Another example of what happens when no Black or brown people are in the room but a media outlet still decides to tackle race and culture — Esquire’s latest issue.
The cover has a photo of 17-year-old high school senior Ryan Morgan who is from West Bend, Wisconsin on their March 2019 issue of Esquire. The text reads, “An American Boy” with a caption that includes, “What it’s like to grow up white, middle class, and male in the era of social media, school shootings, toxic masculinity, #MeToo, and a divided country.”
In the article, Ryan babbles about not being able to say what he wants whenever he wants, “I couldn’t say anything without pissing someone off … Lots of drama over politics. It ruined friendships and changed social groups. People were making friends based on their politics more than anything.” The piece explains, “Ryan, raised in Republican households, was surprised by the vitriol. ‘Everyone hates me because I support Trump?’ he says. ‘I couldn’t debate anyone without being shut down and called names. Like, what did I do wrong?’”
See the cover below:
Esquire has been slammed on social media. Esquire editor-in-chief Jay Fielden defended himself by saying, “What we asked Jen [the writer of the piece] to do—and she did brilliantly—was to look at our divided country through the eyes of one kid. Ryan Morgan is his name. He’s white, lives in the middle of the reddest county in Wisconsin, and, as you will see, he is an unusually mature, intelligent, and determined young man.”
He continued, “I’d like to thank Ryan here for the time he spent with Jen and photographer Justin Kaneps. He may be only seventeen—and as infallibly human as the rest of us—but I admire the courage he’s shown in speaking with us so openly about his life, and for agreeing to be on our cover. “I know what I can’t do,” he says, with some understandable frustration, at one point in the story. ‘I just don’t know what I can do.’ I suspect that although quite a few adults would agree, not many would have the guts to say it out loud.”
Actually, the story didn’t take any guts. You can hear Ryan’s narrative every day on Fox News.
Twitter wasn’t here for it. See below: