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The Human Cost of the Left’s Obsession With Victimhood: One Woman’s Story

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The left is obsessed with victimhood. Victims — of racism, sexism, transphobia, Islamophobia, or whatever the outrage du jour may be — are superheroes in this Age of Absurdity. Leftists vie with one another to discard ever more of their “privilege” and become more victimized than their friends and comrades.

As silly as it is, however, this ridiculous game is no joke. For every victim, there has to be a victimizer. That means that innocent people all too often are roped into the victimhood charade and end up being genuine victims as they are vilified for supposedly blaspheming against the left’s gods.

A case in point is the horrifying experience of Morgan Bettinger, a student at the University of Virginia. The Daily Caller reported Monday that on July 17, 2020, during the threatening and dangerous Summer of George Floyd, Bettinger was driving home from work when traffic drew to a standstill. A group called Black Women Matter was blocking a street near the UVA campus, and a dump truck had parked in an intersection to keep cars from driving into the protest. Seeing all this, Bettinger got out of her car and began talking to the driver of the dump truck “about how she was thankful he was there to prevent the cars from turning protesters into speed bumps.”

One of the protesters, another UVA student named Zyahna Bryant, heard or misheard what Bettinger had said, and then began claiming that Bettinger had “threatened protesters, saying that they would ‘make good f***king speed bumps.’”

This was not something Bryant said simply to her fellow Black Women Matter protesters. She “tweeted a video of the incident to her thousands of followers and it quickly went viral.” In all the emotions that Bryant’s video provoked, few noticed that it didn’t actually establish what she had claimed about Bettinger. Bryant’s video did not show Bettinger saying what Bryant insisted that she had said.

It didn’t matter. For the left, to be accused is to be convicted: if someone is charged with transgressing against one of the left’s dogmas, he or she must be destroyed. The charge doesn’t have to be proven. This is because the left’s objective is not, contrary to its arrogant claims, to bring about a society of justice and equity. The left’s objective is to terrify the populace into submission and, above all, to preserve and protect its own counterfactual narrative, which is the basis of its power. Those whose lives are destroyed in the process are just collateral damage.

And so the predictable reaction began: “Almost immediately, Morgan became a target of vicious harassment online, as the incident came to the attention of university administrators and local media.” Bettinger “was called a ‘Nazi,’ a ‘racist,’ and ‘coddled little white girl’ who ‘promotes domestic terrorism.’” Leftists discovered her identity and publicized it. Bettinger was ostracized, even in online classes.

Leftist journalists moved in for the kill, repeating Zyahna Bryant’s version of events as if it were established fact. UVA’s student council president called for Bettinger’s expulsion, and one of her professors said she should be arrested.

Throughout this witch hunt, Bettinger was never given even one chance to offer her own version of what had happened. Nevertheless, “after witnesses failed to corroborate the incident, the university investigators rightly determined that there was no evidence Morgan said what Bryant accused her of. Even if she had, it was simply a hypothetical statement, not a threat, the university correctly determined.”

That was good enough, but the case didn’t end there: UVA allowed a student panel to judge Bettinger’s case, and while it accepted Bettinger’s version of what had happened over Bryant’s, it “determined she was being insensitive about the issues BLM was supposedly fighting for.”

Convicted in kangaroo court of the left’s cardinal sin of “racism,” Bettinger was “sentenced to 50 hours of community service, leftist re-education classes, and put on probationary expulsion. If anyone complained about her, she would be expelled for real.” Bettinger managed to graduate from UVA, but the injustice that was done to her was never rectified. The Daily Caller has now told her story and others in its new documentary, “Demand for Hate,” about hate crime hoaxes in Old Joe Biden’s America.

Why did all this happen in the first place? In his landmark exploration of Soviet totalitarianism, “The Gulag Archipelago,” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn notes that the Soviet authorities would often arrest entirely innocent people. These were not mistakes that were acknowledged and rectified. Solzhenitsyn writes:

In the Dzhida camps in 1944, interrogator Mironenko said to the condemned Babich with pride in his faultless logic: “Interrogation and trial are merely judicial corroboration. They cannot alter your fate, which was previously decided. If it is necessary to shoot you, then you will be shot even if you are altogether innocent. If it is necessary to acquit you, then no matter how guilty you are you will be cleared and acquitted.”

“Just give us a person—and we’ll create the case!” That was what many of them said jokingly, and it was their slogan. What we think of as torture they think of as good work. The wife of the interrogator Nikolai Grabishchenko (the Volga Canal Project) said touchingly to her neighbors: “Kolya is a very good worker. One of them didn’t confess for a long time—and they gave him to Kolya. Kolya talked with him for one night and he confessed.”

The goal was to establish the state’s word as paramount. Reality didn’t matter. What the state determined was all that mattered. Orwell neatly captures this point of view in the section in “1984” where the imprisoned dissident Winston Smith is forced to acknowledge that two plus two equals five because the state says so. The complete docility and submission of the people was the goal.

In Old Joe Biden’s America, the situation is not very different at all.

Article posted with permission from Robert Spencer

The Washington Standard

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