To all you Alt-Right males out there, I hear you. I understand — to a degree — where you are coming from.
You believe in freedom of speech, you are sick of PC culture that you feel suppresses your right to be an asshole. I can be an asshole too, and I understand that activist snowflake students in places like Berkeley, whose lives revolve around policing gender pronouns can be incredibly annoying. You might think they are more dangerous to society than I do, but I get it.
Like you, I don’t like it when the government tries to tell me what to think about social issues. Like you, I enjoy being male and having a clearly defined relationship with women. I am the male in my relationship, and my wife is the female. There are no blurred lines, and I like it that way. Like you, I find the issue of transgenderism difficult to comprehend (and define), and like you it troubles me that young children are being told they can be transgender, or whatever gender they choose.
Like you, I have my issues with Islam. I think that liberals tend to give the religion a pass while openly mocking Christianity. This is a terrible double standard, and Islam can be deeply oppressive to women, gays and other religions.
Like you, I think Judeo-Christian societies have many benefits. They are generally open, tolerant and respect the rule of law. We have a deep tradition and history of art, culture and intellectual achievements that are equal to any other society on earth (and in some cases, superior).
All of this we can agree on. But here is where we differ.
The annoying snowflakes protesting on campuses around the country to get their safe spaces with cuddly toys are not a threat to America. They are confused, privileged teenagers who pose about as much threat to you as the geeky kids you probably bullied in high school. Annoying, yes. A threat? Not so much.
When the Obama administration actively sought to protect and further women and LGBT rights, I applauded it. You could argue some of this was virtue signaling, but it was virtue signaling for a good cause. While you might believe women now have more rights that men, the facts are not on your side as there is still a large gender pay gap that hugely favors men. While you might not hate gays or wish them ill, the fact is they need and deserve equal protection under the law and should have the right to marry just as you do. Even if you philosophically disagree with any of this, what the fuck does it have to do with you anyway? Why do you care whether women and LGBT rights are at the forefront of modern politics? I don’t feel threatened by this, and I suspect you do. You might want to ask yourself why.
When it comes to your “maleness” and your obsession with gender roles, you would do well to take a long hard look in the mirror. I’ve practiced Martial Arts for my entire life and have trained and sparred with some incredibly tough men (and women for that matter). Having been around real fighters (those who you would regard as “real men”), I can say unequivocally that the best of them are the most mellow, liberal people (outside of fighting) I’ve ever met. They are secure with their own masculinity and don’t feel threatened by gay people, transgendered people or women who wish to assert their right to live openly. Real men don’t care about strict gender roles or telling other people how to live. Personally, I’m a bit of a traditionalist, but I couldn’t care less how other people choose to live their lives. I have a transgender friend who was a man and is now living as a woman with his wife (whom she married when she was a “he”). It’s not my preferred lifestyle, but then my lifestyle isn’t theirs either.
When it comes to Islam and your obsession with getting it out of Western society, this says more about your intellectual deficiencies than anything else. I am critical of Islam in the way that I am critical of Christianity and Judaism. A literal interpretation of it is ridiculous, and those committed to enacting the worst parts of it should be subjected to the law of the land. But the vast majority of Muslims, just like the vast majority of Christians, interpret their religion in a peaceful, spiritual way that abhors violence and seeks cooperation with people from all walks of life. You interpret Islam literally, while most Muslims living in America interpret it through the eyes of history and a rich cultural context (of which you know almost nothing about).
You believe that western society is superior to all others and must be protected against rampaging Muslims and immigrants with foreign cultures and ideas. To believe this, you must be almost entirely ignorant of history and the enormous damage Western societies have wrought on almost every corner of the globe. We invaded Muslim countries to convert them to Christianity. We began the industrialized slavery of African peoples that lasted 400 years. A white, European Christian country massacred 6 million Jews in the name of racial purity and the advancement of the Aryan race. Our industrialized civilization has brought the earth’s eco systems to the brink of collapse. You may call this “advanced” but others rightly see it as genocidal. Personally, I see the good, and I see the bad. And one of the good things about our culture is its willingness to embrace other cultures and adopt ideas better than our own. You want to preserve a culture that borrowed, stole and subjugated thousands of other cultures. I want to admit where we went wrong and respectfully learn from other cultures. We could certainly learn a thing or two about living in harmony with our natural environment.
Mostly we disagree on this though. You believe in going after the most vulnerable people in society — blacks, women, the LGBT community and immigrants — to make your political points. You paint yourselves as victims of ‘feminazis’ and Black Lives Matters activists, poor white men disenfranchised and discriminated against in your own country. Which of course you are not. The persecution you feel is, to put it bluntly, a fiction of your imagination. Your ancestors were not enslaved for hundreds of years, beaten, raped and denied basic civil rights. Your ancestors were not murdered in the gas chambers of Europe or wiped out by European settlers. You live in a country where you aren’t at risk of being shot by the police for walking down the street. You live in a country built on slave labor, and you prosper from the institutions created by white men for the benefit of white men.
I’m not saying all white men are privileged, but compared to everywhere else on earth, you have it pretty damn good. You watch Fox News and read Breitbart.com because it reinforces the hate you feel for liberals, queers and minorities. Many of these people are often misguided, but really they just want to make the country a better, more equal place. When you attack them, it doesn’t make you look tough, or cool, or even like an asshole. It just makes you look very, very sad, and very, very weak.
The Alt-Right movement is the epitome of white mediocrity — a half baked, pseudo-intellectual ideology based on half truths and a huge amount of bullshit. If you buy into it, you aren’t just intellectually deficient, but weak minded too. Because no real man gains his confidence from beating up on those he knows he can.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.