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Victimology, By Any Other Name

July 20, 2010

In the interest of disclosure, I’ll go ahead and say that I haven’t watched Andrew Breitbart’s proof that the NAACP rewards racism against white people because my current Internet situation simply does not allow me to watch streaming video without risking some sort of celestial consequence (apparently, you can download files in minutes, not hours!).  But I have read plenty of reaction to it, and I guess I’ll just say that the whole thing’s pretty bleh — the whole thing apparently happened 24 years ago and Shirley Sherrod was apparently denouncing her own behavior at that time.  This just appears to be Breitbart’s reaction to the NAACP’s resolution condemning the tea parties for their racism.  What’s news to me is why this is news.  Tom Scocca has an idea:

Breitbart is rapidly perfecting the 21st-century mau-mau: conservative white people are so afraid of being discriminated against that if you mention the fact that sometimes black people don’t like white people—even if you are telling a story about why racism is bad—you are automatically committing a hate crime, against white conservatives. After three or four decades of whining about reverse racism, America now has achieved full-blown white victimology. The most powerful and dangerous groups in the nation are ACORN and the New Black Panther Party.

Fair enough.  I don’t think that’s exactly 21st century, though — it seems like white people have been feeling victimized by politically correct politics for a while now, and that sentiment isn’t completely unsubstantiated.  After all, affirmative action is still around.  But if we’re going to criticize “white victimology” — which I’m ready to do — then can’t we criticize all kinds of “victimology” as well?  Like the idea that opponents of undocumented immigration are racists?  Or that opposition to our President’s agenda is somehow racist?  Why do we have to leave it up to the Right to criticize that kind of “victimology” and leave it up to the Left to criticize “white victimology”?

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