At first blush, it may seem surprising that the Democratic Party would struggle so mightily to condemn the anti-Semitism of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). After all, Jewish Americans are largely a Democratic constituency. It’s not like the Democrats are being asked to come out in defense of white evangelicals or something (perish the thought).
Still, they punted on the chance to pass a resolution denouncing Omar’s anti-Jewish statements. Instead they condemned “hatred” in the vaguest terms possible, lumping Jews in with other random groups and calling out bigotry against “African-Americans, Native Americans, and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, immigrants and others.” Jews are sandwiched into the middle of the list — a list which notably excluded one of the Abrahamic faiths.
Why is this so difficult for them? Why not come out forcefully against a Muslim woman’s attacks on Jewish people? The answer is partly politics, of course, but that’s not the whole story. To appreciate their dilemma, we first need to understand the Left’s Victimization Flow Chart. In its current form, it looks like this:
Gay white men
Gay white women
Gay non-white men
Gay non-white women
On the leftist view, oppression flows down from the top, starting with white men. A group can only be oppressed by the groups above it. Think of victimhood like a waterfall: The laws of gravity dictate that the flow can never be reversed. White men victimize everyone but cannot be victimized by anyone. Transgenders, at the other extreme end, are victimized by everyone and can victimize no one. Oppression always flows downward.
The current rules of intersectionality tend to lump Jews into the “white” category. That means Ilhan Omar, a non-white woman, simply cannot be guilty of bigotry against Jews. It is definitionally impossible. This isn’t my invention, by the way. This is what they teach kids in college. Of course, when a college professor teaches the Victimization Flow Chart, he will not call it a Victimization Flow Chart. Instead, he’ll structure it in terms of privilege and “institutional power.” White men at the top have the most privilege and power, then white women, and so on. A group with less power and privilege literally cannot be racist or sexist or bigoted against groups with more power and privilege.
A Democratic congressman cited the Victimization Flow Chart, in so many words, when he argued that Ilhan Omar’s experience of bigotry and persecution is “more personal” than that of Jews whose parents survived the Holocaust. Such a claim is madness to those of us who aren’t beholden to the flow chart. But the Left’s theories of race and gender require them to rate people who were nearly driven to extinction just a few decades ago as “less oppressed” than a 37-year-old Muslim woman from Minneapolis.
This also explains why leftists will casually compare the plight of modern American homosexuals to that of African slaves in the 19th century. And it explains why, even in the midst of the #MeToo movement, young girls are still often forced to share their bathrooms and locker rooms with gender-confused men. The victimhood rules must always be followed, no matter what. And that means Ilhan Omar can say whatever the hell she wants to say.