The South African edition of left wing media site The Huffington Post has published an opinion piece accusing white men of being a retrograde force in politics and calling for the vote to be withdrawn from the racial gender group as a means to advance the “progressive cause”.
Writing on the potential to run down the political and social influence of “toxic white males” by withdrawing their right to the ballot, Huffington Post contributor Shelley Garland — who describes herself as an “activist and a feminist” student who is “working on ways to smash the patriarchy” —says the change only need be enacted for 20 to 30 years or so. This period would “go some way to seeing a decline in the influence of reactionary and neo-liberal ideology in the world”.
Blaming white males for “Some of the biggest blows to the progressive cause in the past year” including Brexit and the election of President Donald Trump, Garland’s apparently serious piece claimed just a couple of decades of white men being excluded from elections could see such progressive leaps forward as the collapse of Western law and capitalism, and a massive redistribution of wealth from “toxic white masculinity” through “expropriation of these various assets”.
Among the charges laid at the feet of white males by the author are the 2008 recession, and “500 years colonialism, slavery, and various aggressive wars and genocides”.
If this was about any other group it would be the end of @HuffingtonPost
— Ben Harris-Quinney (@B_HQ) April 13, 2017
The extremely sexist and racist nature of the piece has been noted by many on social media. Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of Britain’s oldest Conservative think tank The Bow Group, took to Twitter to suggest that had the piece targeted any other minority group as opposed to white males, it would “be the end” of the online publication.
Social media users also speculated on the likelihood of Shelley Garland merely being a pseudonym, with some pointing out her lack of presence on the internet besides The Huffington Post. A parody account for Garland created after the article was published joked about the amount of “[white male] tears” shed for the piece, and rejected the notion she was a work of fiction.
The implication that I was created by @HuffingtonPost to spread their opinions or that I wasn't properly vetted is absurd!
— Shelley Garland (@garland_shelley) April 14, 2017