Posted on January 31, 2016
Libs exempt selves from collective guilt
One of liberals’ many assaults on the English language is in their tendency to use the first-person plural when referring to groups of people that do not include themselves. Take, for example, embittered former first lady Rosalynn Carter, who once said about her husband’s successor, Ronald Reagan, “I think this president makes us comfortable with our prejudices.”
By saying this, Mrs. Carter was not confessing to harboring prejudices of her own. Rather, the “us” of whom she spoke was the electorate, who presumably were not motivated by prejudice when they’d elected her husband, but acquired this moral flaw before throwing him out of office four years later. The real point of this statement was to accuse Reagan of bigotry, except that she knew she had no evidence to support the charge, so she fuzzified it, by suggesting instead that he somehow vaguely enabled that characteristic in others.
By positioning herself as the one among “us” who disapproves of “our prejudices,” she rhetorically rose above all the other inhabitants of that collective. Therefore, what she really meant was “I think this president makes you comfortable with your prejudices.”
If that sounds familiar, it should, because actor Danny DeVito has made similar remarks in reference to accusations of racism within the Motion Picture Academy. “It’s unfortunate that the entire country is racist,” he told the Associated Press at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. “We are living in a country that discriminates and has certain racist tendencies, so sometimes it manifests itself in something like this, and it’s illuminated. But generally speaking, we’re racists. We’re a bunch of racists.”
Of course, DeVito is not really admitting that he is a racist. He’s just stepping on others in order to raise his own stature. He illustrated exactly this in a recent interview with The Daily Beast, in which he slammed America as a racist country founded on genocide. “Listen to Noam Chomsky, get the Howard Zinn [sic], and try to elevate your children, brothers and sisters,” he said, approvingly citing two of the most thoroughly dishonest, America-hating faux historians of all time. He couldn’t have spelled out his motivation any more clearly if he’d openly declared himself to be an insecure liberal hypocrite. The way to elevate oneself to put down one’s country.
If he thinks the statistical disparity in Academy Award nominations is due to racism, he should reserve his insults for those who are actually responsible. The Oscar balloting is done by movie industry insiders, not the mainstream American people they routinely mock. Each division of the awards is voted on by the corresponding branch of the Academy, meaning that the nominees for the four acting categories are selected by actors. DeVito doesn’t condemn his fellow actors, however, because they’re the ones whose approval he seeks. He would no more charge them with racism than Mrs. Carter would associate prejudice with Southern Democrats.
These are far from isolated examples. White male liberals routinely depict whiteness as a civil rights violation, and denounce all men as predatory swine. Non-liberals often make the mistake of concluding from this behavior that liberals are self-loathing. Rest assured that of all the things liberals loathe, the self is not among them. A liberal puts down a group that ostensibly includes himself in order to render himself exceptional to that group. For instance, when Michael Moore rails against rich, white American men who consume more than their fair share, he is not talking about himself, nor do other liberals suppose that he is.
What’s convenient about being the exceptional one is that, if everyone else in your group is irredeemably awful, then you’re the good one by default, without having to regulate your behavior according to any ethical standards. Thus, a liberal may confidently assert his own superiority, even if he is a hateful, disloyal, irresponsible liar. Meanwhile, this automatic self-exemption from collective guilt serves to shield him from charges of hypocrisy, because if he really is exceptional, he can pillory “the rich” while being far wealthier than most of the people he puts in that category.
DeVito isn’t even forced to confront the fact that accusing everyone of an entire nationality of racism is itself an expression of bigotry. That’s because he only goes around making this declaration to other liberal elitists, whom he knows will respond with nothing but admiration. Just look at how he’s elevated himself above America by putting it in its place, they’ll say. How big of him!
… So to speak.
The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press