I had a guest at my cottage two weekends ago and it did not go well. We discussed victimhood culture, which she subscribes to, as many people on the left do.
When presented with views that she had never considered before, she resorted to doing what she does best: playing the victim and asking where my empathy was.
It’s astonishing to me how many people on the left cannot consider the opposing views to their political positions without labelling them as evil. It’s really closed minded, and indicative of a limited person to label any criticism, or even questions to one’s personal political views as bigotry.
While at the cottage, the topic was appropriate of our time, and focused on victimhood culture. I was speaking generally about the progress that we as a country have made, but she as a mixed-race woman took it personally. It’s as though if you’re not on board with the narrative that all minority groups are victims, if you challenge the divisive message about white supremacy and white privilege, or criticize the claims of toxic masculinity and the phantom patriarchy, you are insulting their identity.
Eventually, with this type of mindset it’s best to walk away. I don’t shy away from offering a counter argument when I believe it’s necessary, but I’m also not interested in debating people who can’t. I also realized that I was speaking to someone who was incapable of listening, and even, learning.
I always find it curious that progressives can’t find progress anywhere. That they behave like we’re living in a time and a place far worse than that of the American civil rights movement of the 1960s. It’s dishonest and it’s damaging to cling to this victimology.
As a Canadian gay man I know what it’s like to grow up in a suburb of Toronto, surrounded by immigrants who came from even more oppressive places, with hostile views about gays, and to have no rights, as equal rights for gays in Canada wasn’t sewed up until perhaps 2006.
But it would be dishonest of me to pretend and behave as though my life in 2021 is comparable to my life in 1998, for instance. That simply is not true. Not only has Canadian society made tremendous progress when it comes to gay liberation, but so have I.
So it bothers me that progressives cannot acknowledge this and blame their failures, or troubles in life on an enemy that certainly does not exist anymore. That’s not to say there are not ignorant and hateful people still, because there are, and there always will be. But most people are good.
It’s that goodness within the human spirit that has paved the way for so much of the progress we see in Canada. For all its faults, if you’re gay, trans, BIPOC, or any other minority, Canada offers refuge, a sanctuary that provides all of us with the opportunities to be ourselves.
It doesn’t mean that the road to success is easy, nor should it be. One builds character in overcoming hardships, and though at the time it may seem unfair, when you get through it, you realize you are far better off for having persevered.
That’s a good thing.