One should not be rewarded for being a victim. America has become a society which has fetishized victims, so that being a victim is a path to riches, and often fame. In a good society, one has sympathy for true victims, but, beyond reasonable redress when possible by the actual perpetrator, the attitude of victims is to move on with life, and not to be defined by their injuries or injustices they have suffered. But thanks to the cabal of trial lawyers and psychiatrists, and the general erosion of personal responsibility, victimhood has become not only hugely profitable, but permeates the entire society.
A core tenet of the cult of victimization is that the individual is not responsible for their own actions. The idea and practice starts very early. Children don’t need to learn patience, they have learning disabilities, and need Ritalin, which is why millions of American kids are on some sort of behavior modification drug. Harvard economists determine that countries in Africa aren’t poor because their leaders are shameless thieves, but because of geographic and ecological accidents. Fat people don’t eat too much because of a lack of discipline, but because they are the victims of rapacious fast food restaurants. The solution is not exercise and a moderate diet, but surgery.
In 2013 Bill di Blasio managed to become elected mayor of New York city based on a campaign about two different New Yorks; the rich and the poor, or, in his mind, the oppressors – who need to pay more tax, and the oppressed, who need more help. He was certainly right about one thing; there are two New Yorkers – the well-off who pay the vast majority of the taxes, and the poor and the less well-off who receive the vast majority of the services paid for by those taxes. But the vision of victim and victimizer is the one that plays well.
While the cult of victimization has been useful for many aspiring politicians, trial lawyers, and academics, it is the absolute opposite of the sort of mentality that will lead to justice.