There are numerous aggravating hypocrisies that permeate our culture, such as right-wingers using the word “Orwellian” to refer to anything they don’t like, even if it has nothing to do with Orwell’s theories. However, using doublespeak to espouse doublespeak is not as egregious as claiming victimhood in order to maintain power.
Yes, “many White conservatives roll their eyes when Black people claim that systemic racism exists,” yet these same individuals “have steadily built a legal and political movement that claims White people are the primary victims of covert forms of racism embedded in American institutions.”
It’s a nifty trick. Racism doesn’t exist, except whenever White people feel they’re not in charge as God intended.
For example, it is not a problem that ethnic minorities are discriminated against on a political, social, and cultural level, or that we are underrepresented in everything from Fortune 500 boards to Hollywood movies.
No, the real issue is that White Americans “are the victims of bias in such institutions as mainstream media” and that universities are not “inclusive of right-leaning students.”
Damn it, there is a “pervasive anti-White mania” ravaging the country, and “some now say that White conservative men can’t get ahead.”
Back in the day, we would say that it was “hard out here for a pimp.” Now we have to say that it’s hard out here for a straight White middle-class Republican guy in the suburbs.
Just keepin’ it real.
In any case, this rhetorical sleight of hand is called “frame-flipping“—otherwise known as “flipping the script”—and it assumes that “systemic racism exists for White Americans but not for people of color.” It is yet another way in which the conservative movement regularly hijacks “the ideas and tactics of the very revolution or reform it opposes.”
It’s the political version of “I know you are, but what am I?”
There’s a whole history of conservatives using this tactic, and it works quite well for them. But we’ve recently entered a vast new realm of frame-flipping, one that excuses and even promotes violence.
For example, many right-wingers insist that liberal protesters are violent, which is why the truly peaceful people–conservatives—have to shoot them dead in the street. The logic is so ludicrous that millions of Republicans have no choice but to believe it.
In fact, “when incidents of right-wing violence occur, the right tries to deflect and derail, rather than joining efforts to take on extremist threats.”
So while you and I saw a rampaging mob attack the Capitol last January, our conservative friends saw patriots standing up for freedom. The attack was a “love fest” filled with “great people,” marred only by the cops who conservatives used to love, but who they now view as trigger-happy thugs.
As with most right-wing talking points, the justification for mayhem—as well as the beautification of the Capitol rioters—has some flaws. Primarily, there is the fact that we recently endured “the most lethal year for domestic extremist assaults since 1995,” and that White supremacists committed the vast majority of them.
The U.S. government states that “domestic violent extremists pose an elevated threat in 2021, and in the FBI’s view, the top … threat we face comes from racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, specifically those who advocate for the superiority of the White race.”
By the way, if you had any delusions that White supremacy could be non-violent, please consider the results of a deeply disturbing study. Researchers have discovered that “White Americans who hold racist beliefs are significantly more likely to endorse aggressive military interventions over diplomacy or economic strategies in foreign countries, if the residents of those countries are perceived as nonwhite.”
So that BLM protester who hurled a rock through a window? I wouldn’t be nearly as concerned with him as a neo-Nazi who wants to execute Democrats, or a senator who wants to bomb China.
But maybe that’s just me.