I am a liberal on virtually every issue. That said, I believe liberals hurt their causes when they go beyond what’s helpful and into the absurd. Not only does it turn off people in the middle, but it also turns off those who support them. The rote overuse of terms such as “microaggression,” “trigger warning,” and “white privilege” are good examples of this.
For instance, I’m the agent for a woman who speaks at colleges on hazing (her brother died in a hazing incident), black history, and women’s history. Students know the subject matter when they attend her talks. Nevertheless, a college complained because she didn’t give trigger warnings! Really? No wonder Republicans call liberals “snowflakes.”
Then, last night, I was watching Real Time with Bill Maher and found myself screaming at the TV. Why? Michael Eric Dyson was accusing mediocre authors of getting book publishing deals because of their white privilege! I agree that white privilege exists, but saying authors got deals because they are white is total bullshit. I know this because I am a white author. Over the years, I have shopped multiple manuscripts to both literary agents and publishing companies. My pitches never included my race or a photo. In fact, if I had mentioned my race, it likely would have earned me an immediate rejection. Except in the case of celebrities, only rarely does a publishing company know a person’s skin color before offering a contract. So since race does not apply to book authors, all Michael Eric Dyson did was hurt his cause by turning off me and others from buying his books.
Whatever the next liberal big cause is, I hope those who are most active in supporting it will realize that there is a fine line between making people eager to help and eager to yell bullshit.