Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
In America today, the extreme left has made it too fashionable to become a victim. Woke idealists have created new classes of victims and are quick to point out that any situation that involves inequities makes those who don’t get their way: victims. They have created their own vocabulary that faithful followers parrot to attempt to justify any situation that is not to their liking. Words like “marginalized,” “inclusivity,” “micro-aggression” and “intersectionality” are just a few of the new words often spoken by those who feel that they have suffered some perceived injustice. Each day new words are added to dictionaries to pacify individuals who find it convenient to blame others for their lack of success and avoidance to do any form of introspection when they don’t get the outcome they desire.
Recently, I was watching a video and a young woman who attempted to compare people to plants. She said that if a plant fails to flourish, the environment was at fault because it didn’t create a nourishing atmosphere, and it would be unjust to blame the plant. This mentality is at the root of the problem. This ridiculous comparison illustrates the kind of simplistic, ill-conceived ideas that are being promoted to young people on college campuses by liberal professors who have never held real jobs beyond the world of academia, and who rely on campus speech codes and censorship to promote their ideas of right and wrong to give a one-sided view of the world. They foster the notion that select groups of people are treated in a hostile manner and the deck is stacked against them because of group affiliation.
In most cases those making these claims say it is because the oppressed are not a members of some “privileged” group that has received mysterious benefits due to their membership in this group. They teach the philosophy that failure is someone else’s fault and enable young people to believe that personal accountability does not exist. Blaming others is a powerful tool that is used to entice impressionable minds that nothing is ever their fault and it is the system (environment) that betrays them. It is this “us” and “them” situation that is used for political gains by those who sit back and benefit from the conflict between groups of perceived haves and have nots. However, people are not plants, and life is not always equitable, despite those who promote equality of outcomes, a socialist notion, which means that resources should be divided equally among individuals regardless of effort or merit. People are individuals with their own personal assets and liabilities, and there are no guarantees in life, yet proponents of victimization find it much easier to cluster people into labeled groups because it makes it easier to vilify success. The great stories of individuals who did great things throughout history, despite financial, physical and social handicaps are not discussed because it doesn’t fit the narrative that is promoted to make people believe that they are as passive as plants.
So who benefits from this kind of thinking? It certainly isn’t the young people who subscribe to it and make it a crutch that they use to limp through unfulfilling lives. It certainly isn’t American society, which spends its energy on polarization instead of productive pursuits. One only needs to follow the dollars, and one can see that it is the “social justice” organization creators who have turned victimization into a profitable industry. Their message is received by a generation of young people who eagerly embrace it because it relieves them from the burden of personal responsibility. Convincing people that they are oppressed is easy and it’s a big business for counselors, professors and activists who make a living convincing others that they are oppressed victims. It is an ideology that generates followers because society has rapidly moved away from the notion that individuals have the freedom to succeed (or fail) and categorizes people into groups of passive victims who must ban together to receive social justice.
“You didn’t get the job because you showed up late, had 50 piercings on your face, wore a ripped shirt and voiced your anger because the interviewer didn’t use your personal pronouns, but it’s the employer’s fault for not hiring you because he/she didn’t accept your uniqueness.” “I owe all this money for loans I took out to major in something that won’t help me get a job, so it’s society’s fault, and they should pay for my college education” is a common cry among individuals who fail to understand that bad choices lead to unfortunate outcomes.
The irony of group labeling is that another irrational view of woke thinkers is that just about everything is “fluid.” In other words, what a person says they are today can change tomorrow. Boys can opt to be girls or simply “non-binary,” people can choose their ethnicity, so in the world of “woke reality” (an oxymoron) there are no true groups because group membership is a personal choice that can change from moment to moment. It is this kind of irrational and illogical line of thinking that defines wokeness and cancel culture. On the one hand, they deny individuality by classifying people into groups of victims and oppressors, but people can identify as something that they are not and become members of a different group. Sadly, few people want to be in the “privileged” group because regardless of how a person identifies it doesn’t change reality, and it has become much more comfortable to make the claim that “everyone is picking on me” and ban together with others who feel the same way.
In the past, being a victim implied pain and suffering and very few people would opt to be in this group. Sadly, true victims were subject to harsh treatment and abuse. I’ve known people who were victims of violent crimes and each of them rarely talk about what happened to them. Today, people are encouraged to claim to be victims because they weren’t referred to with the right personal pronoun or because of their perception that they didn’t get something that they felt they were entitled to or deserved. The difference between real victims and faux victims is that real victims don’t celebrate being victimized.
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