If you want to hear some genuine, high-quality whining about having your voice silenced you can’t do much better than to turn to any given white person in a position of power. Consider some recent examples:
Eccentric billionaire Elon Musk is so used to nothing but fawning media coverage that extols him for how brilliant and wonderful he is that one slightly negative article about his Tesla electric car has him wondering how to “crowdsource the truth” in journalism.
Professional internet racist Tomi Lahren had water thrown at her at brunch and it was the WORST THING EVER, KAREN! The incident has caused her to freak out about being heckled and censored, which is rich coming from the same person who believes that any form of protest by black people in response to unwarranted police killings or other true indignities is invalid. She even got a call of support from the President, who also tweeted out how strong she was in the face of such harsh behavior.
Not, to my knowledge, receiving such support and validation is Milwaukee Bucks rookie Sterling Brown, who was tased by police for a parking violation.
Meanwhile the NFL approved a new policy that would fine players who take a knee while on the field for the National Anthem as well as leverage a penalty against that team when gameplay gets underway. That lead the vice-president to praise the decision and the president to mull whether those taking a knee in protest over police violence should even be allowed to stay in the country.
The NRA, tired of being made to feel as if they have something to do with the endless stream of gun violence in this country, is floating the idea of asking Congress to place restrictions on how the press can cover mass shootings. They do this out of the “we don’t want to glorify the shooter” rationale but it’s really just because they consistently are called on the carpet in the general public as enabling these incidents.
All this comes just a few weeks after the much-derided publication of a New York Times profile of the “intellectual dark web” which, to borrow from Linda Richman, is neither intellectual nor located on the actual dark web. Instead it’s mainly just a bunch of alt-right media millionaires who don’t like being told their ideas are sexist, racist or both.
It’s funny, though, because there are like three NYT op-eds a month that come from columnists espousing deeply conservative beliefs that often dip into terrible depths of racism and sexism – including a recent defense of “incels” as men wrongly denied the sex they so clearly deserve as well as the notion that women should be placed into what amounts to chattel slavery to service them as a way to curb men’s violent tendencies – while just last year the paper issued updated social media guidelines telling staff to not get too political online. It also recently reminded freelancers they would be held to the same standard.
It’s tough out there for a First Amendment, which is easily cast aside in the name of Second Amendment rights, protecting billionaires from harsh words and making anyone think about systemic racism. All those oppressed alt-right mouthpieces are forced to take to the New York Times or Washington Post to talk about how they can’t have their voices heard and their viewpoints discussed in the mainstream media.
Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.