Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Why do so many famous social-justice crusaders turn out to be racist and sexist? Conventional wisdom would suggest that liberal politicians and celebrities should be the least likely to express such racist condescension, if only out of cynical careerist and political concerns. Progressives see bloc minority, gay, and female support as vital to their project. By now, the number of MeToo accusers in the postHarvey Weinstein era is legion. But increasingly, the most prominent of those accused of sundry harassments and, on occasion, assaults are liberal media and celebrity icons such as Tom Brokaw, Garrison Keillor, Matt Lauer, Ryan Lizza, Charlie Rose, and Tavis Smiley. How can that be?
The entire thrust of progressive charges of "white privilege" and "white supremacy," usually lodged against less enlightened and less affluent whites, is that the elite are confident they've created a partnership of solidarity with minority activists. All deplore the supposed Neanderthal, red-state, and Trump-supporting white middle class. However, the amount (and frequency) of insensitive and outright prejudicial statements from progressive is startling, to say the least.
There are various stock explanations for liberal prejudicial outbursts that earn the additional wage of hypocrisy -- given progressives' self-identification as the protectors of minority rights and racial sensitivities.
One, and the most charitable, might be that when one talks about race and gender nonstop, one is more likely to misspeak. Such an interpretation assumes, of course, that these revelations are not windows into one soul, as progressives allege of foul-sounding conservatives.
Two, do not forget the cynical notion of deterrence. Humans are not necessarily nice people but behave well out of fear of punishments. In such a reductionist view, conservatives assume that one malapropism or sloppy phrase can end a career.
There is a third and more controversial exegesis. There is a certain progressive profile that is, in truth, biased or at least tribal. One projects one's own prejudices onto others in the abstract, as a sort of psychological squaring of one's own shortcomings -- or the failure to live the race and class diversity one preaches.
Finally, there is a final and mostly cynical explanation for the recent spate of progressive intolerance. Those who are by nature or habit intolerant mask their resulting guilt or fear by progressive virtue-signaling and occasional inadvertent revelations of their own moral selves.
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