The social justice left never ceases to amaze. The movement has promoted some seriously destructive ideas, but this one might be one of the worst.
Vice News recently aired a documentary on HBO covering a group of women who traveled to Costa Rica to participate in the “Women of Color Healing Retreat.” This gathering allows minority women to eat vegan cuisine, practice yoga, and attend “political education seminars.”
Oh, and whites are banned from the retreat.
That’s right. Only minority women are permitted to participate. So basically, these women can do the same things they do in the United States, but with no white folks.
To the white people who are reading this, I know what you’re thinking. And no, you’re not allowed to have a whites-only vacation. It’s racist if you do it. Just take a trip to Maine or something.
A “Safe Space” For Black Women
The documentary focuses on a group of black women who have chosen to go on the retreat primarily to escape white people. These are individuals who say that living life as a black woman has caused so much stress that they felt the need to get away from white people.
One of the participants stated that dealing with whites is “like a mental game all the time.” She complained that black women are in “spaces where we are constantly being poked and prodded.” She gave some examples. “Oh let me touch your hair. Oh, you’re pretty for a black girl.”
Okay, I understand the whole touching the hair thing. Most people would get annoyed by random strangers coming up and touching their hair. My wife has complained about the same thing. I wonder if she would want to escape from whites?
Hold on, let me ask her.
After asking what types of amenities there would be, she said she “doesn’t think about getting away from white people.” Why? Because “she has friends of diverse backgrounds,” and she “doesn’t see a reason for not being around other types of people.”
I knew there was a reason I love this woman. And it’s not just because she makes a mean gumbo. Anyway, let’s move on.
Another participant discussed how tough it is to live in the United States. “I think that we’re suffering and suffocating and just dying every day trying to survive there,” she said.
Andrea X — no relation to Malcolm — is the person who started the project. She created the retreat because “we needed a safe space that was outside of the United States to hold certain conversations.”
I don’t mean to nitpick, but wouldn’t it be easier to just go to a black hair salon? I’ve been to several black barber shops, and they have all kinds of conversations about topics that impact black folks. No, I’m not going to tell you what we talk about in there, so don’t ask!
Ms. X also expressed her frustrations in her dealings with whites. “Every time I have a conversation with them, I just pick up on certain things they say,” she said. “I pick up on their microaggressions, passive aggressiveness; I pick up on it.”
So how has Andrea dealt with this problem? “I decided one day to just eliminate white people from my personal life, and ever since then, my life has been way more breezy,” she said. I guess that’s one option.
What’s The Real Problem Here?
When I watched the video, I heard the same message parroted by many on the left. These women view themselves as victims.
They’re right. They are victims.
But they are not victims of microaggressions, oppression, or white supremacy. They are victims of victimhood culture. These women — like many other minorities — have been convinced that the world is against them. They feel that the majority of whites are racists who view them as less than human.
I would argue that what these women feel is more likely the product of the left’s message of victimhood than actual racism. The victimhood culture that the left promotes has created a societal ecosystem in which minorities are constantly offended. It’s become so prevalent that many whites have begun engaging in the same type of identity politics as those on the left.
One of the more insidious issues with the victimhood mentality is that it makes it easier to manipulate people. If you convince a group of people that they are being oppressed by another group, it won’t be difficult to position yourself as their savior.
The Democrats’ Victimhood Manipulation
Democratic politicians have weaved a narrative that casts whites as the evil villains responsible for all of the problems of minorities and women. They routinely encourage us to place the blame for our woes on conservative whites, whose failure to rebut this lie has made them the perfect scapegoat. In messianic fashion, the Democrats have promised to rescue us from our oppressive existence — if we continue to give them our votes.
For this reason, they have enjoyed the black vote for decades, despite having done next to nothing for the black community. The cities in which blacks are faring the worst are run by — you guessed it — Democrats. They pretend to care about the plight of minorities while ignoring our concerns — until it’s election time.
This story is not an example of simple tribalism. The women in this documentary aren’t going on a black-only retreat just because they feel more comfortable around blacks. They are fleeing from whites because they have become victims of a destructive message.
By believing a lie, these women have become the victims that the left has told them they are. For these individuals, the victimhood message has transformed what would normally be considered annoyances into nefarious attacks on their blackness.
To be fair, most blacks wouldn’t go as far as fleeing the country or eliminating whites from our lives. But many have been conditioned to see the entire world through the lens of bigotry — so much so, that we see it even in places where it does not exist.
Let’s face it. Racism exists, and will always exist. But when people live their lives believing that they are perpetual victims, it becomes nearly impossible for them to pursue happiness. As Americans, I think we would be better served by giving each other the benefit of the doubt, rather than assuming that everyone else is out to get us. The question is: what can we do to destroy this culture of victimhood?
A self-confessed news and political junkie, Jeff’s writing has been featured in Small Business Trends, Business2Community, and The Huffington Post. Born in Southern California and having experienced the 1992 L.A. Riots up close and personal, Jeff's insights are informed by his experiences as a black man and a conservative.