Vanderbilt University, November 2015: 200 students rise up to protest the white privilege and micro aggressions of the “racist,” “bigoted” Vanderbilt administration. The protestors don’t offer any specific examples of discrimination, but that doesn’t matter – what matters is that they feel victimized. The next day, a bag of dog poop shows up at the front door of the university’s Black Cultural Center. All hell breaks loose. Full of righteous indignation, student activist groups rush to Facebook to denounce the racist act. The police investigate; they quickly find the person responsible, but nobody is arrested.
You know why? Because it turns out that the bag of excrement wasn’t a racist attack. It was left by a blind girl with a service dog. She couldn’t find a trash can, so, wanting to do the responsible thing, she left the bag outside the door of a nearby building, knowing a janitor would pick it up and throw it away.
The student group did apologize – but then they added another charge against the administration: “The needs of students with disabilities on this campus are also marginalized.” Seriously – this is not a joke.
On the college campus today, feelings rule facts and victims are heroes. According to the left, all inequality in America is due to victimization. They start by claiming that all non-white people in America are victims of “white privilege.” Then come women. They’re all victims of the patriarchy. Then come gays, and lesbians and the transgendered – they’re all victims of our “heteronormative” and “homophobic” society.
But what if you haven’t actually been victimized by anybody? It doesn’t matter. To the left, so long as you feel victimized, you’re a victim. Even if you have never actually experienced discrimination, you’ve surely been targeted by “micro aggressions.” You know – nasty little words and phrases that weren’t meant to be insults, but just are.
If somebody asks you, “where are you from?” that’s considered a xenophobic micro aggression. They’re implying that you are a foreigner! If a man holds open a door for a woman – which, but the way, you’re supposed to do – that’s a sexist micro aggression because he’s treating her like she’s a helpless female. Of course, he’s also treating her like she’s a woman – but how would he know? And heaven forbid anybody address you by your biologically accurate pronoun. What if she identifies as a man?!?
In short, everyone is a victim – except, of course, straight, white males… Also, anybody who dares to disagree with the left. If you’re guilty of either of those crimes, you must be confronted, even if doing so requires actual aggression – like, say, a riot.
Here’s a trick the left plays to justify their violence: First, they say it’s okay to punch Nazis. Then, they say that every conservative – in fact, everybody they disagree with – is a Nazi. But here’s the biggest problem with the left’s argument: They’re based on feelings, not facts.
Take “white privilege.” The only real privilege in America is American privilege. Everybody in America has it – more than citizens of any other country in the world: the privilege to make your own decisions and live the life you choose.
According to the liberal Brookings Institution, if you make just these three decisions, you’ll do fine. And with drive and ambition, you'll probably do better than fine. First, finish high school. Second, don’t have babies before you’re married. Third, hold down a job. If you do these three things, you’ll be on your way to the privilege of middle-class life, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual-orientation, or gender.
Also, there’s no “patriarchy.” Women already make up the majority of college graduates, according to Time Magazine; young, single women without kids already earn more than their male counterparts. Oh, and gay and lesbian couples – they earn more than their straight counterparts, too.
These are facts, and facts don’t care about your feelings. Neither will your employer, if you get a job after you leave school. The moment you graduate, reality is going to hit you like a truck. People who give you a paycheck expect you to produce. They expect you to work. Hard. And all the claims of victimhood, all the whining – well, nobody cares.
So, stop worrying so much about your feelings, and start worrying a little more about being a good person, doing your best, and not getting in your own way.
If you don’t, the only thing you’ll be a victim of is yourself.
I’m Ben Shapiro, editor of The Daily Wire, for Prager University.