A Muslim woman in Louisiana who told police she was attacked with a metal object and robbed of her headscarf and wallet by two men wearing Donald Trump clothing just hours after Trump was elected president admitted to police today that she made it up, Lafayette police told ABC News.
“She made up the entire story about being attacked, about her hijab being taken. There was no truth to any of it,” Lafayette Police Department spokesman Cpl. Karol Ratcliff said.
The 18-year-old University of Louisiana at Lafayette student, who police haven’t named, reported that two white men jumped out of a gray sedan and accosted her while she was walking near campus, striking her several times in the back with a metal object, and knocking her down. She also told police they shouted racial obscenities at her before fleeing. Police said they weren’t able to identify any suspects and that she declined medical treatment.
My first thought: Why would someone make up such a story?
Then I remembered where I found this story in the first place. It was in a rather unhinged article on Slate written by Michelle Goldberg. “These are vicious days in America. The deplorables are emboldened,” Goldberg wrote, and she linked to a report that includes the bogus story to prove it. (She didn’t know at the time it was bogus, of course.)
Notice, Goldberg didn’t put quotation marks around the word “deplorables.” This implies that she believes these folks are indeed deplorable racists and bigots, modern day Brown Shirts who pose a genuine threat to marginalized groups.
The phony attack story is a perfect example of the fetishizing of victimhood that we recently touched on. It seems paradoxical, but there is power in victimhood in 21st century America. It can be used to silence and destroy one’s enemies. It can be used to make one feel morally and intellectually superior.
It’s a faux form of empowerment, to be sure, but one many students have been conditioned to learn and adopt. The tragedy is that it breeds fear, and living in fear is a terrible thing (this is true regardless of whether or not there is a legitimate reason to be fearful).
There has been a lot of talk about what Donald Trump should do in his first 100 days as president. In my opinion, his top priority should be to show these people they truly have nothing to fear, that no one is going to the gulags and that the rule of law applies equally to all citizens regardless of color or creed.
It will be a powerful first step in destroying the culture of victimhood that has blossomed in recent years and the culture of fear that exists largely because of it.
Jon Miltimore is senior editor of Intellectual Takeout. Follow him on Facebook.