According to the usual voices on the multiculti left, the author Lionel Shriver gave an address at a literary festival in which she largely quoted entire passages from Mein Kampf. The full transcript, for those of you intrepid souls brave enough to face the beast head-on, can be found here.
There’s little to be said that hasn’t been said before. The left will always subject reality to Procrustean torture to make it fit the alienation/oppression framework that gives structure to their entire worldview. Still, even I, jaded though I might be, couldn’t help but chuckle involuntarily upon seeing white people on social media declare that of course white people like Shriver don’t understand what cultural appropriation really is (despite the fact that in her speech, Shriver quoted a definition of the term from a seemingly-unimpeachable source). According to other people of pallor, the real issue is about her lack of empathy, or maybe it’s about unjust power differentials. But by their own reasoning, who are these people to affirm what cultural appropriation is or isn’t? On what philosophical grounds do they assert their vision of justice to be objective and factually accurate when all else is relative? Either they have somehow managed to miraculously surmount the apparently-genetic inability of white people to understand left-wing ideological axioms, or perhaps those axioms are normative statements — ostensibly objective facts, their proponents might even say — about the world which can be understood by anyone.
And thus we run up against a modern version of the ancient Epimenides paradox, which you can see acted out in real time on social media every day. All white people are stained by the sins of racism and colonialism and must unquestioningly defer to the judgment of people of color, says a white leftist, just before arrogantly dismissing the objections of non-white people who disagree with him. Lesser contradictions abound as well — Kenan Malik reiterates how the supposedly-progressive notions aimed at preventing a slippery slope to racial hatred and genocide are theoretically identical to those supporting old-fashioned racial separatism. Sonny Bunch notes the astonishing irony of Shriver’s loudest critic claiming to want to be “challenged” and made “uncomfortable”. I hate to validate anything about psychoanalysis, but it’s hard to avoid thinking that there’s very little about these people that can’t be explained as an illustration of projection.