Jonah Goldberg: The problem with the left’s attempts to redefine racism
A couple of weeks ago, The New York Times editorial board hired a technology writer, Sarah Jeong. When it was revealed that she had tweeted barbs against white people, conservatives formed a Twitter mob to demand her dismissal. While a few on the right said — or claimed — that they were offended by the substance of her tweets, the overriding passion derived from an understandable outrage about liberal double standards.
The argument took a familiar form: “If a white or conservative person said something like this about any other group, her career would be over!”
Many liberals responded that conservatives just don’t get it. There is no such thing as anti-white racism because racism is all about power. Whites — or white men — have it, other groups don’t.
Perhaps because this theory defies lived experience, progressives offered a new defense: “We don’t really mean it when we attack the pale patriarchy.”
Vox’s Ezra Klein recalled that he didn’t enjoy the Twitter hashtag #KillAllMen, which apparently became popular in his progressive circle a while back. “I didn’t like it. It made me feel defensive. It still makes me feel defensive.”
“But,” Klein added, “I also knew that wasn’t what they were saying. They didn’t want me put to death. They didn’t want any men put to death.” They just wanted things to be better for women.
Klein has a point, but he also misses one. I have no doubt that many of his female — or male! — compatriots aren’t much interested in wholesale android. Nor do I think Jeong is interested in “canceling” white people. These are shibboleths of the Woke Establishment.