We’re through the looking glass:
The president of prestigious Smith College is red-faced and apologetic Tuesday for telling students on the Northampton, Mass., campus that “all lives matter.”
There must be a misunderstanding, right? Some missing context, perhaps?
Nope. Here’s is the message that so vexed the student body:
“We are united in our insistence that all lives matter,” read the e-mail, in which she made clear she was strongly behind the protests, writing that the grand jury decisions had “led to a shared fury… We gather in vigil, we raise our voices in protest.”
Usually, one would imagine this to be a wholly reasonable sentiment. But not here. Rather, Fox reports, students
were offended that she did not stick with the slogan “black lives matter.”
The Daily Hampshire Gazette, which first covered the story, quoted one Smith sophomore, Cecelia Lim, as saying, “it felt like she was invalidating the experience of black lives.”
That’s one option, I suppose. The other is that, being a normal, busy, and not-entirely-politicized human being, President McCartney had no idea that she was “invalidating” a hashtag of which she wasn’t actually aware:
In response to student backlash, McCartney apologized in another campus-wide email Friday, saying she had made a mistake “despite my best intentions.”
She wrote that the problem with the phrase lay in how others had used it.
“I regret that I was unaware the phrase/hashtag “all lives matter” has been used by some to draw attention away from the focus on institutional violence against Black people,” she wrote.
Put another way, a woman just apologized for having failed to repeat a mantra that she didn’t know existed.
When conservatives argue that progressivism is becoming increasingly religious in nature, this is what they mean. Sure, McCartney didn’t know about the latest fad. But she still has to answer for her sins. After all, the spirit of social justice is everywhere, the Godhead may make claims on all who breathe, and the catechism can be enforced against all — whether they be a believer, a heretic, or anything in between.