For the Left, public discourse is Lord of the Flies, and victimhood is the conch — that is how they believe we should decide who gets to speak. That’s what the nonsensical business about “intersectionality” is all about. It is at its heart very little more than a reconstitution of old, dumb, primitive, superstitious ideas in the same genus as racism and nationalism, i.e. the belief that certain demographic markers of questionable real-world relevance are supernaturally cementitious determinants of moral meaning. The ugliness and crudity of that view are easy enough to ascertain. There are no political leaders, police officers, journalists, or college professors — only white political leaders, black police officers, gay journalists, disabled college professors, etc. No sensible person believes that we live in a perfectly colorblind society — but it does not follow from that that the most important thing about David Webb is his race. He made the same argument when Areva Martin thought he was white that he would have made if she had known he was black. David Webb is not the variable in that equation.
All true, but I would just add that victimhood is part of a two-step process, like a warranty. It’s only activated when you officially register your product — the product, in these instances, being your political affiliation. Victimhood points without an official certification of progressive bona fides are worthless. The leverage, as all our professional denouncers of white privilege know very well, comes from being in charge of deciding who qualifies as a victim. In what I’m sure is nothing but a remarkable coincidence, that power seems to have accrued entirely to privileged, mostly-white progressives. As I like to say, it’s as if members of the Tsar’s inner circle managed to disguise themselves as Bolsheviks and carry on enjoying the same status and perks they always had. Every so often, as in this latest farcical example, the mask slips, to our amusement. It’s really impressive — they could stop mid-sentence in a performative diatribe against their own privilege to threateningly raise the pimp hand to a “victim” who dares to improvise with the script, all without betraying the slightest hint of cognitive dissonance.