingly liberal. ....  But it was a long drive and I listened to the rest and I found it infuriatingly true. Which is worse in so many ways.

Ms. Traister had written a book that dealt with anger. Specifically, who's anger is acceptable. We have a long history, a national backstory in fact, built on acceptable male anger. The founding fathers dressed like native Americans and dumped tea into the Boston Harbor. American declared war against tyrants.

And that anger was just on display again in the Senatorial Kavanaugh hearings. Dr. Ford was believable because she was composed about her own trauma. Had she acted anything at all like Kavanaugh, she would have been laughed out of the room as a hysterical woman.  Just look at what Trump, the angriest man on the planet, sad about the woman trying to convince Senators.
"The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don’t fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love! #Troublemakers," Trump tweeted.

As for Judge Kavanaugh, his anger was understandable to all involved. The White Men on the Republican side that wouldn't even address Dr. Ford (after she asked them to even), leaped in ever angrier defense of Judge Beerfest.

The Acceptable Anger of Old White Guys

And look at our history.

The Civil Rights protest only worked as non-violence. Any anger was seen as black rage.

Even now, the big knock against Black Lives Matter is that they are angry. Angry about unjustified killing of black citizens at the hands of police. But if a white person happens to be harassed or killed by the police, the families are allowed to be furious on television.

The anger and fury of Trump rallies are acceptable. After the 2016 election, media went to great lengths to explain "white male anger" with Hillary Clinton. And yet, in the same breath, peaceful Black Lives Matter rallies were called riots of thugs.

White Male Supremacists tore up Charolettesville and killed someone, and the President called them good people on both sides.

I didn't originally find this believable. But the more I thought about it and looked, the more the truth of it hit me.

I don't expect this post to change anyone's mind. Hell, I feel very open-minded, but it took me a while to see this. It is easy to call out exceptions here, but in general, the anger of White Men in America is understandable or needs to be understood. The anger of women is hysteria. The anger of minorities is criminal rage. The anger of people over immigrant rights was over-reaction. The quietest kneeling of sports figures is disrespecting the flag.

Even headlines show this...

I have some thinking to do.