Over at NRO, David French writes a powerful piece about the moral and historic absurdity of identity politics in American life.
I can’t recall the first time I heard the phrase “white male” hissed as if it were some form of particularly vile insult. I know it happened in law school, where it was used as a short-hand way of saying that I should be silent, that my views were not welcome. Over time, I learned that, to a certain set of people, there was something positively wrong with being white. “We” were the great privileged oppressors of history. And “we” were the great privileged oppressors of the present.
Read the whole thing. If you think French is wrong about the pervasiveness of this vacuous point of view, I take you all the way back to yesterday.
When Donald Trump released his cut-and-paste list of originalist judicial candidates for the Supreme Court, there were about a hundred potentially informative ways to dive in. The media could talk about how difficult it will be for skeptical movement conservatives to ever trust a GOP candidate who has so often broken his word, changed positions and been unmoored from principle. They could offer readers some insight into the more interesting or counterintuitive positions of the contenders, or offer some notable cases these judges have adjudicated. Since most of them have, one imagines, put in decades of work to attain their positions surely there are interesting biographical details that go beyond their race. And some did.
But as you’ve probably noticed, the first instinct of many in the media is to take a headcount on the race, gender and sex of those involved and crunch the numbers first. This is how contemporary America determines if things are fair or decent or racist or evil. Because if we can’t judge people by the color of their skin or their sex—or who they’re having sex with—then how exactly can we judge them?
— Justin Miller (@justinjm1) May 18, 2016
The Left gave us the obvious headlines like: “Your Ultimate Guide To The 11 White People Donald Trump Will Consider For The Supreme Court” and “All 11 of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominees are white” and so on. At FiveThirtyEight, they did their duty before offering some characteristically interesting takes: “Trump’s Court Picks Are Mostly White Men, But They Are Still Unconventional”—as if it needs to be pointed out that “white” and “interesting” can coexist.
The Daily Beast’s first story out of the gate was: “Trump Reveals All-White List of Potential SCOTUS Nominees.” Not, “Trump Reveals Highly Impressive List of Potential Conservative SCOTUS Nominees” or “Trump Reveals Highly Controversial List of Potential SCOTUS Nominees” or “Trump Offers Conservatives The Bunch of Crazy Right Wingers They Want As Potential SCOTUS Nominees.” It’s just a bunch of white people, which tells liberals all they need to know about the judges, and the candidate who picked them,…