Well, you’ve done it again. You really put your foot in it this time. You related the wrong story in front of your lesbian aunt. You gave the wrong answer to your blind date’s question. Your coworker saw that meme you shared on the internet. Maybe you even dared to joke about some campus rape crisis. Or, perhaps your question to the professor during class revealed that you might not be convinced by the dominant narrative. How could you be so stupid? So insensitive?
Often, when we are told to toe the line, the intentions of those who would judge us for crossing that line are less than pure. The pressures to conform in our modern bastardized institutions often come in the form of personal attacks on the character of the dissident individual, not from any real coherent arguments. It doesn’t matter that the new rules were made yesterday. Times have changed; your objections are simply out of style. A new post-modern hat has been unveiled by the political fashion mavens and everyone is wearing it, but you. To the powers that be, your head is real-estate and it is time you sold the family thought farm to the strip-mall developers of feelings.
The personal attacks levied against you by the mob are well rehearsed and meant to really sting you, getting right to the core of your white male fragility.
Oh, I suppose you’ve heard them all. Then again, there aren’t that many. Also, they reveal more about the fragility and insecurity of your attackers than they do any weakness on your part. They’re easy to deconstruct and proving how flimsy they are to the face of your accuser, can give you many great moments of satisfaction. Let’s have a look at some of the most common attacks you will face as a white man with a point of view.
“You’re ignorant.” Hmmmm…Is it really your knowledge that is in question? Isn’t it the reality of your experience that is being denied? Is the impression life is making on you somehow invalid? You know what you know, but how does your accuser? The accusation of ignorance carries with it the assumption that others can know what is in your mind and what observations you have made. Calling someone ignorant is just a dressed-up way to call someone stupid and the burden of proof is on the accuser to prove what you don’t know. It isn’t likely that they can do that. It is unbearable for the know-it-all to entertain the notion that someone who disagrees with them knows something that they do not.
“It’s (insert current year). How can you still think like that?” Again, this is simply a denial of your experience, as well an assumption that contemporaries must think alike, which is quite remarkable. Someone who uses this line must believe that human progress is linear, and that society’s collective moral reasoning should only improve (in the direction of a “progressive” agenda of course) along with the passage of time. This is the ultimate confusion of fashion with truth.
“You must be a Christian.” This assumes that conventional morality and certain moral positions can only come from Christianity, which is quite a leap of logic indeed. It is also a denial of the fact that strict morality is a common feature in most religious traditions world-wide, even those that are often seen by Westerners as contemplative or esoteric in nature. After all, many Eastern religions have been popularized in the West as alternatives to Christianity and, therefore, have been interpreted as being merely mental hygiene. The folk religion and moral aspects of traditions such as Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism are often ignored by Westerners who gravitate toward them. This is a particularly dangerous line of thought, as it relegates traditional moral reasoning to the unseemly category of mere superstition, something to be replaced by science, technology and the whims of popular culture. It reveals not only a contempt for Christianity, but a very shallow understanding of world religions, as well as contempt for the idea of morality itself.
“You’ve been brainwashed by Limbaugh, or FOX News or by your backward family.” Yet another assumption, one that assumes not only one’s experiences and tastes, but also that you are just a slave to a corner of the information culture. This is really a projection, as most liberals accept the agenda presented to them by popular culture, the academy and news outlets such as NPR and CNN. There is also an assumption here that conservatives and dissidents are never at odds with their upbringing, which is a ridiculous assertion given the ever-changing political climate of the last several decades.
“You’re uneducated/Read a book!” Who, at this point, has not been subjected to liberal indoctrination through education? If education has not reached us, then that is an admitted failure of the state-endorsed and often state-run education system into which Americans have been paying, often through force, in the form of taxation and absurdly high tuition. We are told it is the minorities who suffer from a lack of educational resources. How, then, are stubborn whites the ones who have not been sufficiently reached? This also presupposes that all the information we are given through education is correct and untainted by bias. This simply cannot be true, as our understanding of the world is always subject to change and the mores of the establishment are ever moving left-ward.
Finally, and my favorite: “You just hate yourself!” This is a comical accusation. How one feels about themselves cannot be determined simply by hearing their thoughts or opinions. Again, this might often be a projection as well, as many insecure people blame their failures on others in attempt to sidestep their own need for personal change. Unlikable people often accuse others of being the difficult ones. You have a problem you haven’t come to grips with in their mind. This also assumes motive. The accuser believes that you only feel the way you do because of some short-coming in your life and your beliefs are some sort of over-compensation. How can something as complex as motive be so easily determined? You very well might feel bad about some aspects of your life, but that is hardly unhealthy and in no way means that you don’t have the ability to make judgements about the outside world. Does a hyper-inflated self-esteem really aid one’s reasoning?
The consistent error in all these attacks is actual prejudice on the part of the attacker. They assume that they already know what makes you tick. It is all just a matter of calling you out for your personal failings. It is a classic ad hominem fallacy, but they no longer care. The brainwashed masses have given up on trying ideas in the intellectual court and have gone straight to the executions of the thinkers.
For the indoctrinated person, all information must conform to an agenda. Today’s liberal agenda is masked behind people’s supposed feelings, their supposed motivations and narratives of victimization and privilege. It not only emphasizes the subjective, but obscures reality and experience with false history and Marxist mythology. Anyone who diverges from liberal orthodoxy must have their intellect demeaned, their observations discarded, and their experiences denied by people who claim to be fighting for tolerance, empathy and acceptance. Their hypocrisy is obvious, yet they don’t have the mental tools or intellectual honesty to realize this.
So, don’t be flustered or discouraged by those who berate you for having your wits about you. You know who you are, you know what you think and what brought you to your conclusions. After all, your head is yours, it isn’t just a hat rack and the truth never goes out of style.
-By Robert E. Lieberman
Robert E. Lieberman is a misanthrope, malcontent and unprincipled racist. His hobbies include sulking, brooding and just barely getting by.