Once again, recently, A former leader of a black student group
has admitted tweeting anonymous threats against fellow black college students in New Jersey last fall.
and Did this gay pastor fake a cake with an anti-gay decoration? Whole Foods thinks so.
But commenters on social media wondered why the pastor didn’t immediately notice the anti-gay slur, accusing him of altering the cake, as did Whole Foods, which countersued, claiming that the pastor made “fraudulent” accusations.
There’s been quite a lot of this going on in recent years. The most obvious observation is that there can’t be much actual hate crime (as classified by policy makers and media) these days, so the fakers are salting the mine.
In complex situations, however, I’m rarely content with the obvious explanation. The reason it’s obvious could amount to no more than “See! I TOLD you so!”, without providing genuine insight. And, in unsettled times and crises, we do need genuine insight.
I’d value thoughtful comments on the following questions:
1. Is it just the glamour of being a victim in a society that pays far more attention to victimhood than achievement? (That latter is partly due to globalization and automation, which make many former achievements irrelevant or impossible.)
2. Is there a hidden political payoff that cancels out the disadvantage of introducing the suggestion of fraud?
Ultimately, it’s part of a broad, general swing in our society toward the notion that evidence does not really matter much, only how one feels about things. By former standards, it is a soft totalitarianism that tends to harden when conflicts over stories arise and a decision must be made. For many people, the decision will usually rely on victimhood status calculations and in consequence be largely evidence-free. It’s helpful to think out how one should prepare.
See also: Social workers, welcome to Sweden. Where you are not allowed to grieve a murdered colleague!