White Men…Am I Right?
Paul Manafort, Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, and now Andy Cohen…It seems that society is finally seeing that yes, oppression is intersectional. Men who are racist, are more likely to be sexist. Men who are homophobic are more likely to be xenophobic, etcetera. (Study link here) It seems that the connecting thread between all of these men is corrupted whiteness. White male hegemony is on display in each of these power dynamics, whether it is engineering a racist campaign for the Presidency of the United States, or wielding your power over people you see as subordinate to you and exploiting them for sex, or putting women in their “place” with good ole misogyny. The same “white power” that just marched in Tennessee, that undergirds and created manifest destiny and vulture capitalism, is at play here. This administration has proven that we are at peak “white male” right now and it is destroying the country and the world. As Paul Manafort walked unhandcuffed into police headquarters…I was reminded about Eric Garner on twitter by someone I follow. A white man can be charged with 12 counts of federal charges and walk uncuffed in a suit into police custody. Eric Garner was selling loose cigarettes on the corner and was murdered, choked to death in the street by police… As DeRay McKesson says #Watchwhitenesswork
(Left, Manafort going into police custody uncuffed facing 12 criminal Federal indictments. Right, Eric Garner, choked to death on the ground by police, for selling loose cigarettes.)
Now in all this I hear you saying but, but, what about Bill Cosby… Child, Bill Cosby stopped being black a long time ago, (Nikki Giovanni vs Cosby) when he waged war against our people by hurling his respectability politics at us from his ivory tower. Telling black mothers to be ashamed of themselves and telling our young boys to pull their pants up when he knows full well Martin Luther King was shot by white supremacy wearing a full suit and holding and earned PhD. I suggest Cosby had entered what he thought was the white protected space of Woody Allen and Roman Polanski…he forgot he was black. However he got his negro wake up call and the system is now coming for him. The system obviously should punish ALL rapists, it is interesting WHO we punish though, as Allen and Polanski remain free and unscathed. Again, #watchwhitenesswork
White supremacy cares nothing about the achievements of minorities. Degrees, awards, money do nothing to garner its respect. Andy Cohen cared not one whit that Kathy Griffin had earned Bravo two Emmy Awards, he still allegedly offered her cocaine before a show. Harvey Weinstein cared nothing about the level of fame the actresses he attempted to rape and did rape had achieved. None of those accomplishments protected them from the gaze of male corrupted whiteness. We are all victims of male corrupted whiteness in the policies of this administration that have changed Title 9, “pulled back” investigating civil rights violations, sought to give the far right the “freedom” to not issue social security benefits to tax paying citizens who are gay.
I offer you Stephen Paddock, now known as “the Vegas shooter.” ONLY a cis-gender white male could be allowed to traipse in and out of a hotel building, stocking a cache of weapons into an arsenal for three days. Imaine the multiple trips with misshapen bags he must have had to carry into that hotel, past security, and the front desk, onto an elevator and up to his room. Now if you will, imagine Eric Garner walking into that hotel with bags of fully automatic weapons and please tell me what would have happened… Paddock used his white male privilege to go unmolested through security and his whiteness gave him the pass to go undetected, to be above reproach and suspicion. We know how that ended, with 58 white, black and brown people dead and over 500 injured. White privilege kills us all.
Let me be clear, male whiteness is like fire, it can be used to help or harm. I pointed out how it can be used for good here. In these cases I have outlined, it is being used in its original purpose, to otherize, stigmatize and destroy anyone who is NOT a white male.
It has to stop. Do your part to dismantle corrupted whiteness and make it stop.
Do your work.