Angry White Man

"Affirmative action is a stain on the American soul."

A Stereotype Flip in which a white person (usually a man, as the title suggests) sees himself as a victim of injustice or unkind behavior at the hands of minorities or turncoat whites.

The type first appeared in large numbers in the mid-1960s, when "affirmative action" became official government hiring policy. This meant that a white person could experience "reverse discrimination" by being turned down for a job in favor of a member of a minority group, since the place of employment had quotas to fill and there already existed a proportionate number of whites. Now that affirmative action has been reformed so that economic status is taken into account as well as race, it isn't much of a controversy anymore — so the ire of the Angry White Man has shifted to less tangible targets.

He's frequently exasperated by overly generous attempts to incorporate minorities into the modern American cultural fabric (or not-so-modern, for that matter); media stereotypes of whites as stupid, unfashionable, and/or "un-ethnic"; the supposed scapegoating of white people for everything that goes wrong in the world; or just the general feeling that he soon might be the Last of His Kind. In fact, the very thought of homosexuals, women, and ethnic groups enjoying the same comforts as him is enough to make him cry oppression.

Will as often as not be played for comedy. If not... watch out!

Figuratively, the character doesn't have to be white, or a man. The trope can apply to any type of privileged character who is constantly railing against supposed discrimination against them.

The original prototype was probably Archie Bunker of All in the Family — although, in fact, he was a lot less angry than many of his successors.


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    Comic Books 
  • In Final Crisis, Grant Morrison introduced an Alternate Universe where Superman is black which has popped up in his DC work since. The Lex Luthor of that universe is still white, though. Whenever they clash (as seen in v2 issue #9 of Action Comics, Lex has to point out that he doesn't hate Superman because he's racist, he hates Superman for all the other reasons Lex hates Superman. Of course, Superman's an alien, so Lex's hatred of him can be interpreted as xenophobia no matter what color Superman is.

  • Late in the film Borat, the title character hitches a ride with some frat-boys. They go on about how minorities technically have an advantage in the US and that women are inferior to men. Two of them sued for defamation and tried to prevent the film being distributed on DVD, despite saying these things of their own free will and being treated fairly well in comparison to some of the other participants.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One episode of Louie has a comedian do a series of anti-Obama jokes. Naturally, he gets a pretty awkward reaction from the audience. Afterwards, he complains about how Obama only got elected because of white guilt and that white men have now become an Acceptable Target who aren't allowed to complain about anything.
  • Little Britain:
    • Marjorie Dawes, a privileged white woman who has it in for an Indian woman she frequently interacts with, acting as if her accent is unintelligible when it really isn't. When said Indian woman won the lottery, Marjorie exploded and claimed that as a British native, she's more deserving of a lottery win than some random foreigner.
    • Maggie the food critic. If she samples something that was made by an ethnic person or homosexual, she will projectile vomit on everyone within vomiting range in an attempt to purge herself of anything non-British.
  • One episode of Review With Myles Barlow had the titular character try being racist for a day. He takes it to the absolute extreme, refusing to shop at places with Asian employees, not using an umbrella in the rain because of their Chinese origins and living on a diet of white bread, since it's the only food he could find that's not of ethnic origin.

     Western Animation 
  • South Park:
    • Eric Cartman frequently invokes this trope, but in the episode Ginger Kids plays this up to its fullest when he believes he's turned ginger.
    • PC Principal is an inversion. His attempts to appear enlightened and sensitive towards other groups is little more than a mask for his intolerance of other white men who don't toe the line.
  • Invoked in Bordertown. The protagonist Bud Buckwald is a border security ranger who believes that Mexican immigrants will ruin the US...right before running into some white Spring Breakers making drunken asses of themselves.
    Bud: (After being pointed out as the only white guy at his neighbor's barbecue) "Is that some kind of insult? We're still in charge! We still have the Vice Presidency!"
  • Mallory Archer. The majority of her employees are white (and she only hired African-American Lana because she's not afraid to get shot), she's intolerant of gay people and complains about how immigrants do nothing but "drive around listening to rap and shooting all the jobs".