The Last Safe Space

On #Gamergate, Rap and Gucci Mane

In 2006, I worked in a warehouse with a white bread kid from a nice suburban neighborhood. This guy typed faster than anyone I’d ever seen, and when I asked him where he learned to type so fast, he told me, “video games.”

He’d grown up playing multi-player online games--various flight and war simulators, I couldn’t tell you the specifics. His demeanor was somewhere between broseph and “nerd-bomber” (as he would have put it) and he was genuinely funny. As he got to know me, he talked more about his online world, and I was surprised to find out that these kids were constantly calling each other “faggots” and “niggers” and far more inspired epithets. I was surprised because this guy was an atheist progressive who was studying to be an RN.

So, while I’ve never participated in the online gaming world, I’ve known for a long time that certain corners of it were serving as a kind of under-the-radar “Id”-dump for clean-cut White kids who had grown accustomed to following and internalizing politically correct norms in every other area of life.  It was a secret, unpoliceable and semi-anonymous zone where they could just run their mouths and shit-talk with complete impunity. It was cathartic. It was their “safe space.”

When all of the feminists and social justice warriors recently started making a concerted push to censor and control the “safe space” of online gaming--and make it safe for them, even though most of them have little interest in actually playing the games--I was only surprised that it had taken them so long to move in.

A few weeks ago, I had a drink at Ground Control with a #gamergate supporter who contacted me as the result of a Twitter thread. I wanted to get a better handle on what #gamergate was actually about. He said a few things about gaming journalism and corruption, which I couldn’t really care less about personally, and when I asked him about the social justice warriors and the feminist thought police, he told me he just wished they would “leave gamers alone.”

I told him that wasn’t going to happen--that feminists and various diversity officers had nagged and sued their way into positions of authority in every other area of public life, and now that they had their eye on games, it was only going to be a matter of time before major game producers, magazines and service providers caved, cried, apologized, and capitulated. There will be renegades and holdouts and “safe spaces” that users have to seek out, but the high rollers will get told and fold like they have in every other industry. If the Marines can’t keep out feminists, guys who play Marines on Xbox won’t be able to, either.

I try to avoid even hearing about the “issue of the week,” because I resent the fact that most of us let a handful of shrews in New York, DC, and LA to tell us all what to talk, write, and think about--but even from a distance I have to agree with Gregory Hood that #gamergate matters, “even if you have never played video games, or think no one should play them.”

A huge swath of American men, especially otherwise “well-behaved” White men, have been retreating into online gaming and hiding a dangerous, subverted part of themselves there for years, in a “safe space,” free from the guilt-trips, legal traps, mandatory lectures, and SJW-approved policies and social norms they have to negotiate in corporate, educational, recreational, and even domestic spaces. Anonymous online gaming (and Internet commenting, for that matter) has been a last redoubt, a last outlet for masculine rage, tribalism, simulated violence, and rough talk in a world run by bureaucrats, bent-over men, finger-wagging mommies, and double-talking harpy whores. And now, they aren’t going to let them run anymore. There’s nowhere else for these guys to go. What’s next?

This brings me to a running joke I’ve had with one of my lifting buddies. We’ll call him “Billy.”  (He asked me to change his name to protect his Tinder game.)

Billy is about as much of a street nigga as you can be when you’re a blond-haired, blue-eyed guy from Beaverton. For two to three hours a day, Billy insists that we train to hardcore rap. I hated it at first. I may have mentioned that rap is for White men who hate themselves and I may have mumbled all sorts of insensitivities under my breath.

But Billy taught me that rap is all about cultivating insensitivities.

Billy doesn’t dress black or talk black--aside from the occasional “fa sho” to let you know he’s paying attention. He doesn’t think he is black and he doesn’t want to be black. Actually, the way he listens to rap is kind of racist.

He’s not appreciating black culture in the way that Ken Burns appreciates black culture. He’s not singing along with Stevie Wonder about the sublime musical talents of Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. He’s laughing at--and along with--a bunch of completely degenerate criminal negroes.

The rap Billy likes is over the top in the way that GWAR and professional wrestling are over the top. Pretty much every track is about selling bricks of coke, beating hos, and threatening to murder other street niggas. The lyrics glorify violence, mayhem, drugs and degrading women, and every so often Billy will repeat some hilariously depraved rhyme, and then say, with a big smile on his face, “They’re SO CLEVER!

Billy just went back to school in the Portland area, so he’s chin deep in the world of diversity-speak and political correctness. He knows the right things to say and the right boxes to check to get through the system.

One day when we were talking about feminism or #gamergate, he pointed to the stereo and said, “This is my safe space.” So it’s become a running joke. Whenever he puts on his playlist--the “ghetto safari,” as I like to call it--he says, “I need to go to my safe space.”

No one blinks an eye when White guys listen to rap music in a gym or anywhere else. It’s cool to be “gangsta” and it means, theoretically, that you’re not something truly EVIL, like a “racist.” It just means you’re the kind of amiable caucasian who likes to chill out to jams about killin’ niggas, sellin’ dope, and runnin’ hos.  

People always ask me why I think White guys listen to rap. The answer is simple. White guys listen to rap because it gives them something they aren’t getting from White culture.

Mainstream White culture is emasculated and submissive. White men are constantly apologizing for being White, and for being men. They’re overly concerned with rules and social etiquette and with being “good men.” They’re limp dick beggars, begging women for sex and the whole world for forgiveness. They’re naive believers, repeating whatever feel-good fantasy women or gays or blacks or Mexicans make up about themselves to seem magical, misunderstood, or sympathetic. White men are so busy chewing up pencils trying to resolve the unresolveable paradoxes of their universalist moralities that any self-interested people or person can play them like puppets.

Hailing from the realm of “yes, ma’am” and “I’m so sorry,” White men look at rappers and see FREEDOM. Black rappers don’t try to carry the fate of humanity on their shoulders. They do what they want, when they want to do it. They see what they like and take it. Women -- including many, many White women -- seem to crawl under them for the privilege of getting pumped and dumped. To many young White men, black rappers are a wild shadow people who live fast and free in all of the ways that they can’t or won’t or dare not.

Hardcore rappers are insensitive in all of the ways that well-behaved White men are supposed to be sensitive.

Billy tells me that he always plays hardcore rap in his car when he picks up a girl for the first time, “so she knows how it’s gonna be.” So she knows they ain’t “a-courtin’.” There won’t be candlelit dinners or flowers or romantic comedies or Coldplay or Macklemore or Mumford and Sons. She’s gonna get Gucci Mane, she’s gonna get nailed, and then she’s gonna go home.

Feminists are going after gamerz for the same reason they keep going after frat boys. Because they think it’s going to be easy to bring them to heel. Because they know they were raised to play by the same rules. Because they know that White men are enslaved by their obsession with being “good men” and can be easily manipulated by moral shaming--no matter how unfair or unfounded the accusations. The interrupted Christianity of European civilization has stranded White men in a purgatory where their plight is to perpetually ponder their own sins and “privileges” whether real or imagined.

Gucci Mane isn’t having any of that. Erry day, he’s living free, punching bitches in the face and pushing them out of moving SUVs.

Well, OK, actually, he’s currently in prison for a weapons violation, but he says he’ll be out in 2015. And he’ll just have more credibility, and he’ll keep rapping about the same things.

Yet, the same feminists who freak out about White nerds wearing sexist shirts or objectifying them or saying mean things on the Internet can barely be bothered to write about men who actually abuse women and celebrate it. When they do try to pick a bucket of water out of the ocean of rap misogyny, they harass someone who they think they can control, like Eminem -- because he’s White--or some pop radio gimmick rapper. And when defensive White men try to point out rap misogyny to feminists, especially feminist rap fans, they get told, “Shut up White guy. You’re a racist.

Feminists have no power in the world of rap. Rap is “safe” because black rappers don’t care what crazy White and Jewish women think. They don’t argue with women about what they should say or do and they don’t axe for permission.

Can you imagine what Gucci Mane would say to a fat, 5- foot, ginger radfem with a megaphone calling him a sexist?

I’m not sure, but I would definitely watch that video.