By now everyone knows that Dayna Morales, the lesbian waitress who claimed to have been denied a tip over her sexual orientation, was lying. It’s not the first politically correct receipt hoax and it won’t be the last. These hoaxes happen because leftist activists promote them and the media picks them up. The world is full of liars and con artists, but it’s revealing to see which of their lies and cons succeed.
Morales’ hoax is a blip in the larger pattern of faked hate crimes. Bigotry is the witch hunt of the modern Salem and progressive witch hunters are just as careless about facts and evidence. Now as then, the goal is to stamp out an attitude and a cultural threat, rather than to enforce the law, and that leads inevitably to the entire tawdry parade of hysterical denunciations and moral panic.
But what is behind this need to manufacture intolerance?
The left built up its replacement for class warfare around identity politics. Though we take most of these identities, including the racial trinity and homosexuality, for granted, they are really modern artificial constructs that define how people should define themselves, rather than accepting them as they are.
Strangely enough, racial and sexual identities were more nuanced centuries ago than they are today where the “one drop rule” now goes completely unchallenged in matters of race and equally so in matters of sexual orientation. Anyone who can be claimed on any grounds by the victim group, must be identified with them or face accusations of false consciousness.
We are less willing to contemplate biracial and bisexual today than we were a century ago. Instead leftist collectivism demands that everyone be either one thing or another. Everyone is divided into categories of victim and oppressor. Just as no one can be both on both sides of the class struggle; so too the left rejects the idea of being on both sides of the victim line in race or sexual orientation.
On Seinfeld, Jerry’s dentist joined Judaism for the jokes. Leftists are joining native tribes for the victimhood. Meanwhile they’re defining those identities solely in terms of victimhood.
The absurdity of people lining up to be victims has led to the proliferation of fake Indians, like Elizabeth Warren and Ward Churchill in the United States, and white aborigines in Australia. The fake indigenous tribal has little in the way of a genetic or cultural connection to any native people; but chooses to trade in his or her white identity, at least temporarily, to enhance their leftist politics.
They are engaging in a fraud much bigger than a forged receipt; but they are doing it for the same reasons.
An identity defined in terms of victimhood needs fresh injections of oppression to sustain its existence. Those African-Americans who define “blackness” not in terms of positive values but in terms of negative values, need white racism, the real thing or the fake one, to remind them of who they are. And the same holds true for other oppressed minorities who define themselves not by their culture or values; but by their resentments.
Intolerance has become identity. If you define your minority identity on the left’s terms, then if you aren’t being oppressed, you aren’t real. And if you constantly read accounts about other black people or other gay people being discriminated against and those experiences don’t match yours; you begin to wonder if something isn’t wrong with you. If maybe you aren’t an authentic member of the group.
There are two ways out of this intellectual trap; either recognizing that an identity need not be based on a sense of persecution or becoming “creative” about finding new forms of persecution.
It’s easy to mock Dayna Morales for forging a receipt snub. If only she had learned about critical race theory, she would have been able to denounce the family in question for their privilege. Instead of faking a receipt, she would have been able to express her internal need for persecution in the political language of the left.
Dayna only forged a single receipt. Obama spent five years in the White House forging phony racism accusations to protect him on every issue from the economy to ObamaCare.
The left’s need for victimization means that increasing levels of tolerance actually lead to escalating confrontations with these manufacturers of intolerance. The assertion that all white people are innately racist because of their privilege is one such response to increasing tolerance. By claiming that whiteness itself is racist, the left gets back to political identity, rather than actual discrimination, as the source of conflict and redefines even the most tolerant university multicultural spaces as racist.
The manufacturers of intolerance, whether they’re tenured academics like Ward Churchill, professional politicians like Barack Obama or angry waitresses like Dayna Morales, respond to tolerance with provocations. Their goal is to elicit evidence of intolerance to sustain their political identity. The more tolerance they encounter, the more they escalate their provocations.
Their goal is not a tolerant society. It’s not a multiracial society or a post-racial society. It is a society perpetually at war over identity politics. That conflict is what gives them power.
Tolerance provokes them by challenging their identity as members in good standing of the officially oppressed. Being accepted insults the entire basis of their identity. Schizophrenics experience the discontinuity between the real world and the distorted world in their heads as threatening. Likewise the left, which insists on racism, reacts with paranoia to any talk that the country has become more tolerant. Their political schizophrenia is unable to accept America as it is. Instead they are bent on seeing the bigoted country that they experience inside their own heads.
Paranoid schizophrenics manufacture things to be paranoid about. Identity politics manufactures its own illusory bigotries. The schizophrenic Two Americas of liberals are really the America that exists and the hateful cartoon of it that they draw in their own heads, depict in movies, scrawl into articles and broadcast on television.
Liberals claim to want a better America, but they reject it at every turn. Their cynicism even poisons what should have been their triumphs.
Obama’s victory was an opportunity for healing and unity. Even many Republicans cheered his inauguration, but liberals rejected the gift that Americans were giving and instead doubled down. Racism became their response to everything. Now every week brings another editorial accusing skeptics of government health care of being the new Confederacy. The New York Times even ran an op-ed describing a new Mason-Dixon line composed of states that rejected Medicaid expansion.
As disappointing at this behavior was to many, it was an inevitable as that forged receipt. The left derives its purpose from defending the oppressed and doling out social justice. If racism were gone, it would have to find a new reason to justify its existence. It had to go through that once when class warfare imploded under the pressure of American prosperity. It isn’t about to go searching for a substitute for the racial tensions it manufactures.
The dominant political identity groups have responded to growing tolerance in the United States by defining intolerance down or provoking intolerant responses through aggressive publicity stunts. If the stunts don’t bring out disgust and anger that they can work with, then they will simply invent intolerance wholesale by claiming that bigotry isn’t an act or a word, but an innate attitude that lurks buried deep within the majority group. And that the only healing can come when the majority rejects its own identity and joins a minority group.
Beyond the community organizers, the academics and the political hacks who feed off that hatred are the millions of Americans who have not only unknowingly swallowed their dogma, but who have built entire identities around that sense of insecurity and oppression. These people are driven to organically manufacture intolerance because it defines who they are.
The left has dumped millions of Americans into this shadowy world where they have no positive reason for existing, only a negative one of defying some phantom establishment of patriarchy and some nebulous idea of white privilege.
Wearing chips on their shoulders they seek to provoke the confrontations that give them meaning and when their anger is met with tolerance, they manufacture intolerance with forged receipts, with accusations of white privilege, with fake hate crimes and phony accusations of racism.
It’s a short distance from Dayna Morales forging a receipt to get some money and attention to Barack Obama faking accusations of racism to win a political fight and score another term.