The Los Angeles Times
Originally published on October 15, 2015
Here is an excerpt:
There is a serious problem with Campbell and Manning's moral history, and exposing it helps us see that the culture of victimhood label is misleading. Their history is a history of the dominant moral culture: It describes the mores of those social groups with the greatest access to power. Think about the culture of honor and notice how limited it must have been. If you were a woman in medieval Europe, you were not expected or permitted to respond to insults with aggression. Even if you were a lower-class man, you certainly would not have drawn your sword in response to an insult from a superior.
Now think about the culture of dignity, which Campbell and Manning claim “existed perhaps in its purest form among respectable people in the homogenous towns of mid-20th century America.” Another thing that existed among the “respectable people” in those towns was approval of racial segregation; “homogenous towns” did not arise by accident.
People of color, women, gay people, immigrants: none could rely on the authorities to respond fairly to reports of mistreatment.
The cultures of honor and dignity left many types of people with no recognized way of responding to moral mistreatment.