A Rich Gay White Guy is Still a ‘Privileged’ White Guy

Gayle Leslie
3 min readOct 2, 2023

Rolling Stone says, Jann who?

Jann Werner

Cancel Culture: the practice or tendency of engaging in mass canceling as a way of expressing disapproval and exerting social pressure.

Consequence: a result or effect of an action or condition.

This is an excerpt from a more comprehensive piece I wrote on the banality of ‘whiteness.’

I’d thought to write a piece on the cascade of uber wealthy saying the quiet part out loud in recent weeks, telling us — to our faces — that all those decades of working people ‘complaining’ about the institutional racism, misogyny and classism that we intuited were keeping us on our knees, unable to prosper, to move forward, to thrive — all the reasons, the excuses these self-congratulatory gatekeepers had for not treating working folks with dignity, let alone paying them — was all in our heads. That all ‘we the people’ had to do was work harder, be sweeter and stop complaining and that we would be fine.

The self ordained ‘ruling class’ were not ‘gaslighting’ us, they were just smarter, they worked harder, they just knew better than we did what was good for us. That ‘we the people’ were lazy and ungrateful.

‘We the people’ aren’t fine. In fact, weren’t f*cking pissed and over it.

My first thought was to write about them, but lately they’ve done such a stellar job of telling us themselves, saying the quiet part out loud that I’ve elected to let these clever folks speak for themselves.

Cue the violins:

“In my interview with The New York Times, I made comments that diminished the contributions, genius, and impact of Black and women artists and I apologize wholeheartedly for those remarks.”

And predictably:

“Jann Wenner will retire next year as chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation in New York.”

Jann Wenner — co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine — was one of the first openly gay entertainment moguls: his vicious commentary about female and black brilliance in Rock-n-Roll leaves me wondering how he’d respond to a dictum that gay men are incapable of musical brilliance?

And in another minute Rolling Stone will be all ‘Jann who?’ One can only imagine how Wenner’s dark hateful nature informed his professional choices over the decades: and whose life and career Wenner ‘influenced’ — one way or another — in all that time?

Chuckleheads like Jann Wenner leverage their whiteness to access the levers of power: power to gerrymander elections; power to gerrymander the stock market; power to gerrymander the mechanisms of governance, taxation, regulation and the judiciary; the power to gerrymander the assembly-line floor, to withhold life altering healthcare, to rape with impunity and to decide who becomes a star and who is never heard from again.

While the rest of us are expected to resign ourselves to our lesser station in the social order, bend over and grab our ankles and take it up the a** without resistance or complaint.

Begging the question: how’s that goin’ for ya’?