G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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In my discussion of the hate crime hoax out of Louisiana last week, I linked to a piece at Salon which basically made the argument: “It doesn’t matter that the hate crime was fabricated because discussing this still does more good than harm by highlighting a problem which does actually exist.”
Though I’m not surprised that a liberal has ever made this type of argument, I was surprised by the timeliness of a passage in Christopher Lasch’s The Revolt of the Elites which touched on the Tawana Brawley case (here is The New Republic piece by Jim Sleeper from which Lasch borrowed):
When the “rape” of Tawana Brawley, proclaimed by Al Sharpton and Alton Maddox as a typical case of white oppression, was exposed as a hoax, the anthropologist Stanley Diamond argued in the Nation that “it doesn’t matter whether the crime occurred or not.” Even if the incident was staged by “black actors,” it was staged with “skill and controlled hysteria” and described what “actually happens to too many black women.” William Kunstler took the same predictable line: “It makes no difference anymore whether the attack on Tawana really happened…[It] doesn’t disguise the fact that a lot of young black women are treated the way she was treated.” It was to the credit of black militants, Kunstler added, that they “now have an issue with which they can grab the headlines and launch a vigorous attack on the criminal justice system.”
As becomes clearer through the years, black women are rarely ever targeted by white men for rape or hate crime. This should be a positive turn of events, yet it seems likely that many purveyors of victimology wish that white men would just behave as evilly as everyone knows that they are deep down inside.
This Machiavellian quality seems to be a rhetorical device employed almost exclusively by liberals. It’s a function of their having majority control of media outlets and seeing it as their job to utilize it as a tool to uproot the evil which they just know exists deep in the heart of white supremacist capitalistic patriarchy. They believe that any examples they come up with that expose the evil of the status quo are valid regardless of if they are perfectly truthful. So when they inevitably turn out to be hoaxes they just shrug their shoulders with the belief that it is only a matter of time before they score The Big One.