Results matching “whinerism”

The Power of Whinerism

The subject of this post is not specifically about criminal law, but its undertow is very much about the direction in which criminal law is headed.

The subject is Whinerism.  Whinerism is liberal braying about whatever group the Left elects to portray as "victims."  Criminals, and particularly drug pushers, are a Big Thing on the Whinerism agenda just now, see, e.g., the Smarter Sentencing Act and Eric Holder's clemency initiative.  But football Sunday brings to mind another item high on Whinerism's list:  Changing the name of the Washington Redskins.
When law enforcement becomes about anything other than behavior, we're in trouble.  Thus, when people get picked out for prosecution because they're black, it's reprehensible and subversive.  It's also indecent.  Ditto for when they are picked out for prosecution because they're white, as almost certainly happened to George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case.  There, it got to the point that one leading and (ordinarily) pro-defendant academic was openly hoping for Zimmerman's conviction even though it was clear early on that the State would not be able to meet its affirmative burden, under Florida law, of disproving self-defense.

The same thing may be happening now to Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson, who has the misfortune to be white.  Does anyone think the banshee cries for his indictment would be anything like what they are if he were black? He may deserve indictment, mind you, and a good deal more than that.  But he doesn't deserve it any more or less because of his race.

A recent editorial in the liberal Washington Post decries the results of politically correct law enforcement in our mother country.  It seems that British authorities are turning a blind eye toward an epidemic of child rape because  -- ready now?  --  the people doing it are Pakistani immigrants, and the police wouldn't want to face charges that they are anti-Muslim.

Well I guess not.  But I have not yet heard why protecting Muslim little girls from being sold and traded into prostitution is anti-Muslim.  More important, in a sane world, the possibility of such accusations would count for nothing.  What would count for police and prosecutors is doing your job without caring about the latest version of Whinerism.

Whinerism Scores a Touchdown

What is called "bullying" is much in the news these days.  This seems to be part of the "sensitivity movement," in which any action, or even just speech, that "offends" someone, or makes for an impossible-to-define (and thus never very precisely defined) "unwelcoming environment," is subject to sanctions.

There have been cases in which bullying in school, or on the Internet by, say, a teenager's classmates, has even resulted in criminal charges.  There is one case going on now in which the bullying is alleged to have caused a 13 year-old girl's suicide.

I'm no fan of rancid and cruel behavior, not by teenagers and not by anyone.  I have put up more than my share of posts about the decline of standards of behavior and the ominous things it augers for the country.  

But teaching our kids how to think of themselves as victims instead of how to be resilient and handle the rough spots in their lives is, in my view, just as much a prescription for cultural decay as bullying.  Kids, and adults for that matter, need to learn to cope, fend for themselves and overcome, not how to whine.  What happens when this lesson goes unlearned is illustrated in a story that broke over the weekend.

Commit a Crime, Get a Job

Now you might think that if you're a convicted killer or a child rapist, that could count against you with a potential employer.

Wrongo.

As Kent noted in this post, Martin Luther King's dream was that individuals be judged based on the content of their character.  Intentional behavior is, of course, the best indicator of character, which is otherwise inchoate.  Intentional criminal behavior would seem to be among the more telling clues to a person's character, and very serious criminal behavior, all the more so.

The idea that character is unimportant in a job is beyond preposterous.  Honesty, a commitment to non-violence, reliability, trustworthiness, willingness to give a day's work for a day's pay, are all not merely useful but essential characteristics of every employee.

But not to this Administration, which sees judgment on the basis of demonstrated character, not as the fulfillment of MLK's dream, but of a Fascist Plot to Oppress the Helpless.

Don't believe me?  I don't blame you.  Most unfortunately, Paul Mirengoff at Powerline spills the beans here.  This is one more instance in which Racial Whinerism becomes the Petri dish of, and then the spoils system for, crime.

Q: What Happens When You Combine...

...a debauched culture with Racial Whinerism?

A:  You get this essay.

For years, we have seen increasingly strained and belligerent efforts from one group and another to portray themselves as unjustly deprived.  In the setting of criminal law, such efforts (e.g., "Capitalism has never given people like me our fair share!") get enlisted to manufacture defenses, and, if that doesn't work, at least to cobble together excuses to try to mitigate the sentence.  

The race to claim victimhood has taken root in so many influential institutions  --  academia, the press, and entertainment  --  that it has now become a cultural pox. The idea is to seize the moral high ground, and effectively extort concessions from those consigned to the low ground, by claiming that, no matter what your behavior  -- including your criminal behavior  --  society owes you a debt, not the other way around.

The essay I have linked, a racially seething rant written in reaction to Miley Cyrus's remarkable MTV performance, makes the point about reaching out to claim victimhood more graphically than I ever could.

Having read the essay, I have a confession to make:   If I said at some point that defense lawyers were the best I'd ever seen at manufacturing victimhood, I take it back.

UPDATE:  My friend Paul Mirengoff at Powerline undresses the essay, as it were, one garment at a time, until it's wearing less than Miley herself.

Some Small Victories Over Racial Whinerism

One of the most important challenges facing those who demand respect for law is Racial Whinerism.  This is a subset of General Whinerism, in which the thug victim of adverse social forces purports to show that serious punishment Draconian mean-spiritedness flows from society's refusing to indulge phony excuses understand his difficult childhood.  One favorite item in the inventory of Whinerism Excuses is racism.

Now before any liberals reading this go ballistic, let me say that we all know racism still exists.  We all know it has had an appalling history in this country, including but hardly limited to rampant unpunished murder.  We all know that dramatic steps were needed, and were undertaken, to overcome it.

We also know that the same liberals who understand all that likewise, although very quietly, understand that minority group (mostly black) criminals in this day and time wind up in court for exactly the same reason that whites do:  Greed, wanting to make a fast buck, a quick trigger, severe lack of empathy, dishonesty, refusal to grow up, and me-first thinking.  If you're looking for the "root causes" that people wind up as criminal defendants, I just listed them.  The race in which these characteristics "disproportionately" appear is well known.  It's the human race.   
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