Twitter lambastes Esquire for feature on Trump-supporting white teen during Black History Month
The piece in question, titled “The Life of an American Boy at 17,” covers the trials and tribulations of a 17-year-old High School student named Ryan Morgan from West Bent, Wisconsin. It is just part one of a four-part series called, “Growing Up in America Today.”Also on rt.com Retailer pulls ‘fake news’ shirt after journalist’s Twitter meltdown
In the piece Morgan recounts his day-to-day life in similar fashion to the 1992 Susan Orleans piece, “The American Man, Aged 10,” upon which it was based, though this time the subject matter is a teenage Trump supporter, surrounded by high schoolers who are predominantly anti-Trump despite Wisconsin being a red state.
“Everyone hates me because I support Trump?” Ryan says in the piece. “I couldn’t debate anyone without being shut down and called names. Like, what did I do wrong?”
1. The default setting of an american will always be white.2. @esquire has 0 Black/POC in management.3. This has been a sh*tty Black History Month. February needs to just end already.4. @JenPercy this article is 🗑🗑🗑.— Chocolate Boy Wonder (@IAmLeoGlaze) February 12, 2019
This is how y’all choose to celebrate Black History Month?Oh.— ricky, phd (@prettyrickyroo) February 12, 2019
how ! is!! this!!!! real!!!!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/r3BljOWJEQ— Fran Tirado (@fransquishco) February 12, 2019
The online outrage machine quickly kicked into full swing, asking why a white, straight male teenager was chosen, especially during Black History Month.
Esquire editor-in-chief Jay Fielden answered critics in a piece titled, “Why Your Ideological Echo Chamber Isn’t Just Bad For You,” in which he discusses his own 15-year-old son's difficulties navigating an ever-changing social and political landscape. He also highlights that the series will also cover growing up as young black, LGBTQ, and female in America.
Regardless of explanations, online commentators have directed their ire at the publication for its seemingly glaring insensitivity in publishing a piece on a white male teen during Black History Month.
do my eyes deceive me or is one of the arguments in that esquire editor's letter "parties used to be more fun when i could say anything i wanted to anyone"— rachel syme (@rachsyme) February 12, 2019
Black History Month: —Esquire Editorial Staff: pic.twitter.com/e2m2QruJa9— Lara Witt (@Femmefeministe) February 12, 2019
The piece is described as a “look at our divided country through the eyes of one kid” and seemingly exposes the deep divisions within contemporary American society. Not everyone sees the big deal, however.
There's your answer why do black people get a whole month? A bit excessive don't you think? There are other races not just blacks but they don't get a whole month of history only blacks do....and since this whole "white privilege" bs started whites are becoming the new targets.— 🧸Ellie 🧸 (@hazeleyesgirl2) February 12, 2019
So the color of his skin and his political leanings dictate whether or not his story is worth telling? Do we not see the hypocrisy? Is EVERYTHING is about race?— Zach (@ZachManManMan) February 12, 2019
If this is to be a series, spanning multiple viewpoints and individuals, why oh why oh why would you start here? This month? Is the controversy good for magazine sales?— xenophile (@xenophile) February 12, 2019
These comments are so absurd. Y’all just hate straight white males. We get it.— Daniel Bostic (@debostic) February 12, 2019
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