— Bridget Phetasy (@BridgetPhetasy) March 12, 2021
“If I were Donald G. McNeil Jr., I would want to tell The New York Times, and its publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, to go jump in a lake. Instead, McNeil chose to declare his love for the paper and proclaim his guilt for having ‘hurt’ many hundreds of people. For McNeil’s professional death to have meaning, the party—or the paper—must be infallible. Death to me!
“That this kind of groveling confession is not unique to the Times, but rather plays a key functional role in the politics of woke anti-racism, can be judged with the frequency with which such apologies are staged across institutional and corporate settings where wokeness holds sway.
“Untold millions of true believers lived and died in Stalin’s Soviet Union. When told they were guilty, they sooner or later agreed with the charges against them, even if they couldn’t locate their guilt in anything they had actually done. When the exhausted prisoner finally gives in to the party, which has sole grasp on truth, a soothing relief may come: History has spoken. Koestler and Orwell testify as much in their famous novels.
“Admittedly, at times the prisoners were merely surrendering to a superior force that worked through the deprivation of sleep and food and relentless interrogations — and through more baroque tortures. And there were always those who refused and resisted. But the Soviet system stood for decades on the bedrock of shared guilt.
“In the absence of real evidence and reporting, public confessions helped buttress the credibility of the system.
“These days we repeatedly confess our racism and misogyny, suppressing any sense that we are perhaps not as sinful as we are told. Maybe we haven’t harassed, demeaned, or insulted anyone — but the very impulse to defend ourselves indicates our guilt. After all, we are all part of ‘the system,’ and only a thoroughgoing racist would dispute the idea that the system is guilty.
“Of course, America is not Soviet Russia, or, for that matter, Xi’s China. Our new political commissars don’t use torture, prison cells, and executions. Today’s woke ideology can be publicly attacked, unlike communism in the Soviet Union. Its critics are in fact legion: According to polls, most Americans of all genders and ethnicities think political correctness is a problem. But people are afraid for their careers, and so they remain silent — no matter how much ‘power’ or ‘privilege’ they ostensibly have.”