A Guidebook to the White Man Defensive: A Play-By-Play Account of What to Expect When A Privileged White Guy Fucks Up
We’ve all seen it. A white guy with opportunities at his feet, publicity, increasing career control, the ability to do what he loves to do for a living—he fucks up. Sometimes it’s something as small but annoying as a PR blunder, sometimes he says something really offensive in print or on video, sometimes he commits an act of violence, sometimes something gross leaks out about his past. The list is diverse and varied. It has happened since the beginning of time and will continue to happen until the end of time.
Again, we’ve all seen it. We’ve all encountered it, for better or worse. We’ve heard the stampede, choked on the dust kicked up by the feet of his army running to take their positions. They will be positioned, those army of bloggers who just love white dick. Here, I have made a playbook of the defensives they are likely to use so that when you are undulated by a wave of crying and mass hysteria from people whose blogs probably have a super ugly theme and autoplay music, you’ll be ready.
- ‘Oh, god forbid, he expresses an opinion!’ Variations: ‘We’re all entitled to our opinions!’ or my favorite, ‘just because you don’t agree doesn’t mean you have to be so mean!’ - This one often crops up in times of enormous PR blunders, when white guys sound super tacky in an interview, or when they make really offensive comments that a diverse audience is privy to. This one is a fairly benign defense, though extremely annoying, and while the sentiment holds water, the blogger often forgets that while we have free press—opinions!!—the continuation of that is that opinions are open to constant critique and/or ridicule if they’re exceptionally stupid—more opinions!
- ‘He’s only human!!’ – Oh, really? I thought he was a cyborg. My b.
- ‘We all make mistakes!!’ – Yeah, accept I didn’t have the great and amazing opportunity to discuss my craft with the New York Times Arts section where my ‘mistake’ was consequentially printed for the world to see.
- ‘That happened so long ago, I don’t know him he might have grown and changed since then!’ – This one is quite often hilarious, usually occurring in times when something leaks about the white man in question from years ago, maybe even pre-fame. Again, while the sentiment holds water—maybe they have changed, I don’t know!!—the insipid blogger in question fails to recognize that despite the white man’s burdensome human flaws, he still got to make the $$$ and acquire the fame and essentially…get off scot free. Because you know, apparently the anger of some bloggers who disapprove of his actions is too harsh.
- ‘He probably hates himself enough, we don’t have to do that for him!!’ – This is a defense I have actually seen. Like I saw it. With my eyes.
- ‘But he’s so great with his fans and his co-stars love him, oh yeah he must be so horrible!’ – Oh yeah and my hypothetical Uncle Berry might have bought me cotton candy at the state fair and come to my house every year for Christmas so we can reminisce about the time we built sandcastles on the California beach but that doesn’t excuse the fact that he uses racist slurs?
- ‘The journalist is twisting his words!!’ – This one is one of my favorites. If the statement was hugely horrible enough…a) did the white man sue for libel? Or b) did he make a public statement to correct his mistakes? In the age of Twitter, many of which these white guys have, it’s very easy to send out a quick apology or right an error if it was bad enough. My favorite though is when the same sentiment is repeated in 2+ interviews by the white guy and stans still will argue that the free press is just out to bring him down.
- ‘He’s a sarcastic guy, he doesn’t come off well in print!!’ – LOL
- ‘It’s the journalist’s fault for asking him that question, he had to answer it in some way!!’ – This often comes up when said white guy is asked a very politically-oriented question to which he has no clue how to answer. Well, maybe he should have expressed that he doesn’t know much about the question and said he wouldn’t answer it?? If someone asks me for my opinion on German government abortion law, I’m not going to answer because well…I am not well-versed in that area.
- And my favorite…twisting of the words to make it seem like the dude really meant to say something else. Like, just stop. Just. Stop. What are you, his publicist? Just stoppp.
So, the next time Tumblr’s white dudebro crush of the week fucks up, you’ll perhaps be a little bit on guard when you get that annoying anon in your inbox or are undulated by insipid bloggers in a tracked tag. I hope this guidebook has been helpful.