Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Woke Racism

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Well before Sigmund Freud formalized the idea of “projectionism”—the defense of one’s own shortcomings and sins by attributing them to others—it was a common theme in classical literature and the New Testament: the ridiculing of the mole on someone else’s nose to hide one’s own boil.

The term projection more or less sums up much of the woke identity politics movement, in which obsessions with racial privilege and tribal exceptionalism are justified by accusing others of just such bias.

While such racist projectionism can often be a psychological tic that assuages the guilt of one’s own rank prejudice, just as often accusing others of racism is a peremptory careerist move to win media attention, lucre, or job advancement.

Racists—those who assume those of different races always act collectively in predictable ways, usually far worse than does their own tribe—who charge racism assume that unlike the proverbial wolf crier, there is currently no downside to their hysterias and fantasies.

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

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