People like Tucker Carlson of Fox News and Senator Josh Hawley have been decrying the emasculation of the white male. (You didn’t think they would be concerned about the well-being of men of color, now did you??) There are multiple causes for this neutering, but a direct consequence to this emasculation is the breeding of a tsunami of locked and loaded white guys: insecure, grievance stricken, under-educated, mis-educated, disinformation educated, seething with hate and conspiracy theories. Because of their force-fed indoctrination, they embrace guns, racism, hate, decry scholarship and education, all colored with a false patriotism, and infused with the racist Replacement Theory mantra. ( “The “great replacement” theory, in simple terms, states that welcoming immigration policies — particularly those impacting nonwhite immigrants — are part of a plot designed to undermine or “replace” the political power and culture of white people living in Western countries.”)
In other words, they embrace ideas/things that will further emasculate them. In the process, they become instruments of violence, of divisiveness, seeking to fill the void in their lives left there from their arrested development of character, integrity, and education.
They are a seething mass of disinformation who feel marginalized, abandoned by politicians, looked down upon, and powerless: in other words, prime beef for a demagogue.
When you don’t instill in your son a sense of honor, values, a sense of integrity, morality, empathy, kindness, the void left becomes a magnet for weapons and hate, which serve to bestow a false sense of manhood, masculinity. Our nation has become saturated with armed white males who are causalities of the propaganda that the bigger the gun, the bigger the dick. The lack of character development, the sabotaging of education, disinformation saturation, history denying, is causing the emasculation. They ingest the delusion that guns make a man, that their most treasured asset is the size of their gun, rather than the content of their character.
The consequence of this indoctrination is the breeding of cowards, believing a gun infuses you with testosterone, courage. Dare I say Kyle Rittenhouse or the recent Buffalo shooter who was a big advocate of Replacement Theory, as promoted by Tucker to millions of viewers on Fox News.
This false masculinity has fostered the idea that ‘others’ are the problem, soldered in by disinformation, their lack of education and subsequent inability to engage in critical thinking, making them a magnet for conspiracy theories. And we have a new problem that further exacerbates the contamination: books are being banned, denying white guys access to our history, our culture, making them a sponge for propaganda and disinformation, further cemented by an anti-intellectual, anti-educational mindset, further emasculating them, consigning them to the bottom tier of society.
These lock and loaded eunuchs, evolve, or should I say, devolve, into Trump acolytes.
Now, one of Tucker’s solutions to white male emasculation is to have your testicles tanned with red-light therapy. I ain’t no oncology doctor, but I wouldn’t touch that with a ten-foot pole. Reminds me of Trump’s Clorox solution to Covid. One man actually took his advice and died.
So, when Tucker and Hawley whine about white males’ emasculation, what they are really talking about is the absence of character, an absence they perpetuated and enabled. It gets right-wing candidates elected because their constituents’ disability prevents them from critical thinking regarding issues. They devour the red meat scapegoats the disinformation right-wing politicians nourish them with, absent an inability to engage in critical thinking, they ingress the disinformation indiscriminately. Here’s the problem Tucker and Josh don’t recognize: character is fortified and built through education, moral and ethical enlightenment, absorption in the richness of other cultures, the study of history with all its stories of triumph and tragedy. Tucker and Hawley are lazy, trying to restore the limp d…, well, you know what I’m talking about, by offering up scapegoats (usually people of color), denying history, suppressing history, fighting common-sense gun laws—as if taking away a person’s AR-15 is the equivalent of castration.
I am reminded of Martin Luther King marching, knowing that a sniper bullet could kill him at any moment, but he kept marching, unarmed. I am reminded of the Berlin Wall coming down without one shot being fired. I am reminded of Gandhi, bringing the whole British empire down without one bullet being fired. That’s courage, not some guy flaunting an open carry weapon, who lives with the delusion that the gun gives him stature, power, which is simply a cloud illusion of strength.
And here’s a big secret I’m revealing to Tucker and Josh: manhood is constructed from taking responsibility, not embracing scapegoats, parroting grievances, seeking causes other than oneself for one’s grievances and discontent.
Yes, for white males, in ‘their winter of their discontent,’ the ones packing heat seek the source of their discontent by looking below them, rather than looking above them. And that strategy has never brought peace or salvation. The essence of irresponsibility is believing that some other person, group, race, or government is responsible for ones’ condition. Embracing scapegoats as THE cause of ones’ condition is a prescription for disability and embracing weapons ain’t never gonna bring you to the promised land.
To further disable the armed white male, right-wing leadership has decided that teaching the truth about American history will no longer be tolerated. The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah-Jones, is simply history, American history, with no hidden agenda but to nourish and enhance our culture by speaking the truth about America. The more uneducated the white male becomes, the more susceptible he is to propaganda, and a big slice of that propaganda is to have the white male blame people below him, the powerless, the voiceless, and need I say, people of color, rather than the people above them. Thus, the white male falls for the eternal con.
“And importantly, thus has it been possible to make poor and working-class white people believe that their interests lie in making common cause with their political leaders and economic betters. Common cause in whiteness: the idea that they might eventually share in the spoils, and the understanding that the discomforts and anxieties of their own precarious lives were due to –are due to-those below them rather than those above them.” Walter Johnson, The Broken Heart of America
Well, I’m glad that Josh and Tucker think that the white male needs some help. Unfortunately, they embrace a culture that breeds disinformation (actually, let’s call it for what it is—lies), and lies won’t rise one out of the darkness. The foundation of character is truth, and only by embracing truth can masculinity be restored.
“‘There’s much talk these days of what being a man entails. I’m more of a man than someone like Tucker Carlson will ever be because I have experienced grave injustice yet chosen the path of compassion, truth and forgiveness.” George Takei
Curt Strickland is one of the principal owners of Great American Art, an art and design company located outside Boston. Founded almost 40 years ago, Great American Art designs, manufactures and installs art throughout the country. Curt is also one of the principle photographers for Great American, specializing in landscape and cityscape images. His philosophy as an artist is embraced in GAPCO’s mission:
“Art should serve to heal, inspire, provoke, challenge and to offer hope – but most of all to connect… to remind us of our common humanity.”