Friday, October 23, 2009

Which victims do we care about?

"[I]n the hierarchy of victimhood, young beats old, female beats male, domestic beats foreign, fur beats scales, defenseless beats well-armed, pregnant beats nonpregnant, and kittens beat everything."

So says this Slate article on why the press gets hoodwinked by fake victims. Of course, the point also applies to real victims.

Do you think an earlier -- perhaps censored -- draft of the article had one more item in that list: "white beats black"?

As for the part about "female beats male," I'd be interested to know if Nicholas Kristof honestly disagrees with that observation.


Jason (the commenter) said...

If these victims are going to keep beating each other I'm not going to care about any of them.

Jason (the commenter) said...

"Foreign male kitten attacks defenseless pregnant native lizard."

How does this make you feel?

Meade said...

As a native lizard myself, my heart goes out to the young lizard mother, and to the unborn lizard person who represents all our hopes for and faith in the future.

It also make me angry. I find myself sympathetic to those proponents of species profiling all warm-blooded carnivores.

Especially profiling the foreign ones who practice strange licking rituals.

John Althouse Cohen said...

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