Here’s something you might not know: In Nazi Germany, very few Jews staged bogus hate crimes against themselves.
Here’s some more trivia: Very few blacks in the Jim Crow South went to great lengths to pretend that they were harassed or attacked by racists.
You know why? Because that would be incredibly stupid. What, exactly, would the German Jew who staged an assault on himself gain from it? Where would he or she go to ask for sympathy or recompense? Conjure any horror story you like, the Nazi official you brought it to would say, “Yeah, and . . . ?” The black sharecropper who took the time to make his own cross and burn it on his own property would benefit . . . how?
Why am I bringing this up? Well, for a bunch of reasons. I have more points to make than can be found at an English Setter competition.
First, people who live under real oppression have no need to fabulate oppression. To paraphrase Madge from the old Palmolive ads: They’re already soaking in it.
Second, when you live in an oppressive country, there’s no one you can take your grievances to because that is what it means to live in an oppressive country! For God’s sake, people, you’re making me use exclamation points and italics here. If you’re an inmate in the Shawshank prison, you can’t go to the guards to complain. When you live in North Korea, you can’t go to the local police and gripe about your working conditions or the sawdust in your bread.
I feel like one of the Duke Brothers explaining how you might find bacon in a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. But in oppressive societies, the oppression isn’t a bug — it’s a feature. That’s why they’re called “oppressive.” Complaining about oppression in such societies is like a fish complaining that there are a lot of fish in a barrel of fish.
What a Free Society Means
Which brings me to the third point: In non-oppressive countries, there are people to take your case to. Sohrab Ahmari put it nicely in an essay a couple of years ago:
And as Pascal Bruckner wrote in his essay “The Tyranny of Guilt,” if liberal democracy does trap or jail you (politically speaking), it also invariably slips the key under your cell door. The Swedish midwives driven out of the profession over their pro-life views can take their story to the media. The Down syndrome advocacy outfit whose anti-eugenic advertising was censored in France can sue in national and then international courts. The Little Sisters of the Poor can appeal to the Supreme Court for a conscience exemption to Obamacare’s contraceptives mandate. And so on.
This is a hugely important point, and there’s an urgent need for more people to understand it. A free society is a rich ecosystem of competing institutions. Some are powerful, some weak. Some have great influence in a specific sphere of life: the American Bar Association, the military, the Catholic Church, whatever. Some only have power in a certain place: the county zoning board, the local police, your parents, etc. But none have unchecked power over the whole of the society and, thanks to the Constitution, that goes for the government itself, too.
A free society is a honeycomb of safe havens, competing authorities — legal, moral, cultural — that allow for people to find safe harbors from other institutions (“And, apparently, a safe harbor from mixed metaphors” — The Couch). The pursuit of happiness is an individual right that can only be achieved communally with the communities the individual chooses to be part of.
But, as I’ve been writing a lot lately, when statists, planners, nationalists, socialists, et al. embrace the language of crisis or war — metaphorical or otherwise — they are trying to board up these safe havens, to close off avenues of dissent or simple apathy about a given cause. Culture warriors demand that you care. They demand that you be part of the solution, and if you’re not, you’re part of the problem. When this spirit takes over, there’s no one to appeal to for your grievance, because everyone is in on the new crusade or too afraid to say they’re not. Oppressive societies are societies where you don’t have the right to exit.
A host of liberals are bleating about conservative “gloating” over the Smollett debunking. What they seem to sincerely not understand is that their instant acceptance of the story and their instant condemnation of anyone who voiced skepticism over it was an act of oppression. “You must care!” “You must believe!” There is no safe harbor. No right to skepticism or even reflection. He is our Horst Wessel, and you must grasp your complicity in evil. That this response came from Hollywood types who make a living off giving free rein to their emotions is not shocking. That mainstream journalists did it wasn’t shocking either, but it was appalling. It was appalling because they really can’t see how invested they are in this kind of narrative peddling, how convinced they are that they see the world as it is, and the people who disagree are not just fools, but evil.
And now that the truth is out, they are flummoxed, and this consternation is appalling, too.
From Kyle Smith’s piece about the widespread shock in the media that Smollett’s story was a fraud:
Ana Cabrera, CNN anchor, was equally flummoxed Saturday night: “The big question, then, is why?” she asked. “Why he would make something like this up?”
CNN’s senior entertainment reporter Lisa France was comparably engulfed by confusion. “If he actually did this, why in the world would he do this?” she asked. “Why? That’s what everyone wants to know.”
A bit later, Stelter chimed in again: “This is about why he might — and, so far, we don’t know. But why he might have made this up. It just boggles the mind.”
If you think it’s mind-boggling, then you’re part of the problem.
Just another liberal attention monger looking for their moment in the limelight and parade around and say PITY ME PITY ME
After what looks like a set-up fake “hate” crime viral video, Utah might pass its 1st Hate Crime Law.
I hope not.
What straight guy hangs out with gays on a street known for gay hookups and then hits a gay man over the pattern on his coat???
This is as trumped up as the Jussie Smollett plot.
Jussie seemed really upset that his attack was not caught on video even since he planned it to be right near a street cam.
BTW, it was about 20’F that evening so, where’s the straight dude’s coat?
Simply because of the prominence of the “MAGA cap” in the Smollett caper, I initially doubted its veracity. However, being a person intelligent enough to realize I could be wrong, I held fire until FACTS were available. What a concept.
Likewise, upon hearing of the Covington kids caper, that too had the likelihood of being faked due to, again, the MAGA cap. As it turned out, it WAS fake, but in a different way.
The left has a long and storied history of faking such episodes and it is always wise to wait for reality to return. One of the reasons these episodes happen is BECAUSE the left is prone to jump to all sorts of wrong conclusions and get the ball rolling before truth happens.
Take Ferguson for example. While Michael Brown never got a chance to promote a fake assault, numerous “eye witnesses” swore to the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” phony confrontation which, though completely proved false, is still cited to this day. Once a good fake grievance gets going, it’s difficult to slow it down or stop it.
A liberal tranny burned down it’s own home in 2017.
Police believed it’s story and called it a Hate Crime.
Unsolved, until now.
It burned down it’s own house, killing 5 pets in the process!
@Nan G: Really, the capers are numerous and widespread and, for some reason, they are always leftists.