victimization of victimhood

It occurs to me that there are three historic social injustices: sexism, racism against blacks, and anti-semitism. Each of these stems from an ancient injury - the misogyny of most tribal cultures, the practice of slavery, and the persecution of the Jews since antiquity.[1]

All of these injustices are real forces, still at work today, living and breathing and walking amongst us in the lesser halves of our natures. I also declare Aziz's Rule - that any ideology or party platform that denies the threat of any one or more of these injustices is fundamentally bereft of morality.

The classic liberal philosophy, which affirms the human potential irrespective of gender, color, or ethnicity, seeks to eliminate barriers that facilitate these injustices. Thus, affirmative action - which re-levels the playing field. Thus, the requirement that women's sports be funded in college. Thus, the establishment of a Jewish state.

However, there is a tendency amongst some victims of these injustices to embrace their victimhood as a badge of identity that in some ways trancends their identity as a woman, black, or Jew. In doing so, they create new ideological bludgeons which they use with little care.

With women, it is the idea that a woman who chooses not to strive to be like men and assert her social equality, is flawed, or worse subjugated and without mental resources to break free. She is to be pitied, but held aloft as a symbol of what the Feminist movement is about. A muslim woman who chooses to veil, for example, is seen as suffering from a version of battered-wife syndrome, and her attempts to "rationalize" her subjugation are proof that she is already lost.

With black people, it is the reparation movement. They assert that the only way to right the ancient wrong is for everyone who is not black to pay sums of money to those who are. Who is and isn't "black" is of course a minor detail. Clearly, those of us who are immigrants also share in this debt to those who have never been in bondage.

And with Jews, it is the idea that any critique of Israel is indeed equivalent to anti-Semitism. The Nation is the People and the People are the Nation. Those Jews who might object to the equivalence, living in New York for example, are clearly "self-hating Jews."

The worst thing about these attitudes and ideologies is that they fundamentally enable the ancient injustices to continue. The injustices feed off these ideolouges, using them against themselves. And hampering those who try to combat them honestly for the betterment of our society.

There's still so much work to do.

[1] Though I believe it to exist in equal measure as these three, I don't include anti-Islamism in this list. That's because Islam is a belief, not a trait. And hey, there's a certain seiness for being perseuted for what you believe in. Martin Luther and all that. Bring it on.

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