Why Does Liberalism Have “Favored Groups”?

Two recent developments in the news brought into focus the issue of liberalism and favored demographic groups. One was the not unexpected reaction of Hillary Clinton and others on the left to the Brussels airport attack by ISIS-linked Islamic terrorists. They were less oriented to considering how to respond to the terrorists and protect innocent civilians from more attacks than to cautioning against anti-Moslem rhetoric. This was in character for an American and, more broadly, secular Western left that in recent years seems to have made Islam its favored religion. The other news item was about the continuing turmoil in public schools in St. Paul, Minnesota, resulting from new policies aiming to avoid a disproportionate number of disciplinary actions against minority students. This, in turn, followed both from the school district’s trying to inculcate into its employees that they have to counteract “white privilege” and pressure from the Obama administration to reduce the disparities in school disciplinary sanctions—even if minority students commit the most infractions. The turmoil, by the way, has included wanton classroom disruption and physical assaults on teachers.

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