Atlantic contributing editor and Columbia professor John McWhorter is getting spanked on Twitter by the site’s liberal readership for suggesting that if the Jussie Smollett attack was indeed a hoax — and how much more proof do you need? — it reflects something he refers to as “victimhood chic,” a particular aspect of 21st-century America.

McWhorter doesn’t use the “I” word in his piece — intersectionality — but he might as well have; progressives are literally sorting people by their level of oppression and “marginalization” in society. Smollett is a gay black man, which still puts him slightly above, say, a gay black woman in the oppression sweepstakes, but well below the assumedly straight white men he initially claimed attacked him.

McWhorter writes:

Until this twist, smart people were claiming that the attack on Smollett was the story of Donald Trump’s America writ small — that it revealed the terrible plight of minority groups today. But the Smollett story, if the “trajectory” leads to evidence of fakery, would actually reveal something else modern America is about: victimhood chic. Future historians and anthropologists will find this aspect of early-21st-century America peculiar, intriguing, and sad.

Smollett doesn’t need the money he would get from a court settlement, and he isn’t trying to deny someone higher office. So why in the world would he fake something like that attack — if he did indeed fake it? The reason might be that he has come of age in an era when nothing he could have done or said would have made him look more interesting than being attacked on the basis of his color and sexual orientation.

McWhorter goes on to note that Smollett’s mother “associated with the Black Panthers and is friends with the activist Angela Davis,” and Smollett’s Twitter feed reveals him to have “a hankering for preacher status.”

“Future historians and anthropologists will find this aspect of early-21st-century America peculiar, intriguing, and sad” — well said.

We think he can take it.

He did score a softball interview on “Good Morning America” where he got to show off his acting chops.

Well, it could have.


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