The American media, as we all know, is the conscience of our country, the righteous voice moving us toward ever greater justice. This great and noble Cathedral has played a great role in the progressive enlightenment of both the country and the world, from protecting the noble Communists of Hollywood from the un-American demons of HUAC to bettering the reputation of Washington’s war-era allies to backing the forces liberating Cambodia from the scourge of men with glasses to raising the alarm over a disturbing, racist practice that has become popular in recent years: the practice of… growing a beard.
Yes, really. Beards are racist, Sean Trainor, a women’s studies grad student at Penn State, informs us at the Atlantic, gravely reminding the reader that “this may not be the story bewhiskered moderns would like to hear”, that beards are not just “an homage to a quaint, innocent fashion trend” but a “legacy” in need of “redeeming”.
The beard, Trainor says, emerged in a time of rejection of the “liquor-fueled conviviality of the barbershop”, and of disastrous epidemics leading to widespread reluctance to “be lathered with the brush which the minute before has been rubbed on the face of we don’t know whom”—but the “real problem” leading to the adoption of the beard, he says, was that Karl Vogt wrote that Blacks and Whites were “two extreme human types”, driving men away from black-owned barbershops and therefore away from beards in general, except that “immigrant barbers—many of them Germans—catered to a growing population of working-class customers”. (Those pesky Germans! What a race of racists!)
After men stopped going to barbershops (except for the ones who didn’t), they didn’t want to shave themselves, since they lacked both the tools and the skill to do so without risking slashing their own throats open or contracting tetanus… except, Trainor says, it was really because they felt threatened by women’s rights movements. Racist and sexist!
Oh, and the displacement of the Indians? It was all because they didn’t have beards!
These appeals were especially persuasive at a time when America was in an active period of exploration and invasion, ranging from the U.S.-Mexican War to the ongoing Indian relocation and genocide. These projects were aimed primarily at peoples whom white Americans believed to be incapable of growing facial hair.
In sum: beards are racist, beards are sexist, and Sean Trainor should ‘redeem’ the ‘legacy’ of the beard by growing the exact opposite of a Hitler mustache, so he looks as clownish as his expensive education has made him.