|I don’t know about you, but I get a lot of laughs watching people on the left trying to climb the pyramid of grievances.
Because modern liberalism has largely abandoned economics in favor of a giant interlocking system of grievance-based identity politics, the left has created an incentive system where different groups are forced to fight one another as they struggle to ascend to the top of the pyramid.
So, for instance, you have fights between WoCs (Women of Color) and garden-variety white feminists over the checking of privilege. You have transgender women (which is to say, men who say they’re women) fighting against old-guard feminists who see this as yet one more assault from the patriarchy. You have the African-American community not-super-invested in the gay marriage movement.
I don’t know about you, but I’m waiting with baited breath for the final, Census Bureau-adjusted exit polls from the 2016 election to be released, because if the data show that Hillary Clinton lost in part because a noticeable chunk of minority men voted against her, then it’s going to be awesome.
I like to think of the entire spectacle as the Intersectionality War. (It’s a comic book joke.)
One of the interesting aspects of the Intersectionality War are the battles that aren’t fought. A lot of them concern Islam. For instance, the left will go to amazing, ridiculous lengths to not criticize Islam for its views on homosexuality. (My favorite expression of this ever is probably: “Though his previous books have touched on Christianity, ‘I know that Islam is also not necessarily tolerant towards homosexuality.’”)
Slavery is, you may have noticed, one of the no-go zones of modern liberal mores. You can’t even equivocate about the n-word, let alone actual slavery.
Unless, you know, you’re Muslim.
Which brings us to Rod Dreher’s fantastic account of tenured Georgetown professor Jonathan Brown’s recent musings about how slavery in the Muslim world is pretty much okey-dokey. There’s audio of Prof. Brown’s lecture here.
In them, Brown also mounts a defense of rape in the Muslim world, explaining that ideas about “consent” in the West are actually quite novel. But let’s leave the feminist stuff aside for a moment and focus on the slavery. Because Dreher hones in on two interesting points.
First, Brown excuses the practice of slavery by saying that the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh!) absolutely owned slaves. “Are you more morally mature than the Prophet of God?” Brown asked a questioner who was skeptical of the benign nature of Muslim slavery. “No, you’re not.”
So if Mohammed owned slaves, what’s a right-thinking liberal to do? On the one hand, the left has mortgaged itself to the idea that all historical figures must be held to contemporary moral standards. If we’re supposed to look askance at Thomas Jefferson because of his slave-owning, then what about Mohammed?
Second, what is this insanity doing at a Catholic school? A Catholic school that is so amped up about the historical legacy of slavery that it’s in the midst of a public crusade to wash its own hands?
Of course, Georgetown isn’t really a Catholic school. It’s Jesuit. There’s a difference. Just ask the pope.