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So, can I say something?


OK. Well, sometimes I feel like you do these explainers about things that aren’t even really explain-worthy things. Like, you’re the one making the thing a thing by explaining the thing. Today, for instance.

Oh, so you don’t think “cuck” is a thing?

I don’t. I think you’re making this shit up, actually.

I wish I were. (Or is it “I wish I was”? I’ve never quite known.) But no, cuck is absolutely, definitely, totally a crucial part of the “alt-right” lexicon. So crucial, in fact, that I take back what I just typed. I’m glad I’m not making this up. I’m goddamn verklempt I’m not making this shit up. Because it’s an unambiguous white supremacist tell. And it provides a shitload of insight about where their true anxieties lie.


But just in case you’re still not sure it’s a thing, here’s a report of Steve Bannon allegedly calling Jared Kushner a cuck behind his back. Here’s alt-right leader and aggressively frequent “L” taker Richard Spencer calling another conservative, Jack Posobiec, a cuck for a reason I’m not even going to bother to click on to know. Donald Trump was referred to by white supremacists as both a cuck and an anti-cuck for his remarks about Charlottesville, Va. There’s even an entire Wikipedia page for “cuckservative”—a portmanteau of cuckold and conservative.

OK, OK, OK. I’ll concede that this is a thing? But cuck, cuckold, cuckservative—what do all of these even mean? 

Well, a cuckold is simply a man whose (female) significant other is sleeping with another man. Taken further, it can also signify a man who is unknowingly raising a child who isn’t genetically his. For years, it’s been weaponized as an insult insinuating that a man was emasculated and humiliated.


White supremacists have adopted this term to describe white conservatives they believe to be sellouts (hence cuckservative). But any white person who doesn’t follow their beliefs could also be a cuck. Cuck is pretty arbitrary.

I see. So how is this a racial insult? Nothing you’ve said so far would seem to give this slur a racial background and/or connotation.

The white supremacist’s prime objective is to keep white institutions and white blood “pure” by any means necessary. They believe whiteness is the God-given standard—as if God is an empty Clorox bottle filled with vitiligo-infected mice—and any dilution of this purity is a sin.


And white people who don’t believe this—who don’t seem to be as committed to the preservation of whiteness as them—are, in the white supremacist’s mind, fine with nonwhites infiltrating their land, replacing their institutions, taking their jobs, breathing their air and, most importantly, sleeping with their women. Basically, any white man who doesn’t commit his every thought and dying breaths to preventing black and brown men from intermingling with white women is a cuck—a man who is clearly cool with savages ravaging through “their” women.

So basically, all of this is due to race-based sexual anxiety?

All of it? No. I know some are just still really sore about Mace Windu. But for many of the type of men who use this insult, their biggest fear is reproductive irrelevance, which they believe would eventually happen if the country continues to brown.


Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that cuckolding—where a (usually white) man’s “wife” has sex with another (usually black) man—is actually a quite popular porn genre: a phenomenon that provides a remarkably detailed moving picture of what the white supremacist believes would happen. And there’s no doubt that the increasing use and prominence of “cuck” as an insult is at least partially based on that imagery. Thanks, Pornhub.

But if it’s a popular porn genre, isn’t it possible that some of these white supremacists are fans of it, too?

See, there you go making a thing that’s not a thing a thing again.

Um, that was you before, not me.


Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a columnist for, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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