Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Playing Victim for Fun and Profit

So the news -- and the Comedy Channel -- are bouncing around with the story about Rachel Dolazel, who's still pretending to be Black, even to the point of denying her parents.  The question everyone seems to be hung up on is, why? 

Well, I can think of a few motives.

1)  The same reason that a perfectly White, but ambitious, young journalist a few years ago changed his name from Gerry Rivers to Geraldo Rivera:  to cash in on the economic fruits of Bourgeois Liberal Guilt.  There are a surprising number of benefits available to Blacks and Latinos who know how to game the system:  loans, grants, scholarships, internships, earmarked jobs, free housing, preferential hiring, a free pass on several questionable ethical and legal practices, and so on.  Of course, you have to know the system, or have a patron who does, in order to even know these goodies exist, let alone get them.

2)  To get back at Mumsie and Dadsie.  This is a common syndrome among privileged -- some would say spoiled -- children who cherish an adolescent grudge against their parents, whom they think haven't given them enough.  If the parents are perceived as liberal, the disgruntled child will often become a noisy reactionary -- like Randall Terry, son of a well-known feminist, who rebelled by becoming a foaming anti-abortionist.  If the parents are perceived as conservative, the child -- especially if female -- will usually rebel by flaunting his/her sex affairs with multiple partners of other races.  It's rare that a child will go so far as to insist that he/she is a member of another race, or insist -- after early teen years, anyway -- that he/she was really born to other parents and was Stolen By Gypsies or somebody like them.

3)  To gain the political justifications of victimhood.  Claiming retaliation for some real or fancied injury is an old excuse for doing harm to people one intended to harm anyway.  This is often linked to the Big Lie tactic, perfected by the Nazis to justify their intended conquest of the western hemisphere, and used by various breeds of Fascists ever since.  Note how Syrian and Jordanian Arabs, over the last 70 years, have labelled themselves "Palestinians" and wailed that The Wicked Jews "stole" their land -- when in fact "Palestine" never existed as a country, and those Arabs indignantly refused to accept a proposed country of that name when the UN offered it to them in 1947.  (They refused because they didn't want just "Palestine" but all of Israel as well, and thought they could take it for themselves.  The Israeli army proved them wrong, multiple times, so they've been crying to bigger and stronger neighbors ever since to give them "back" what they refused in the first place.)  There are considerable political rewards to being perceived as a victim.

4)  To gain the emotional rewards of playing Pity Me.  This is a game usually played by women who can't or won't put out the effort to win love, so instead they settle for pity.  In extreme cases, such women may secretly harm their own children so as to gain their friends'/relatives'/neighbors' "sympathy".  In lesser cases, they'll often arrange survivable injuries for themselves.

Any or all of these may be involved in the Rachel Dolazel case.  What's interesting is that she chose Blackness as her path to sympathy, righteousness, money, power, and revenge.  I don't blame the NAACP, who'd been so thoroughly taken in by her charade, for dropping her like a hot potato.

--Leslie <;)))><        


Technomad said...

The benefits of being a member of a favored minority are really great, in some cases. I've commented bitterly that if I'd been able to check off "Native American" on applications, I would have long since been happily ensconced in a career-track position.

Matter of fact, I'm rather surprised that no corrupt tribal government has yet (to my knowledge) made it possible for white-eyes like me to be enrolled in the tribe for a reasonable consideration. Every tribe decides who is and is not a member, after all---ISTR that the Cherokee recently purified their rolls and kicked a bunch of people out.

Leslie Fish said...

*Snicker* How times have changed! My maternal grandmother was Meti (French and Chippewa) and found it politic to "pass" as White -- though that meant suppressing certain otherwise-public records. The very knowledge that my great-grandmother was Chippewa was a family secret, whispered from mother to daughter, with no records kept -- which is why I couldn't apply for membership in the Chippewa tribal rolls today. Back then, 'twas more profitable to be White.

Ori Pomerantz said...

We have the technology for trans-racials to do "race reassignment therapy" (tattoos). I think we should only recognize them as real trans-racials if they pursue that ;-)

Paradoctor said...

As for me, I'm trans-class. I'm a billionaire in a thousandaire's body. I've briefly considered a class reassignment procedure, but it involves removing your soul.

Technomad said...

Another example of this sort of thing would be Ward Churchill (remember him?) He claimed to be an American Indian, but no tribe had records of his membership. He sneered at such records as "poodle papers for Indians," and, since a lot of people with Native blood are not tribe members, he did have a point. Even so, he had no proof anybody could find that he had such ancestry.

Then he was caught pulling a Rob Granito---i.e., selling traced art (from a book I have read, no less---The Mystic Warriors of the Plains) as his own. Oops! I don't know if he lost his job (something to do with teaching about Indians at a college) but I haven't heard about him in a long time.