Robert Wargas on letting others know you’re insufficiently black:
Since progressivism is largely a status game, in which people compete for social prestige by repeating a set of approved phrases and opinions to other status-seeking mandarins, it’s not surprising that some will go to sado-masochistic lengths to remain part of the alpha group. By now, the increasingly creepy tendency of using the word ‘white’ as a glib insult has become well established in left-wing commentary… One must continually prove oneself to be part of the correct crowd. Purity, you see, comes from ritual self-abasement, from flogging oneself in columns and blog posts and from swearing through gritted teeth that you love every minute of it.
See, for instance, our thrilling series Agonies of the Left. Or this. And yes, it can get quite heated and competitive. In the process, some will indeed tie themselves in rhetorical and emotional knots. And so we learn that the way to get past small differences in physiology is to continually fixate on small differences in physiology. And those who choose not to do this and aren’t terribly interested in a person’s pigmentation are to be denounced as “neo-racists.” Because “to ignore race is to be more racist than to acknowledge race.” It’s very clever. Guilt in all directions. Why, it almost sounds like a trap.
But as illustrated here some time ago, pretentious guilt must be cultivated if you want to get ahead, at least in certain circles:
One needn’t be a cartoon Tory to marvel at Decca Aitkenhead’s classic Guardian piece, Their Homophobia is Our Fault, in which she insisted that the “precarious, over-exaggerated masculinity” and murderous homophobia of some Jamaican reggae stars are products of the “sodomy of male slaves by their white owners.” And that the “vilification of Jamaican homophobia implies… a failure to accept post-colonial politics.” Thus, sympathetic readers could feel guilty not only for “vilifying” the homicidal sentiments of some Jamaican musicians, but also for the culpability of their own collective ancestors. One wonders how those gripped by this fiendish dilemma could even begin to resolve their twofold feelings of shame. It’s important to understand these are not just lapses in logic or random fits of insincerity; these outpourings are displays – of class and moral elevation. Which is why they persist, despite getting knottier and ever more absurd. Crudely summarised, it goes something like this: “I am better than you because I pretend to feel worse.”
It would of course be a pity to let all that pretentious guilt go to waste. After all, it can buy you so much leverage over idiots. Why not memorise – then accuse others of using – an ever-growing catalogue of new racial code words? A subject on which Mark Steyn offers to act as guide:
On MSNBC, Chris Matthews declared this week that Republicans use “Chicago” as a racist code word. Not to be outdone, his colleague Lawrence O’Donnell pronounced “golf” a racist code word. When Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell observed that Obama was “working to earn a spot on the PGA tour,” O’Donnell brilliantly perceived that subliminally associating Obama with golf is racist, because the word “golf” is subliminally associated with “Tiger Woods,” and the word “Tiger” is not so subliminally associated with cocktail waitress Jamie Grubbs, nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel, lingerie model Jamie Jungers, former porn star Holly Sampson, etc., etc. So by using the word “golf” you’re sending a racist dog-whistle that Obama is a sex addict who reverses over fire hydrants.
If you’re still unclear on this, Michelle Malkin has a list.
And don’t forget this master class in hallucinating racism.