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‘White Liberal Dude Apology Syndrome’

This is pathological. Environmental blogger David Roberts, a self-described white liberal dude, tweets a mild sexist insult, gets called on it, regrets it, and apologizes. But he can’t just apologize; he puts himself through a Maoist ‘struggle session’ on his blog. Read the whole thing here. Excerpt:

This is the key first step in a bout of White Dude Privilege Syndrome, especially the specific variant of White Liberal Dude Privilege Syndrome (WLDPS). Very few bouts begin with deliberate sexism or racism or heteronormativity. We are not thinking sexist thoughts! Our intentions are pure! We love women! Some of our best friends are black! We are good people, dammit!

Thus, the first instinct of the WLDPS sufferer, when confronted, is to be dismissive or cavalier.

When that doesn’t work, the second instinct is to mansplain that there was no sexist intent and thus no crime. “That’s not what I meant!”

When that doesn’t work, the third instinct is umbrage and aggrievement, perhaps a blog post about how the WLDPS sufferer is the victim of a “witch hunt” by the “politically correct.”

Luckily, my case is not that bad. …

Apologizing is great, but why not just man up, admit you were wrong, express remorse, and move on? What the heck is insufficient about simply saying, “That was wrong of me, and I’m sorry,” and letting that be that? Why the obsessive penitential scouring of one’s navel in search of thoughtcrime?

David Roberts knows a thing or two about punishing thoughtcrime. In 2006, he blogged this about climate-change deniers:

When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards — some sort of climate Nuremberg.

I think David Roberts is one very high-strung, thin-skinned white liberal dude.

[H/T: Iain Murray.]

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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