I do not know who Fredrik deBoer is, but this piece is fascinating. He expands upon Jon Chait’s lament over political correctness. I do have to say the funniest piece in response to Chait was some idiot at Vox who denied political correctness even exists.
The whole thing is a snapshot into Mordor. Take this for example:
I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 19 year old white woman — smart, well-meaning, passionate — literally run crying from a classroom because she was so ruthlessly brow-beaten for using the word “disabled.” Not repeatedly. Not with malice. Not because of privilege. She used the word once and was excoriated for it. She never came back. I watched that happen.
I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 20 year old black man, a track athlete who tried to fit organizing meetings around classes and his ridiculous practice schedule (for which he received a scholarship worth a quarter of tuition), be told not to return to those meetings because he said he thought there were such a thing as innate gender differences. He wasn’t a homophobe, or transphobic, or a misogynist. It turns out that 20 year olds from rural South Carolina aren’t born with an innate understanding of the intersectionality playbook. But those were the terms deployed against him, those and worse. So that was it; he was gone.
I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 33 year old Hispanic man, an Iraq war veteran who had served three tours and had become an outspoken critic of our presence there, be lectured about patriarchy by an affluent 22 year old white liberal arts college student, because he had said that other vets have to “man up” and speak out about the war. Because apparently we have to pretend that we don’t know how metaphorical language works or else we’re bad people. I watched his eyes glaze over as this woman with $300 shoes berated him. I saw that. Myself.
These things aren’t hypothetical. This isn’t some thought experiment. This is where I live, where I have lived. These and many, many more depressing stories of good people pushed out and marginalized in left-wing circles because they didn’t use the proper set of social and class signals to satisfy the world of intersectional politics. So you’ll forgive me when I roll my eyes at the army of media liberals, stuffed into their narrow enclaves, responding to Chait by insisting that there is no problem here and that anyone who says there is should be considered the enemy.
If you’ve ever read Lord of the Rings or even just seen the movies, Tolkien captured something so accurate about the nature of those without God. The cast and crew of Mordor are as nasty to each other as they are to everyone else. The orcs fight and kill and rip apart themselves.
Those who have an innate goodness in them that reflects God will stumble and fall and fight, but rarely are they constantly malicious with themselves and with others. They have a self-awareness burning in their conscience that makes it pretty hard to keep up on that front.
Those without that innate goodness reflecting God have no self-awareness on that front. They’ve filled that spot in their heart with something else. It becomes their idol and stone cold idols and idols in the head and heart do not have Christ’s grace, so it cannot be extended to others.
That’s the theological point behind it. It is also the reality, but is like burning coals in their ears and on their heads to point it out. Even writing this I know what the reaction from the left will be. But it is true. Those without Jesus are not of God. The things of the world are hostile to the things of God. And the things hostile to God are hostile to each other.
They only co-exist at peace and on a united front when fighting the things of God. We see this every day in culture. In Lord of the Rings, Eru Ilúvatar’s creations had true will and Melkor’s creation had pretended will. It had the appearance of being freely acted will, but really it was the maliciousness of Melkor controlling every action even between each other. Mordor of Middle Earth reflects well the Mordor of this earth.