Fænomenet er velkendt, og velsagtens en medvirkende årsag til at elitens børn drages mod det venstreradikale miljø. Et kulturelt betinget selvhad, der tøjles med en kamp for ‘marginaliserede, for ‘arbejderklassen’. Den for mig ukendte James Blake skriver i essayet herunder, at han i sin ungdom følte at han havde ‘the sensitivity of a female but in a male’s body’, og det kommer ikke som en overraskelse, at han i dag er gift med den feministiske aktivist Jameela Jamil. Det minder lidt om den ikoniske scene i ‘Blomsterbørns børn’ (1984), hvor en ung Michael J. Fox, besnæret af kvindelig ynde springer ud som feminist: “I am a woman.”
Essay af James Blake hos forlaget Penguin – ‘How can I complain?’ (via DR online)
“It’s especially easy to poke fun at the idea that a white man could be depressed. I have done it myself, as a straight white man who was depressed. In fact, I still carry the shame of having been a straight white man who’s depressed and has experienced suicidal thoughts. And still, when discussing it with most people, I will play down or skirt around how desperately sad I have been…
I wanted people to know how I felt, but I didn’t have the vocabulary to tell them. I have gone into a bit of detail here not to make anyone feel sorry for me, but to show how a privileged, relatively rich-and-famous-enough-for-zero-pity white man could become depressed, against all societal expectations and allowances. If I can be writing this, clearly it isn’t only oppression that causes depression; for me it was largely repression.
I’m still not sure I fully believe I am entitled to be depressed or sad at all, because I’m white and cisgender and male, and life for people like me is undoubtedly the easiest of any group. But my privilege didn’t make me want to stick around, and it makes me feel even more embarrassed for having let myself go. …
When the delusional mental force field of whiteness finally popped (the ‘psychosis’ of whiteness, as Kehinde Andrews puts it, which most white people are still experiencing – I was still able to reap the now obvious benefits of being white, straight and male but without the subconscious ability to ignore my responsibility to the marginalized), I started having the uncomfortable but rational thought that my struggle was actually comparatively tiny, and that any person of colour or member of the LGBTQ+ community could feasibly have been through exactly the same thing and then much, much more on top of that. A plate stacked until it was almost unmanageable. For me it became embarrassing to mention my child’s portion of trauma and sadness. …
I for one felt like Donald Trump, starting with $413 million and ending up broke and lying about my tax records. Maybe then it’s no surprise that so many disaffected white men identify so deeply with him. (It should be noted that I absolutely don’t.) That and our shared love of doing anything we want and saying whatever we like without consequence to ourselves.
That shared love has rightly led to a debate about what white males are entitled to say and do. I believe we’re entitled to no more than anybody else, which at this point requires a lot of listening and rebalancing. I also believe everybody is entitled to pain, no matter how perceptibly or relatively small that pain is. I don’t want the shame around depression and anxiety in privileged people to become worse any more than I want it for the marginalized. Because without addressing that pain we end up with more cis-gendered white male egomaniacs who bleed their shit on to everybody (and some of them will write albums about it).”
“Jeg er stadig ikke sikker på, at jeg har retten til at være deprimeret eller trist, fordi jeg er en hvid og ciskønnet mand, og fordi livet for mennesker som mig uden tvivl er det nemmeste.”
“Jeg begyndte at have den ubehagelige men rationelle tanke, at min kamp faktisk var relativt lille, og at mennesker med en anden hudfarve eller seksualitet end mig kunne have gået igennem nøjagtig det samme som mig, bare med alt muligt oveni.”