When I was about five years old, my friends and I invented for ourselves, as little boys will, a gang. We had a name (I cannot recall what it was), colors, insignia, rank, etc. But we were missing the most important element: an enemy. So we made one up, assigning various eccentricities to its more infamous members, filling in the backstory to explain our eternal hatred and rivalry. The challenge of that sort of recreation is that it demands absolute imaginative buy-in from the participants; as soon as somebody points out that there isn’t really an enemy sniper in the apple tree, it’s all over.
Perhaps the connection here to Bruce Jenner is not entirely obvious to you.
Our friends on the left spend a great deal of time insisting that “diversity is our strength,” but that is pure women-with-penises talk. What’s meant by “diversity” is “absolute conformity, ruthlessly enforced.” Jenner, though, has not learned the rules of this game, and it is driving the self-appointed referees crazy.
But there is a nasty reality underneath the fantasy.
Under the current rules of the progressives’ game, a gay man’s mind — a black man’s mind, an immigrant’s mind, Bruce Jenner’s mind — is not his own.
Under the current rules of the progressives’ game, a gay man’s mind — a black man’s mind, an immigrant’s mind, Bruce Jenner’s mind — is not his own. If you are a gay man, you are forbidden from finding your situation “pretty comfortable” and hence believing that it is more important to enact Marco Rubio’s national-security agenda than Hillary Rodham Clinton’s gay-rights agenda, whatever that is this week. That simply is not permitted. The price of enjoying the special status associated with cultural victimhood is mandatory conformity with the self-appointed progressive advocates who tell others what to think about you and tell you what to think about you, too.
That is one of the reasons why the Left works so tirelessly to destroy prominent conservatives who are not white men, savaging the likes of Clarence Thomas and Nikki Haley. That is why the success of immigrants from India and Nigeria so scandalizes these so-called progressives: These immigrants aren’t going along with the game, which insists that we pretend that this is an oppressive, abusive, racist society that hates blacks and the foreign-born even as its armed forces salute a black man with a Kenyan father. Amy Chua became a hate totem for suggesting that “tiger moms” see to the success of these communities by declining to coddle their children too much, rejecting the ethos of minority victimhood for the practical proposition that nobody can look down on you if you’re at the top. That kind of thinking, left unchecked, would mean a lot of unemployment among kindergarten diversity officers and media censors tut-tutting about celebrities’ oppressive attitude toward parts of speech.
And that is not how the game is played. One wonders why so many people choose to be pawns in it.
— Kevin D. Williamson is National Review’s roving correspondent.