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I'm Offended That Everybody's Offended

Angry young woman shouting at her mobile with her mouth wide open as she reads a text message on the screen

 

For reasons I may never understand, a lot of people in 2018 America regard victimhood as a sort of currency. The worse off you claim to be, the higher your status. Every minute of every day is a competition to see who's the most oppressed. Who's the most offended. And when your entire identity centers around how badly you're being wronged, no slight is too slight. The better you're doing in life, the harder you have to work to stay #woke.

Here's Exhibit A. Jeff Sessions, speaking to the National Sheriffs' Association on Monday:

Jeff Sessions: "Since our founding, the independently elected sheriff has been the people's protector who keeps law enforcement close to and accountable to people through the elective process. The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement. We must never erode this historic office."

Sessions said "Anglo-American." You know what that means. That's a racist dog-whistle. It's just further proof that he's a white supremacist!

Yeah, Sessions could have been referring to that. But assuming anything but the worst is no fun. We need to scold him for talking about how our law enforcement tradition began 1,000 years ago in England. And of course, Obama meant something entirely different when he praised "the Anglo-American legal system" on the Senate floor in 2006. That was then, this is now. Let's all pretend Jeff Sessions is saying that only white people can be cops. [disapproving hashtag] [angry emoji]

Here's another horrible atrocity against designated victims everywhere:

Immigrants are good. That's why using the word "immigrants" is bad.

Bari Weiss was making a reference to the musical Hamilton:

I'm pretty sure white people aren't allowed to quote Hamilton, because the guy who wrote it isn't white. That's how it works when you're Not a Racist™.

Or how about this, from io9:

The "missed opportunity" is that a couple of secondary characters in Marvel's Black Panther are gay in the original comics, but the movie doesn't come right out and tell you they're gay. (What happened to saving something for the sequel?) No matter how "diverse" and "representational" you make your movie, it'll never be enough. We can't just enjoy superheroes doing superhero stuff. We gotta make it problematic.

I get offended by lots of things, every single day. I'm offended that some news outlets hate the Trump administration so much that they'll swoon over representatives of a totalitarian slave state if they think it'll hurt Mike Pence's feelings. I'm offended that most of the media is still protecting the identity of UVA rape-hoaxer Jackie Coakley, as if she's actually the victim of the crime she completely made up. I'm offended that lefties celebrate anthrax scares against family members of powerful politicians, as long as a Republican is in the White House. I'm offended that whenever I point out that not every single thing in the world is racist or sexist or homophobic, I get racists and sexists and homophobes trying to high-five me.

But that's my problem. Nobody has the right to not be offended. I'd like to think my reasons for being offended are better than your reasons, but it's nobody's problem but mine.

Of course, you can dismiss everything I've just said because I'm a white male, in a society where race and gender are merely social constructs. The less sense a rule makes, the angrier they get when you break it.