The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Stick to the Knitting

I ran across a small but telling piece that provides a typical example of the social justice outrage brigades in attack mode. Before you go further, read the entire piece:

"A Witch-Hunt on Instagram" written by Kathrine Jebsen Moore

Here's the response that the victim of the attacks, Karen Templer, should have written:

Thank you all for you comments and criticism. I’m sorry that my words have offended you. Yours have offended me.

Those of you who have appointed yourselves the arbiters of morality seem to forget that not everyone agrees with your jargon, your intentional bullying, your worldview, your one-way "conversations," or the not-so-subtle implication that everyone (other that the virtue signaling hypocrites who populate the “woke" community) is racist or bigoted or suffers from some vague “white privilege."

The simple implication that modern day India—a vibrant and exciting country—is in need of your sanctimonious and condescending defense indicates that you are either ignorant of the reality of other peoples or are yourself soft racists who look at anyone who is non-white and think that they are in need your help. They are not weak and do not need you to defend them, and I suspect that they would be offended by your suggestion that they are weak and powerless.

Again, let me restate. I. Am. Offended. By your comments, by the subtle implication that I must prostrate myself before you, and by your moral preening. You are not the center of the moral universe—not even close. To suggest that I must bow to your warped interpretation of what is moral and just and right is as obnoxious as it is concerning.

There are millions more like me, and we will push back.


Kevin Williamson discusses a closely related subject—the use of merciless sympathy by the social justice outrage brigades when anyone questions their support for some person that they believe has been wronged (say, Jessie Smollett) or is a victim of some thought crime:
Merciless sympathy is the stratagem by which our natural solicitous feeling toward those who have suffered some wrong or some injury is forcibly reconstituted into support for a particular political agenda grafted onto the unhappy episode. Those who don’t support the politics are treated as though they were victimizing the victim (genuine or hoax) rather than disagreeing about a policy question.

Merciless sympathy is how declining to oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court is transmuted into callousness toward rape victims, how support for the Second Amendment is recast as contempt for the children killed in Parkland, how doubting the breathless accounts of the Covington Catholic matter becomes racist hostility to an elderly Native American veteran. As rhetorical stratagems go, it is obvious, shallow, and stupid — and therefore effective in the era of Twitter-dominated discourse, in which shallowness and stupidity are weaponized.

And so the police, journalists, and other professional askers of questions grow remarkably circumspect — some of the time. Compare the credulousness that greeted Smollett’s story to, e.g., Andrew Sullivan’s obsessive conspiracy-mongering about Sarah Palin’s son (remember the “Trig Truthers”) or the fact that Louise Mensch (of “marshal of the Supreme Court” infamy) was still welcome in the pages of the New York Times as late as March 2017. Smollett’s unverified and murky account was good enough for progressive journalists, but nothing Sarah Palin could say or do would satisfy their gimlet-eyed skepticism.

One might be forgiven for suspecting that there is an unspoken agenda at work in that double standard.

Merciless sympathy is simply one more weapon in the arsenal of contemporary mob politics. Brett Kavanaugh is an excellent jurist whose most controversial legal opinion is that the Constitution says what it says, which made opposing his confirmation difficult. So accuse him of being a serial rapist — and then accuse anybody who doubts your story of being in league with serial rapists at the expense of their victims.

We have seen this often enough.
"Mob politics" is the thing that the social justice outrage brigades do well. They'll hone their skills as each of the democratic socialist candidates for president suggest extreme policies designed to provide "free" stuff for voters (Bernie Sanders comes to mind). Anyone who questions or opposes any one or more of those policies will be the target of "merciless sympathy."