Just a Sea of White Dudes

I am tired of writing about white men.

I am tired of writing about Donald Trump and his vile bigotry and his gross corruption and his rank disloyalty and his incompetence and his belligerence and his brittle ego and his vainglorious tweets.

I am tired of writing about the investigations of Donald Trump because of his aggressive contempt for the rule of law and democratic norms. I am tired of writing about the (mostly) white men who are investigating him and the (mostly) white men who are running interference for him.

I am tired of writing about Donald Trump's sons, Don Jr. and Eric, and I am tired of writing about his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

I am tired of writing about all the other white men with whom Trump surrounds himself — Mike Pence, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, Steve Miller, Don McGahn, Marc Kasowitz, Jeff Sessions, Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, H.R. McMaster, Mike Pompeo, Steve Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, Tom Price, Ryan Zinke, Scott Pruitt, Rick Perry, and all the fucking rest of them.

I am tired of writing about all the white men who lead the Republican Party: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and all the white men who make up the majority of that party, and who sit around tables making decisions about things about which they have no business making decisions, like women's healthcare.

I am tired of writing about all the white men in the Democratic Party who sneer at requests to center women of color and elaborately roll their eyes at demands for intersectional analysis and accuse us of playing "identity politics" and tell us that we're the reason why Democrats lose.

I am tired of writing about all the white men whose votes are the only ones that seem to matter to either party anymore.

I am tired of writing about the white men in the political media, who take up all the oxygen and make stupid pronouncements about people and places they don't know. I am tired of writing about the white men in the political media who steal the work of women who were right long before they were.

black and white drawing of white men in tuxedos

The entirety of politics, with precious few exceptions, feels like just a sea of white dudes. And because I write about politics, I feel like all I do, with precious few exceptions, is write about that sea of white dudes.

This is fundamentally different than the previous eight years, in which our president was not a white dude, and the First Lady was present and a figure of national importance, and his Cabinet and the rest of his administration was meaningfully diverse — and that actually mattered. It felt different.

And it is wildly, distressingly different than what my hope was going to be for covering politics following the 2016 election. I was eagerly anticipating covering the first female president, who promised a cabinet comprised of 50% women, because she wanted "to have a Cabinet that looks like America, and 50 percent of America is women."

I was fervently looking forward to seeing that first female president meeting with her female staff and female advisors and female senators and female representatives and female foreign leaders.

Instead I am writing about a white dude who refuses to shake Angela Merkel's hand.

Writing about Hillary Clinton and her historic candidacy was one of the most meaningful highlights of my professional life — and I was expecting a future in which I would be able to write about her presidency, and the great women with whom she interacted as president.

Instead, there's just a Hillary-shaped hole where Hillary is supposed to be.

And an endless sea of white dudes asserts itself as a vicious throng, like a bunch of Agent Smiths ceaselessly replicating to assault our spirits and rescind our rights.

Forcing me to write and speak their names over and over.

And there are people who want to tell Hillary Clinton to go away. Who want to get rid of Nancy Pelosi. Who think that Donna Brazile should be quiet. Who believe that Kirsten Gillibrand or Maxine Waters or Elizabeth Warren or Gwen Moore or Tammy Duckworth or Kamala Harris or John Lewis or Elijah Cummings or Ted Lieu or Joaquin Castro are insufficiently progressive to warrant our support.

There's always a reason that I'm supposed to just keep writing about white men.

Well. I will, as politics obliges. But I'm not going to pretend I'm happy about it, nor that it doesn't matter.

I am tired of writing about white men. I've never been more tired of it, and that is because I had a chance to glimpse the possibility of more. And now I am resentful as fuck that we're back to this. This damnable pretense that there is something inherently better about white men.

If that were true, they wouldn't need to make such a cruel and comprehensive effort to keep the rest of us down.

Anyway. While they go about their business of enriching themselves while pretending to drain the swamp, I will continue to mention their names only in resistance, because I have bigger ambitions than draining the swamp: I'm fixing to drain the sea.

[Image credit: Pixabay.]

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