Victim Politics: The Game of Loser Takes All

When life is good, there are people who seek out others to make it worse, to level inequalities. It is hard to get the mind around this, but they do.

The players of victim politics speak clearer than mere explanations can do.

  • When Ace Magashule, a career henchman who helped make South Africa fail, says, “We have been building the white people’s roads‚ their houses‚ working their farms, now it’s time for a black person to own land and farm,” – that’s victim politics.  
  • When a Palestinian delegate calls on the UN “to hold Israelis accountable for violations and crimes in the Palestinian Territories” – that’s victim politics.
  • When Hilary Clinton blasts misogynist homophobic Islamaphobic xenophobic racist America – that’s victim politics.
  • When black actor Jussie Smollett pays for staging a white hate crime on him – that’s opportunistic victim politics
  • When a flyer at the University of Illinois declares, “Ending white privilege starts with ending Jewish privilege” – that’s victim and Jew-hating politics combined.

Victim manufacturers put a group, be it black or Muslim or gay or transgender or feminist, in the most secure place a human can be: victims deserving to be protected from all criticism. Protected how? Not always by law but more effectively by social mores with the constraining power of law.

In the West you daren’t criticize Muslims or Islam from fear of being painted Islamophobic or, as ten dead workers at Charlie Hebdo demonstrated, from fear of one’s life. Arab Christians are burned, bombed, or beheaded to near extinction, yet the Pope utters hardly a peep. Britain’s Union of Students won’t condemn Islamic State because that would be Islamophobic.

Social mores making us tiptoe around different cultures are strict but uneven. If Muslims are off limits and sacrosanct, you’re allowed to say what you like about Jews, provided you call them Israelis, or better, Zionists. Where  Muslims are treated with kid gloves, people have no qualms about laying into the Jews. The student body that won’t condemn ISIS votes to condemn Israel, and to boycott it. In the court of phobias, Judaeophobia does not rank with Islamophobia on the scales of justice.   

Without a villain you can’t have a victim, and they are demarcated by two factors: (1) Color of skin and (2) Gender. White plus male is a villain by default. Black plus gender-free is a victim by default. White and Christian (even when non-white) is never victim material. Dark-skinned anti-Christian can never be villain.  “Everyone is ignoring the danger to Christians in Muslim countries,” bewails Manor Rumalshah, the Bishop of Peshawar. “Europeans don’t give a damn about us.” Damn right they don’t, because the perpetrators are (a) Muslim and (b) supposedly of darker hue.   

Jews, different as they must be, fall into distinct categories. The six million ‘white’ Jews living at home can only be villains. Their darker adversaries, from stone throwers to kite fliers to human bombs, are not just victims but victims above and beyond every other on planet earth, and in Paradise above where lush meadows with 72 virgins await a Palestinian martyr who dies in the act of killing the Jew villain.

White Jews residing in the West have an option Israelis don’t. They may aspire to victim status. There’s a term and condition to the privilege. Jewish victims must be handy for activists fighting on behalf of dark refugees who are victims by default. The claim that Anne Frank is a Syrian girl is to make a one-on-one comparison with the Holocaust. This is where Jewish victim status begins and ends. Should the descendants of Holocaust victims cry anti-Semitism, they are painted as extremists or Zionists trying to close down critics of Israel. There’s also the colour barrier. Linda Sarsour says that Jews can’t be victims of hatred because they’re white, and there aint no such thing as anti-white racism.

Victims are the flavor of our time. It doesn’t mean they walk away scot free. It is all well and good to be paraded in the media as washed up on beaches or occupied by Jewish settlers, or despised for being transgender or black or female while the levers of power and privilege are held by white males who want to keep it that way. Up to a point, victims retain some humanity. So long as the manipulative producers of victims can make them unhappy and angry, they are useful human tools – up to a point.

More often than not manipulators are interested in their own fortunes, which depend on making unhappy and angry victims.

Democrat public servants protesting for open borders for Central Americans consider their own careers. Refugees create a demand for social workers and educators. And in time, refugees will vote Democrat – for the party which acts on their behalf. As the refugee population grows so their voting power grows. Somali Congresswoman Omar won her seat for Somali-dense Minnesota. Black and Latino voters will vote Democrat as long as the Democrats and CNN’s s cry loud and long enough for them to believe they are objects of white hatred.

Palestinians must remain stateless or else hundreds of NGO’s like B’Tselem will be made redundant and the owners will lose free money from the EU or the Ford Foundation, or become bereft of moneybags George Soros. And what will happen to all the UN agencies dependent on keeping the Palestinians in their 70-year condition of angry stateless victims?

The bottom line is that victims are economic and political assets. God forbid they should ever lose value. Then no one wins the game and losers take all.

Image credit: Nick Youngson

Steve Apfel is an economist and a cost accountant, but mostly a prolific author of non-fiction and fiction – books, essays and articles.  He blogs at