The Corner

Turns Out the Penn State Horror is the Fault of White Male Conservatives

I was e-mailed this story from labor activist/blogger* Mike Elk, written under the banner of In it, Elk gives his, um, unique account of what was really going on when those misguided buffoons rioted over the firing of Joe Paterno. These are just excerpts, but if you think somehow I’ve selectively quoted, I encourage you to read the whole piece.

Penn State Riots About White Men Not Liking to Be Held Accountable

By Mike Elk

“If, like me, you scanned the crowds rioting at Penn State last night after the announcement of the firing of Joe Paterno, you may have noticed that nearly all the people there were white men. The riots were about white men not liking to be held accountable.

“As a native Pennsylvanian, I never once considered attending Penn State University. Penn State always seemed like a place full of cliquish white people recalling their glory years of making fun of the dorky kids in high school. More progressive white people and people of color went to big city state schools like Pitt or Temple while whiter, more conservative types tended to dominate the settings of the rural, fraternity-heavy Penn State campus.”

[. . .]

“Old, conservative white men around the state revered the football coach who stayed on well past his prime into his eighties. . . . Paterno’s perseverance in the face of his deficiencies was a beacon of hope for many white men in Pennsylvania who felt their power challenged by liberals and people of color seeking to change their ways.

“That’s why I paid attention to the crowd rioting on television at Penn State last night. The firing of Joe Paterno upset the natural order that white men like Joe Paterno could rule not based on merit — as Paterno’s coaching deficiencies showed — but because white men always had.”

Oh yeah? Well I was born in Bucks County, and I say every single idiot at those riots was a gay-married welfare queen selling stem cells to feed his thin-film solar habit!

Seriously, though, folks. Elk’s ideological purity is breathtaking. I had thought it could only be synthesized — for a few milliseconds at a time — under laboratory conditions, and then only with access to certain rare isotopes. I feel like Ron Burgundy after Baxter ate that entire wheel of cheese. I’m not even mad. I’m kind of impressed.

*UPDATE: Elk has asked for a correction, and I agreed to print the e-mail I received from him in full.

Daniel, I am demanding a correction to your story you described me as a labor activist. This is inaccurate since I receive absolutely no money from organized labor and calling me an activist infer that I do. Can you please correct this I feel this is an important point.

For the record, I don’t think what distinguishes an “activist” from a “non-activist” in a given field is monetary compensation. I think that’s an odd thing to think, actually. All I meant by calling Elk a labor activist is that he’s super-psyched about the idea of organized labor (a fact that can be gleaned by a cursory examination of his past writings). Maybe I should have called him a labor enthusiast.


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