Hello there! James Bennet here. You may know me as that fun-loving xenophobic paycheck man who, despite never taking a meaningful moral position in my entire life, fell upward thanks to my vanilla background to oversee the op-ed pages of the New York Times! I’m living proof that, if you’re a sycophantic 54-year-old Yalie who bobs his mouth up and down on the throbbing member of the Establishment on a daily basis, you too will never be fired or rebuked by top brass! Because here at the Times, we’re not just about celebrating the Stuff White People Like or ensuring that David Brooks can fulminate right-wing drivel under the false cover of inclusive intellectualism. We’re not just about refusing to modulate or adjust our voice from our hopelessly dowdy upper middle class roots. We’re also firmly committed to being inexorably puzzled by strange cultural figures like Lizzo, Childish Gambino, Big Sean, Boots Riley, Rungano Nyoni, and Mariama Diallo! And we will continue to deny column-inches to anyone who enjoys these strange dark-skinned people!
Thanks to my cowardly sensibilities, I ensure that the New York Times continues to publish all the affluent Cacuasian opinions fit to print! Aside from a few token individuals who are trending heavily on social media (we do, after all, need your subscription dollars to keep the lights on!), you won’t find many brown people or black people among our guest columnists here! Nor will you find any of those sketchy pinko socialists. No, sir! Not on my watch. I’m so committed to reinforcing fascism and putting our African-American staffers at risk that I’m even willing to publish a racist and authoritarian article by a Senator named Tom Cotton! (Get it? Cotton! Ha ha! Yeah, I chuckled over that little joke too.)
They say that opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one and most of them stink. Well, if you’re the overlord of opinions, as I am, then you can only imagine the kind of asshole you’d have to be to swim in a sea of fuming anuses and earn a living at it! Instead of being a writer’s writer or a journalist’s journalist, I’m an asshole’s asshole! My spineless timidity and willful capitulation of my soul have been the secrets to my success!
Here at the Times, we publish the kind of family-friendly white supremacy that gives the Amy Coopers and the Svitlana Floms of our world all the inspiration they need to use their privilege to sic the police on innocent black people with false accusations! I’m very proud of my work. I wake up every day, smile in the mirror, and, just before I splash a few drops of Clive Christian No. 1 upon my neck and prepare to scarf down $60 strips of Norwegian salmon for breakfast, I say to myself, “Goddammit, James! Look at you, you magnificent white bastard!” Not a streak of melanin in my skin, my friends. I take pride in my work. I take pride in my skin color. Not white power, but white pride. There’s a distinction! Still, I have to say. Ain’t being white grand?
However, I do want to explain why we published the piece today by convicted murderer Harold Bailey, former grand wizard of the KKK and, for many years, a prominent dot on the hate map published by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Yes, it’s true that he filed his column from a maximum facility cell at the Red Onion State Prison, where he is serving time for raping forty-five black people. Nevertheless, Times Opinion owes it to our readers to show them counter-arguments. And it remains my firm belief that a dangerous criminal screaming obscenities and making deranged sculptures from his own fecal matter in a padded cell is capable of thinking along the same lines as a policy expert. After all, that’s democracy!
When Mr. Bailey wrote at length about why he wanted to shove a pineapple into my wife Sarah Jessup’s mouth and tie her down with rope in a chair so that she could watch helplessly as he sodomized my two children, I didn’t flinch one bit! Obviously, most people in our society are opposed to this assault and trauma. And that is fine. But we are in the business of recklessly publishing any diseased opinion we can find. It fits right in with the tacit acceptance of white values that we hold dear to our hearts. And sometimes it’s vital to understand the careful nuances of why someone would be driven to such a violent act of abuse. “But what nuances exist in publishing such an explicit essay?” you may ask? Well, it’s not my job to suss these out. Use your noodle! Think about it!
We understand that many readers find Harold Bailey’s argument painful and even dangerous. We believe that this is one reason why it requires public scrutiny and debate. However, if you look deep enough into anything, such as an unblemished wall that has been freshly painted white or a graphic description of my two children being violated, you will find great shining beauty that you can turn into exciting cocktail party banter!
What’s most important about publishing opinions is to realize that they are just that: merely opinions. It’s my job to deaden your soul and to rob you of your moral compass so that you can look upon the world with a clinically detached eye, remaining flip and casual about the unfolding horrors and staying on the sidelines as these uppity revolutionary bastards lose hope and are pecked off one by one by an authoritarian police force. I mean, if I don’t bat an eye when Mr. Bailey writes in adoring detail about the fantasy of committing vicious crimes against my family, then there’s no reason why you should either! If you don’t raise a stink about Tom Cotton’s column, then his views will become more normalized. And when that happens, it creates a stable world in which you too can worship at the altar of unwavering normalcy. And isn’t that a lofty goal for our society? To walk out into the world, knowing that nobody feels anything, and proudly slam down two dollars and fifty cents for the morning edition, only to read opinions that you once considered horrifying and that are now absolutely the norm. That’s why the Times keeps me, James Bennet, here at the top!
I’ll admit. We did push the envelope a bit with the Cotton and Bailey essays. But the only way to unite this nation is by inoculating the population from horrors and systemic abuse, ensuring that they never feel outrage, and creating a population in which nobody has hope. And with protests and a pandemic happening now, and a Second Great Depression just on the horizon, we’re nearly there! All of these exciting developments make me prouder than ever to be white, status quo, and dead inside.