The victim cramp of cultural relativists (and how dropping it could save us all)

posted by Eivind on July 9, 2011, at 11:46 am

I read this short article over at the Good Men Project. Something about some right wing Republican talking about African Americans and who said this in an interview:

Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.

Tom Matlack and a lot of commenters went ra ra ra – this is terrible, awful. She is implying that African Americans were better off as slaves. Why don’t I see that implication? It got me thinking. When are people still stuck in the postmodern cramp going to stop disempowering themselves with their trigger happy victim circuitry? (this is nothing personal – just a general reflection inspired by thoughts triggered by the GMT piece)

This morally outraged rhetoric of the postmodern world is the source of a huge amount of problems. It contributes to the polarization of right and left. In this way, liberals contributed to creating the tea party movement, just like they contributed to creating Derek Vinyard in American History X. Let’s now grow up and recognize the world as interconnected and understand that we are all implicated in some way or another.

As people of higher consciousness (according to Spiral Dynamics), liberals should now take that one final step into 2nd tier consciousness and learn to own their part of it. The onus is on those of higher consciousness to behave in a “higher way”. Then the polarization would reduce and right wing Republicans would be free to start growing from their little political-Biblical cramps into full, God-given selfhood.

Anyway, here’s my reply to the blog post (which for some reason didn’t get through).

I’m intrigued by this. I have no idea who this woman is. I can’t stand the Republican party and think they are largely a bunch of narrow-minded religious zealots. I’m quite liberal and I’m for all the things you say she is against.

But I look at the statement – without any background information and no emotional investment – and simply can’t understand what the fuzz is about.

What I see is simply an expression of concern for the development of the African American family structure. I see you speak about “implications”. What are those? I can’t for the life of me see how the statement implies that African American families were better off as slaves. I notice in myself that I could choose to interpret it that Obama, as a representative of the Democrats, has made conditions worse for African Americans. I *think* can notice – EXTREMELY faintly – how a voice in me would have it that she claims African Americans were botter off as slaves. EXTREMELY FAINTLY.

Yet, I choose not to listen to those inner voices. I could. But why disempower myself? Why speculate about what something means only to reaffirm a broken part of me?

One of the things I don’t like about the postmodern world is that there is an enormous enthusiasm to play the victim card. I find myself losing trust in a man or a woman who screams bloody outrage too easily. I see that as psychological projection. I see it as a person with poor psychological boundaries and an inability to see their own inner shadow complex (the way they themselves judge ALL the time) using another person’s slip as an opportunity to further sidestep the important work of turning attention inwards.

Those of you upset by this – are you sure you are not just firing on all emotional circuits because you are so USED to it? That this is not about any objective decency, but about your own habitual tendencies?

The more we let ourselves be triggered, the less we can *be the change* in the world.

I say this having no political or emotional background with this woman. And remember – these words are the only ones I have ever seen from her. And if she is a member of the Tea party movement, I don’t respect her (we’re not in the middle ages anymore). So I basically suspect I would find her unappealing.