Jussie Smollet has finally been arrested for staging a fake hate crime attack against himself. Police believe he also sent a threatening letter covered in white powder to himself, which could presumably lead to more (and potentially much more serious) charges. He was motivated, according to law enforcement, by a desire for a pay raise. It is not clear how getting beat up would necessarily lead directly to a raise. It certainly seems like an odd way to engage in salary negotiations.
I would theorize that there was probably more to it, psychologically, than mere greed. Everyone likes money, everyone wants a raise, but most people don’t hire two large Nigerian men to kick the hell out of them in order to achieve that goal. Why did Jussie take that rather drastic and convoluted step? Because, as I wrote a few days ago, he covets victimhood. Our culture fosters such a mentality, teaching kids from a young age that victimhood is power, victimhood is status, and victimhood is privilege.
It is a very unfortunate thing, then, to live in the most tolerant and open civilization in the history of the world while at the same time seeking validation and identity in oppression. The rash of fake hate crimes shows how desperate the victimhood mongers have become. But we need not limit ourselves to hate crime hoaxes.
Consider other recent events. A few weeks ago, the media spun a dramatic yarn about Catholic school students randomly accosting an innocent Native American man. This week, leftists on Twitter dusted off an offensive 50-year-old Playboy interview with John Wayne and spent the day scolding his corpse. Yesterday, feminists got very upset because the director of the upcoming "Ghostbusters" movie said he wanted to "give the movie back to the fans," which apparently is hurtful to women for some reason or another. Meanwhile, a performance of "The Vagina Monologues" was canceled because the show is now offensive to transgenders. I could go on.
The point is that the Left must now apparently dig up the dead or hire Nigerians if they want to be oppressed. They are reduced to searching for persecution in "Ghostbuster" films and renditions of "The Vagina Monologues." They are martyred even by facial expressions. They cannot just admit that we are the least racist, least sexist, least "homophobic," most open-minded and welcoming society to ever exist on Earth. Rather than express gratitude for the unearned privilege of living in by far the most accepting time and place imaginable, they go around turning over every rock and shining a flashlight into every crevice, hoping to find the faintest hint of something they can construe as bigotry. And if they cannot find it, they invent it themselves.
Listen to Matt's latest podcast