The noble defence of an infinitely multiplying list of ‘marginalised groups’ is a predatory movement
In a recent column, I vowed to return to a point made in passing. To refresh your memory, the American magazine the Nation printed a formal apology for running a harmless 14-line poem by a white writer about homelessness. The poet’s sins: using the word ‘cripple’ and adopting a voice lightly evoking what I gather we’re now to call ‘AAVE’: African-American Vernacular English. Facebookers were incensed, comments huffy. The poet apologised, too.
I decried this ritual progressive self-abasement as cowardly and undignified. But it’s worth taking a second look at that story as a prime example of screaming emotional fraudulence in the public sphere.