The authors of I am So Sick of White Guys do not hate white guys. In fact, they are white guys. But when news of the political satire colouring book hit the wires, the far-right hit the ceiling.
The book was intended as a ‘stress-reliever’ that would provide a few laughs for liberals and progressives who are concerned about the direction in which the current administration is moving the country (e.g., 90+% of appointees for posts and judgeships are white males). As such, the colouring book includes a series of cleverly crafted images with sarcastic political captions and comments. The backlash, however, was immediate, massive and hostile.
The book was profiled in a USA Today feature story in mid-December, and that’s when news of the book went viral. Not only was the story picked up by other mainstream newspapers and news websites, but it also caught the attention of many of the most notorious alt-right websites. What may have added to the feeding frenzy, in addition to the controversial book title, was a cover illustration depicting President Trump as a puppet of Russian President Putin.
Within the first hour that the USA Today article was live, the Amazon.com page where the book was assaulted with negative book reviews. Who are they? People who have not read nor purchased the book. It appeared to be a coordinated campaign to get Amazon to take down the book. Subsequently, Amazon blocked reviews from non-purchasers.)
“When far-right cartoons depicted President Obama as a Nazi or as a monkey, the right was completely silent; but, make a joke about white guys, and the right-wing blogosphere erupts,” said Tim Jones, who was amazed at how rapidly the angry posts and tweets erupted on the alt-right websites like Breitbart, The Drudge Report, Stormfront (a white supremacist site), and many others.
Jim Corbett was equally surprised at the tidal wave of enraged comments, ranging from charges that he and Jones must be racist against whites (despite both authors being white) and thinly veiled threats against their safety. Despite the flood of angry tweets and comments filled with rightwing furore, the authors were also surprised by the dramatic rise in book sales in the first 24 hours.