When your little brother is alt-right

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com, or follow me on Twitter.

A sad/funny story about dealing with a brother who is alt-right, written by a sister who is not alt-right:

the cool thing about having an idiot alt right supporting brother is when he gets mad over dumb shit my sister and i go “It’s concerning how such a small thing triggers such a strong reaction from you.” in the family groupchat and he’ll see the word “trigger” in relation to him and go fucking nuclear

the downside about having such a dipshit brother is literally every thing else about him

case in point: he’s angry about Stranger because she knocked over a glass he left on the counter overnight and said if we don’t find her owner by tomorrow he’ll throw her out the window.

I went “It’s concerning how something so small triggers such a strong reaction from you. Stranger is a kitten, and we’ve only had her for a few days. Maybe you should calm down before threatening violence to a fucking kitten.”

This escalated his anger, and he started texting back how he won’t really hurt her, but he doesn’t want her to track litter everywhere. My sister responded “Maybe you can keep your door closed while she stays with her so it’s a safe space away from cat hair and kitty litter.”

We heard him yell from upstairs and he turned off his phone.

Obviously I’m not alt-right, but I have some sympathy for anyone trying to start their adult life right now. The biggest problem is rent: getting one’s own place costs a lot of money. The happiest year for the average-male-wage/average-rent ratio was 1958, which just happened to be the peak year of the Baby Boom, for obvious reasons. At that time, it seemed completely normal that when a man turned 18 he and his wife and their first child would move into a nice new apartment. I wrote about this in Do men become war like if they don’t have women?

The USA in 1958 had many social problems, including the deeply embedded structural racism and the pervasive sexism: the overall unfairness of the system. But it was the New Deal era and in some sense 1958 was the best year in history to be a young white male. I know, from my parents, that at that time progressives were hopeful that non-whites would eventually be brought up to the same level of prosperity as the whites. Of course, what actually happened was much worse: working class whites were dragged down to the level of poverty that had once been the exclusive hell of the blacks.

As has been said by many people smarter than I, the huge upward surge in wages during the New Deal era was driven by an alliance of working class whites and working class blacks. If the working class whites could put their racism aside, a similar progressive alliance could be built again.

It is tough to feel much sympathy for people who voluntarily send themselves to hell, but it is also true that things are much worse for young men today than back in 1958, when an 18 year old male could enjoy a good wage and his own place to live.

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