May 11, 2012
If Victor Davis Hanson had written this about Australia, he could have be headed for
the Star Chamber Federal Courtroom 1.
In our self-created racial labyrinth, no one quite knows who qualifies as an oppressed victim.
by Victor Davis Hanson
Sometimes a trivial embarrassment can become a teachable moment. It was recently revealed that Harvard professor and U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren had self-identified as a Native American for nearly a decade — apparently to enhance her academic career by claiming minority status. Warren, a blond multimillionaire, could not substantiate her claim of 1/32 Cherokee heritage. (And would it have reflected any better on her if she could have?) Instead, she fell back on the stereotyped caricature that a relative of hers had “high cheekbones.”
Not long ago, University of Colorado academic Ward Churchill was likewise exposed as a fraud in his claims of Native American ancestry. This racial con artist was able to fabricate an entire minority identity and parlay it into an activist professorship that otherwise would not have been possible for a white male of his limited talent.
In truth, after a half-century in our self-created racial labyrinth, no one quite knows who qualifies as an oppressed victim or why — only that the more one can change a name or emphasize lineage, the better the careerist edge. The real worry is that soon we will have so many recompense-seeking victims that we will run out of concession-granting oppressors.
How odd (or rather, how predictable) that something that started out as a supposedly noble lie — that to atone for past bias we must be judged by the color of our skin rather than the content of our character — has become utterly ignoble and beneath us.
Read the complete article (while you can) at National Review Online
Subscribe to Quadrant magazine here…
The Quadrant Book of Poetry: 2001 - 2010
edited by Les Murray